URI youth hosted events and service projects around the world in celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Youth on Thursday, August 12, 2010, under the theme, “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding.” The day also marks the launch of the International Year of Youth, a year dedicated to increasing the commitment to and investment in youth; increasing youth participation and partnerships; and increasing intercultural understanding among youth. Click here to see a video of URI youth activities.
Nairobi, Kenya: Blood Drive for Peace
URI Youth Ambassador Annirene Nyambura Mundia organized an interfaith blood drive in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Center, raising 60 pints of blood with the participation of Baha'i, Muslim, Sikh and Brahma Kumaris youths. The donations were urgently needed to alleviate shortages at the national blood bank. She called the event “Blood for Peace” to highlight blood as a unifying factor among people of all religions and cultures.
Quetta, Pakistan: Youth for Interfaith Harmony
Roots CC, one of URI’s newest members, co-hosted an International Youth Day 2010 celebration at the Boy Scouts auditorium in Quetta, near the border with Afghanistan, to highlight the role of Pakistani youth in promoting a culture of interfaith dialogue, mutual understating and respect. Three hundred and fifty youth attended, representing various NGOs, schools, colleges and other organizations. Participants shared their experiences with religion through debate, drama, music and a poster competition. One young person relayed being drawn to interfaith peace building after family members were killed in a mosque: "Watching how people were killed in Swat made me draw this poster and convey the message of peace, love, respect for other religions and sects.”
Lodrane, Pakistan: National Integration Program
Rana Naeem Khan Toor, a Universal Ambassador of Peace and member of URI Global Youth CC, spoke to attendees of a Youth Day celebration in Lodhran about youth engagement in Pakistan’s national integration movement. Affirming messages of peace lined the walls as visitors sang songs of love and peace. The event, “National Integration and the Role of Youth,” was organized by local organizations in partnership with the Rafique Research & Educational Society.
Manila, Philippines: Embracing All Traditions
URI Youth Ambassador Ishilta organized earth-healing events for people of all walks of life around Manila, including a tree-planting project with the Haribon Foundation, which works to reduce the rate of deforestation for endangered forests across the Philippines. He is also partnering with another organization to develop faith-based support systems for people with HIV/AIDS, and helping organize EarthDance Manila, part of an international synchronized dance for peace on September 18. This year’s EarthDance theme is “Embracing All Traditions.”
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Annual Youth Award
Interfaith Peacebuilding Initiative CC held a Youth Day celebration for 350 youth at the Hager Fikir Theatre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to present its 3rd annual IPI Youth Award, an award that “celebrates, acknowledges and honors the accomplishments of individuals and organizations who have exhibited extraordinary leadership to build a culture of peace, reconciliation, the Golden Rule, development and harmony.” The winner, Peace Journey in Africa, is a group of young people that traveled across Africa for three months carrying the message, “Stop! Civil War in Mother Africa.” The event was covered by local and national media.
Nepal: Arms Down!
The Youth Society for Peace CC held a one-day training event in cities around Nepal to engage youth in the Arms Down! campaign, a campaign sponsored by Religions for Peace to abolish nuclear weapons, halt proliferation and misuse of conventional weapons, and redirect military spending toward meeting the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. Over 200 youth of 30 different faiths were expected to attend.
Kathmandu, Nepal: Art Therapy for Children
Silivia Herranz, a young art therapist from Spain held two days of art workshops to help more than 50 disadvantaged children express themselves through art.
Worldwide: Abrahamic Youth Alliance
URI Youth Ambassador Peter Dziedzic launched the Abrahamic Youth Alliance, an internet-based forum and chat-room that brings together Jewish, Christian and Muslim youth from around the world in dialogue.