Thursday, 25 October 2012

Peace Campaign

“Peace as a goal is an ideal which will not be contested by any government or nation, not even the most belligerent. The culture of peace…finds ready acceptance.” — Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom From Fear
The Best Friend Project’s Peace Campaign commenced in 2006 with a 29-day peace march from Cologne to Berlin led by Ashin Sopaka.
Since then, similar walks have been led from New York to Washington, D.C. and from Bangkok to Mae Sot. Sleeping in temples, churches, and homeless shelters along the way, the participants demonstrate their dedication and eagerness to work for peace. More importantly, they are able to share their message not only with those they meet along the way, but also with a broader audience via the media.

As Ashin Sopaka explains, the point of the peace walks is to “show our long struggle, and also to educate people, to remind them that we still need to work for peace.”
In the four years since it began, the Peace Campaign has evolved into much more than peace walks. From The Best Friend’s home in Mae Sot, the campaign also involves the distribution of ‘peace dove’ clocks, flags, and t-shirts to schools and businesses, and the spreading of more than 10,000 ‘peace stickers’—with the campaigns’ message of “Peace in Burma Now” in both English and Burmese—throughout the community.
Recently, several Western volunteers have been able to stealthily post the stickers inside several towns in Burma, reminding Burmese people with hope and optimism that the struggle for peaceful change in Burma continues.
“Every individual is important, and every person can play a role in the Peace Campaign,” says Ashin Sopaka. “Just by spreading the peace dove image, this reminds people that even if they believe they enjoy peace in their lives, the world will not truly be peaceful until Burma is free also.”
Future plans for the Peace Campaign include a 2010 Peace Walk in Mae Sot with speakers and activities, as well as a series of educational forums and workshops about the value of peace and ways of attaining it. These events will be multi-lingual to ensure as broad a spectrum of people as possible not only recognize and willingly display the ‘peace dove’ image, but also develop a deeper understanding of the importance of peacefulness.

Peace Now online

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Sat 10 Nov 2012
BABSEA 2nd Annual Access To Justice Public Interest Fair
"justify">Get information and help support local community-based organizations, build a network, and find out about job and volunteer opportunities at this fair showcasing the work of NGOs working in Southeast Asia.
Where: Kantary Hills Hotel, 44 Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 12, Chiang Mai
Time: 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Entrance: free

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