30th July 2021, 1:00pm to 2:00pm BST
On International Friendship Day, I invite all our communities and networks to join me in celebrating friendships we have made on our journey with Creators of Peace, and Initiatives of Change over the last 30 years.
In 1991 Anna Abdallah Msekwa, a respected politician and trailblazer from Tanzania, gave us a call to action, she asked us to “create peace wherever we are, in our hearts, our homes, our workplace and our community. We all pretend that someone else is the stumbling block … could that someone be myself?”
Since then we have become a global network of dedicated people who continue to welcome those around us to join our community building activities for greater social cohesion. Our network has been active in over 50 countries and by 2019 over 9,000 women have taken part in a ‘Peace Circle’ and over 500 have taken part in facilitator training.
One clear impact of our work has been friendships. Peace Circles always bring elements of surprise – many friendships have been sparked and nurtured, building bridges between cultures, religions, opinions, communities and countries. These friendships have been part of our resilience in riding through the stresses of the pandemic.
My call to action for you all on 30 July, is to celebrate friendships that you have made along your journey with Creators of Peace and Initiatives of Change. Take time to arrange a tea, make a call, write a letter, organise a bring and share meal and if the opportunity arises, bring communities together. It’s also an opportunity to make new friends and remember to invite people who could support your local Peace Circles and events. Just remember to check your national COVID-19 guidelines.
Under the UK’s national pandemic guidelines I will be hosting a small friendship picnic in Oxford (UK) on the 30 July from 12pm – 2pm. We bring together a small group of friends who have nurtured our growth in so many different ways. We will share a meal and have time for sharing poems and stories about meaningful friendships. You are all welcome to join us via Zoom from 1pm – 2pm BST/London for our sharing. Please register here.
If you can, take pictures of your day, send us old pictures if you can’t get together and share your story. We’d love to post your story on our social media.
With gratitude for your ongoing friendship,
Amina Dikedi-Ajakaiye, President of Creators of Peace