International Day of Peace in Rwanda
By UPF Rwanda
UPF Rwanda Celebrating the international day of Peace in style, with Rwanda Cultural Festival for Peace. Peace is very important especially to a country like Rwanda because of the past history of genocide and its effects. So when an International Day of Peace is celebrated it is meaningful to many. The theme of the event was. “Peace is the Foundation for sustainable development in society”. The main purpose of the event was to support United Nations’ declaration on the annual celebrations for International Day of Peace to awaken all Rwandan to participate in building of a peaceful society.
The UN International Day of Peace and Rwanda Peace Festival for Peace were celebrated by Universal Peace Federation and some other Rwandans on November 30, 2016. This event included 3 main activities:
- The Peace walk
- The Peace Soccer Match
- Peace Conference
In these activities that were respectively done, UPF and Ambassadors for Peace were the main organizers of the event, the people involved were; Universal Federation for World Peace. Several UPF members from thirteen districts countrywide, several local leaders from 12 different areas, university students from 5 universities, belong to Unity and Reconciliation groups, artists, motorists, bicycle riders, media (six radios and three televisions), religious leaders from various churches, traffic police for safety and security. Ordinary people and on lookers.
The peace walk started from Sonatubes round about, with many youths, men and women and all other people of different aspects of life, singing, dancing celebrating peace shouting peace slogans.
The matching headed to the University of Rwanda, College of Education (UR-CE) which is about 7 kilometers from starting point.
The Peace Festival which started by groups of walking, bicycle and motor riding people begun at 08:30 AM, escorted by traffic Police for safety and security, It lasted for about two hours. There were about 200 people from start walking, ahead in front and in the back were motorist and bicycle riders (one motorist was carrying a person blowing a vuvuzela). Six university students carried the banner; the banner had UPF logo and UN message of International Day of Peace. Then the rest of the people followed, singing songs of peace and dancing music of peace.
The people were putting on T-shirts with UPF logo and peace messages. They also had UPF caps and fliers waiving them as they were moving. There was a pick-up with sound system and a person in it playing Peace music, Peace songs, in between peace messages and explanation to onlookers the purpose of the event. Some onlookers inspired by the theme and what was going on joined the peace walk, and the number grew as we moved to about 400 people in the Peace Walk.
The next activity was the Peace Soccer Match which took place at University of Rwanda College of Education playground. It lasted for 40 minutes. There were two teams (The Peace team and the Unity team). Each team had people of different ages- old and young, different sex, male and female. It was a draw 2 to 2 goal.
The main purpose of the Peace match was to emphasize team work and cooperation as foundation of victory. To move from individual glory to the glory for all the team.
All people in the event participated either as players or fanning the teams.
The peace conference took place in the University main hall. There were between 300 to 400 people.
The program composed of; Peace speeches from different leaders, peace songs in between the speeches, poems and traditional dancing. It took about 3 hours.
The guest of honor was Bishop Dr. Bashaka Faustin from Baptist church. He is also the president of the Association of Pentecostals churches in Rwanda and UPF Ambassador for Peace.
He explained the importance of peace without which nothing can be achieved. He narrated his wonderful experience in UPF activities worldwide, participation in several International Leadership Conferences he attended in America and Europe, and His encounter with the founder of Universal Peace Federation Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and His wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.
The UPF representative in Rwanda Rev George Mpamyabigwi gave the Overview of UPF activities, its core values a comprehensive meaning of peace and high lightered the peace process going on in the country and the countries shared values with those of UPF.
A 15 minutes video of UPF Worldwide activities was shown.
The Family Federation for World Peace leader in Rwanda Rev. Makuza Francis gave a conclusive speech.
He thanked everyone that had sacrificed their time to come for the important event as some came from far countryside. He also emphasized the importance of the family in bringing a world of Peace.
This event was televised in the 3 TV news and 7 radio news and as well as two newspapers