Here at vigilforpeace.org, we are dedicated to promoting peace and nonviolence through yearly candle light vigils celebrating these worthwhile ideals on the International Day of Peace.
The International Day of Peace is observed annually on September 21st. Established by UN Resolution A/RES/55/282 in 2001, it is a day when the entire world can observe peace and nonviolence. All organizations and people are invited to commemorate the day in a way that promotes these twin goals.
In addition to promoting candle-light vigils and awareness of the International Day of Peace, we are also committed to raising awareness about the common causes of violence on an interpersonal level.
WHAT IS A VIGIL?
A vigil is a time of “watchfulness” or “awareness” during which time participants focus their mental energies on a specific cause. During the observance of the International Day of Peace, a vigil could take the form of prayer, meditation, or any other spiritual observance. Given our goal of promoting candle-light vigils to bring attention to the International Day of Peace, we recommend those as well.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF “PEACE” IN THE CONTEXT OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE?
The goal of the International Day of Peace, as established by the UN resolution, is to create a peaceful world, even if it is just for one day. The UN resolution specifically mentions a “global ceasefire.” Thus, the cessation of violence or conflict for one day would be a form of peace. The resolution also says that observers should be focused on strengthening the ideals of peace and alleviating tensions and conflicts between individuals, groups of people, and governments. Thus, in its fullest sense, it is about building an internal sense of community and tranquility that is established within a group of people; it is more than seeking the cessation of large-scale violence. We also believe that the International Day of Peace can be a great tool in the fight against domestic violence.
CAN I HELP EVEN IF I AM AN INDIVIDUAL?
Yes, of course. Large mass movements are inspiring, energizing, hopeful, and effective. However, change is caused by a large number of different forces working together -- individuals and small groups form a part of the overall push. One voice can cause an avalanche. Just ask Rosa Parks.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Participate in the day of peace by committing to hold a candlelight vigil;
- Make a donation to an organization promoting the International Day of Peace like idpvigil.com;
- Tell your friends, family, and neighbors about the International Day of Peace;
- Raise awareness of factors that lead to violence, as discussed below;
- Participate in an International Day of Peace awareness event; and
- Organize an observation of the International Day of Peace at your place of worship.
RAISE AWARENESS OF THE CAUSES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS
Common causes of interpersonal violence include:
- Drug side-effects and mental disorders;
- The abuser’s history with violence;
- Trying to get pregnant and failing due to infertility; and
- Economic hardship, such as prolonged unemployment.
Raising awareness of the causes of violence is a key element of our mission.