Celebrating Holidays of Peace

WorldPeace Day takes place annually on September 21. It is the perfect opening event for the school year or other children’s programming that starts in the fall season. It lays down a premise of peace for the whole year ahead. Here is a reading from the Declaration of Human Rights (wonderful for a dynamic call and response) and a quote from George D’Angelo, the architect of this International Peace Day.

Call and Response Reading from the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights 

(Excerpts from an adaptation for children by Ruth Rocha, with some minor amendments and the last two lines added by Audrey Kindred for event purposes.)

All people are born free.
All people are born equal and so have equal rights.
Everyone should act as Brothers and Sisters…

Everyone has the right to live, the right to be free
We have the right to personal safety. 
No one can be someone else’s slave.
No one is to be hurt or to be punished in cruel or humiliating ways.
The law must be the same for everyone.

Everyone has the right to think the way they like.
People have the right to hold opinions and (to share them).
They have the right to practice their religion.
Everyone has the right to work…. Everyone has the right to rest.

All children have the same rights, whether their parents are married or not. 
Everyone has the right to go to school and school must be free.
Everyone should have the right to be taught a trade.
Education should emphasize understanding, comprehension, tolerance and friendship.

People have duties to the place where they live. 
(People have duties) towards other people who live there with them.
People have the duty to create Peace on Earth!
We have the duty to create peace together, here and now.

George D’Angelo, the architect of International Peace Day:

“The International Day of Peace (IDP) provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date… Every Peace Day event provides an opportunity to inspire individuals and empower communities to celebrate victories for peace that have been won throughout the year, and to rededicate our commitment to work for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world all year long…”