The 2nd IPYG “Peace and Me” Forum
On December 30, the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) France Branch hosted the second IPYG “Peace and Me” Forum in Paris, France. Many youth in Paris learned about IPYG and IPYG’s determination for peace through the first forum, which was held in October. Many requested for a second forum, and this event successfully brought people from all walks of life together.
The forum began with “High Hopes”, a special dance performance by the IPYG members, and was proceeded by a live talk show, a discussion panel, and a dinner banquet for networking. The live talk show was on the topic of “Education is the Passport to the Future”.
▲“High Hopes”, Special Dance Performance ▲Live Talk Show
The live talk show’s special guests were Etienne Lemaire, the France coordinator of Plan des jeunes, an international youth group, and two members of the group, Sabrina Touati and Raphaëlle Tanoh. The guests introduced their organizations and activities, and shared their plans for the next year. Plan des jeunes actively holds activities to raise awareness for gender equality in the educational field and it described what kind of education is necessary in current society and what France’s educational system needs to grow further.
As the forum was on the topic of education, educational organizations for youth, such as Jeunes pour la Paix, Ambition Campus, We Value Education, Soa Association, Promothee Éducation, and Respect Zone, were in attendance. The participants shared their opinions on the crucial role that education plays in achieving a world of peace.
Non-governmental organizations, including GRAD Guinée, Association Jeunesse Bara, Association Jeunesse de Madihawaya et Moussala, and fédération des travailleurs africains en France et en Europe were also in attendance and agreed that peace should be fulfilled through education and that it is crucial that children and youth, who are our future leaders, learn about peace. It was also mentioned that peace education is very much needed within Africa as well.
Aicha Nor, a teacher from Lycée Bartholdi, also attended along with seven students. Aicha Nor was touched by the educational activities held by students for peace and showed interest in participating in HWPL’s Peace Educational Teacher Debate and also requested to teach HWPL’s Peace Education at Lycée Bartholdi. The high school students stated that they also considered peace valuable as many students in France come from regions with conflict. They stated that frequent peace activities would help other students recognize the importance of peace. One student mentioned that “peace education is very important because without the notion of peace we are troublemakers, and we should talk about it a lot because children forget quickly.”
Philippe Triay, a reporter for France Television who covered the forum, stated that “I was impressed to see that actually so many young people are working passionately for a cause and are actually more mature then the elders, those who should be an example.”
The “Peace and Me” Forum is a platform for youth organizations, big and small, within Paris to share their activities and to create networks among each other. The students showed their maturity throughout the event by taking responsibility for a peaceful future by expressing their thoughts on a peaceful world for the future generations. Many are hopeful that the students in France will continue their peace activities next year as well.