The words “We are one” were heard throughout this year’s peace walk for the 9th annual commemoration of the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and Restoration of Light (HWPL)’s Declaration of Peace. The purpose of the annual peace walk, this year held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is to showcase progress made towards realizing a world of peace, and to empower youth from across the Caribbean to be peace advocates. In addition to heartfelt speeches and stories about why peace is important, various youth groups represented their countries with chants, songs, and cheers for peace.
In the words of Marcel Hutson, the CEO of the Ministry of Education of Guyana, the event was “a celebration of youth that were encouraging other people to join [HWPL in] the fight towards peace.”
HWPL is a non-governmental organization affiliated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The organization advocates for the cessation of war and conflict worldwide. The founding organization, HWPL, is an international peace organization founded for global peace and cessation of war. HWPL carries out its peace initiatives in the Caribbean by working with its affiliate partners, the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG).
Moreover, regional leaders are participating in HWPL’s Peace Advisory Council and as HWPL Publicity Ambassadors. This year’s event was held in partnership with UNESCO Jamaica. The event included a number of addresses; of special note were HWPL Chairman Man Hee Lee, Everton Hannam of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, and the Honorable Charles Griffith, Minister of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment of Barbados. Each speaker highlighted how everyone has a role to play in fighting for world peace – especially youth.
“It is clear that the road to peace will be fraught with challenges, but young people have a role to play.” Honorable Charles Griffith, Minister of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment of Barbados.
A special highlight of the event was an HWPL commissioned music video from Nesbeth. The song rang out the need for peace, calling for change – a call attendees of the peace walk were working hard to make possible. HWPL, the host organization, is an international non-profit peace organization with more than 175 chapters worldwide.
HWPL has been working in the Caribbean for almost half a decade with the core mission of creating citizens of peace. One of the ways the organization aims to fulfill this mission is by developing peace education in schools around the world.
For HWPL, peace is much more than the absence of war. It is about creating change within a person. Once a person acquires the right heart, knowledge, and skills that they can do anything – including building a lasting culture of peace.
So, in the words of HWPL Chairman Lee, “Until the day it is fulfilled, let us garner our minds and hearts. Let us invite many more to join our fight for peace.”