With armed conflicts threatening the stability and growth of many developing nations, it is important to remember that only through peace can we succeed in our fight against child poverty and bring hope to families living below the poverty line. Sept. 21 is International Day of Peace, and on this day, millions of people around the world unite in the hopes of a peaceful future for themselves and their children.
On International Day of Peace, a moment of silence is observed at noon to remember those who have fallen in armed conflicts around the world and to contemplate a future without war. International Day of Peace was first celebrated in 1982 on the first day of the 37th session of the United Nations' General Assembly. Since then, International Day of Peace has become a symbolic event that celebrates peace and encourages forces engaged in combat to cease fire, at least for a single day.
War brings with it not just casualties but scars that can take years to heal. Sierra Leone is still rebuilding in the aftermath of conflicts that claimed thousands of lives and left many children orphans. In areas where fighting is ongoing, such as Afghanistan, conflict makes providing aid to children in need and their families more difficult due to the dangers of operating in combat zones.
In some cases, children have even been forced to fight. The horrors of armed combat can test the psychological fortitude of even the most seasoned veteran, but for children, these pressures can leave lasting emotional trauma. ChildFund provides psychosocial support to former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and Uganda to help them readjust to life as children and put their pasts behind them.
On Sept. 21, you can observe International Day of Peace by simply taking a moment of silence at noon, but there are other ways to help raise awareness of this important date. Social media websites like Facebook are ideal for getting the word out among your family and friends, and many people choose to hold fundraisers to donate money for organizations like ChildFund.
Whether you choose to sponsor a child, become a monthly giving partner or organize a fundraising event, bring hope to a child's life this Sept. 21 and provide them with the chance to live his or her life free from the effects of war.