YOUTHFULL O’PEACE CAMPAIGNAug 23, 2017
“Peace is the cry, everyone wants it everywhere. But right where they are standing. Yet in all likelihood, that is where the answer is…Zimbabwe, forged in conflict, perfected in Peace” says the powerful message contained in a peace mascot that has now gone viral. https://vimeo.com/206386124/e909fb98f0
The animation, which is a synthesized two-minute cartoon strip with a voice over, is part of a peace campaign led by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust [CFoZT] with support of the project ‘Deepening Foundations for Peace and Social Cohesion’ of UNDP.
The ‘Deepening Foundations for Peace and Social Cohesion’ Project identifies youth as critical agents for promoting peaceful co-existence and tolerance within society. The initiative provides for innovative strategies and mechanisms for ensuring that young people are fully engaged and their voices heard as they mobilize for peace amongst their peers at national and community levels. It seeks to ensure that opportunities for young people to participate meaningfully in addressing some of the potential threats to peaceful co-existence within the society are guaranteed.
One of these initiatives is the Youthfull O’Peace Campaign which leverages the Creative Arts and Culture Sector to provide a platform for young people to dialogue on how best they could contribute to peace in Zimbabwe.
Under the technical coordination of the Culture Fund Trust of Zimbabwe (CFoZT) this multi-media peace campaign was launched on Thursday 19th of July 2017 and uses various channels to allow for the wide reach of Youth both in the urban and rural areas. This includes a weekly 30 minutes slot on TXO Radio Show programme presented by Shingi Mokion on StarFM every Thursday from 12:30pm-1:00pm; and the use of selected online social media platforms (Facebook; Twitter; Instagram).
With a different theme each week, critical societal issues in society are explored ranging from diversity management as peace to gender equality as peace as well as peace in the home, peace at the workplace, and the multiple languages of peace.
In addition to the online initiatives, a series of offline activities have been initiated to amplify the voice of the Campaign. Young artists have been called upon to submit illustrations / paintings / sketches or pictures which symbolises peace. An Essay competition is also ongoing to engage school students to provide a 150 word essay on ‘What Peace Means to You”. The submissions received will be assessed by a panel of judges as well as by the public through social media. The winners will be awarded a price and their creative products will be presented during a national exhibition during the International Day of Peace in September.
While the Youthfull O’Peace Campaign provides an opportunity for medium-term engagement of young people in peace building, it does lay a foundation for sustaining dialogue around the values of Peace and tolerance in the society by targeting future generations. It resonates with this year’s International Youth Day celebrations theme “Youth Building Peace” and responds to the Government – UN Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) priority of Peaceful co-existence in Zimbabwe.