The International Day of Peace was first established in 1981 and in 2001 it was decided to fix the date annually on 21 September and for it to be a day of nonviolence and cease-fire.


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War Child Holland celebrates in five countries

On Peace Day War Child Holland unites children from Sudan, DR Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone and the Netherlands.

War Child Holland celebrates Peace Day in five countries
In these countries people  participated simultaneously in a wide range of creative activities. Peace parades in Uganda, Sierra Leone and the Netherlands. Peace sings in DR Congo and Sudan. Cultural festivals in all participating countries.

On the 21st of September War Child allowed children to be children. To play, to celebrate and to have fun. Together they express their common wish for a peaceful future.

Photo Gallery of the events can be seen here



Democratic Republic of CongoDR Congo:
- poem & song contest & peacesign

In Bukavu the United Nations and UNICEF organised a day of public activities in Kadutu Stadium. With cultural activities like music and traditional dances War Child Holland showcased its work. The children from our local partner organisations created a living peace sign. Dignitaries and peacekeepers were invited to join the children in the peace sign. Together they sung peace songs.

Peace Day in DR CongoThe children also held a poetry and song-writing competition. The best poems and songs were read and sung by the children and were broadcasted on local radio and TV stations.

Finally children and youth from the communities where War Child just started a programme - Burhale en Mushinga – came together to play soccer. The youth wore shoes, but the smaller children played barefoot. Many people came to watch the matches and celebrated the day in a joyful atmosphere.

 Photo gallery of the event in DRC
 Read more about the War Child Holland projects in DR Congo

Sierra LeoneSierra Leone:
- let’s come together!

Children, youth and adults of four communities came together on Peace Day 2007 for a cultural event in Makeni (Bombali district).

Peace Day in Sierra :LeoneWith several thousand spectators the event was a big success. Youth and adults from the communities formed mixed teams to promote integration between them. They walked in a colourful peace parade towards the venue where the actual event took place.

Celebrations continued with theatre representations, traditional games and a football competition. Community leaders and local authorities held speeches about the importance of peace.

 Photo gallery of the event in Sierra Leone
 Read more about the War Child Holland projects in Sierra Leone

- peace sign and cultural activities

Today there are armed conflicts in more than 30 countries around the world. Some of them, like in certain areas in Afghanistan and Sudan, have been going on for more than 20 years.” With these words Sandra Renew, Country Director of War Child Sudan, opened her speech on the International Day of Peace.

Peace Day in Sudan“The children who grow up in a country at war will take their place as adults in their communities without knowing what it means to play, to learn and to work in a peaceful context. On Peace Day, War Child Holland would like to say to the adults in the world: ‘Stop the war to protect our children!'.” To underline these words the children of War Child’s partner organisations formed a living peace sign. Then cultural activities started: peace songs and short stories written by and told by internally displaced children and street children.

At the same day War Child Holland opened a resource centre for local organisations, children and youth. This resource center has a small library, art corner, cultural corner, sports corner and a small computer section.

 Photo gallery of the event in Sudan
 Read more about the War Child Holland projects in Sudan

- creative activities & cultural festivals

In the towns Lira, Gulu and Kitgum War Child celebrated Peace Day with creative activities and cultural festivals.

Peace Day in UgandaIn Lira for example War Child’s partner organization CRY Uganda (Conflict Resolution by Youth) organised a one week peace camp for over one hundred youth, with partnership of War Child Holland, Action Aid and the European Union. Youth from different parts of Uganda started celebrations with a peace march around town to the stadium. There different subjects have been discussed, like 'The reception of the peace talk results' and 'The pain conflict is causing for children and youth'. Presentations by local performers like chief Lango, Apio Jane and DJ Super were received with enthusiasm. To show the role youth can play in peaceful integration, youth from Teso presented a traditional dance.

Years ago this could have been a spark of conflict. Now the event went by peacefully. A moment of silence was held for those lost in the 21-year old conflict and the audience asked to air their views in an open forum.

 Photo gallery of the event in Uganda
 Read more about the War Child Holland projects in Uganda

The Netherlands:
25.000 children online

About 25.000 children are expected to join War Child’s peace party in ‘Habbo Hotel’ a virtual hotel for children on the internet. First the children will join a Peace Parade through the hotel towards the Peace Party.

Their children will dance, play music and chat with each other and with War Child employees. The Dutch children will receive photographs from the peace activities their peers in conflict areas are doing.

On Peace Day War Child will also raise awareness on the situation of child soldiers. Former child soldier Ishmael Beah from Sierra Leone will visit the Netherlands. On the 21st of September the Dutch translation of his book ‘A long way home’ will appear. In this book he tells the moving story of his life during and after the War in Sierra Leone. Together with War Child he organises a press conference to put forward the situation of child soldiers.  Read more about Ishmael Beah


Live Peace Sign building2006 - live peacesigns &webcast
In 2005 War Child Holland invited everybody to come to Scheveningen on September 21st to together build a more peaceful future for children around the world. War Child Holland wants to give children of war a voice on the International Day of Peace, therefore there were large video screens at the event and a live internet connection was made between Holland and DR Congo. Thousands of children gathered in both countries to further the cause of Peace. Even more thousands of spectators were present in both Holland and the football stadion in DRC.

 Read more about the 2006 event
 See photo gallery

Live Peace Sign buildingIn 2005 on the international Day of Peace, War Child Holland organized a big event where thousands of the general public, celebrities, politicians, young graffiti artists and hundreds of refugee children, gathered to make a giant live Peace sign on the Dam Square in the center of Amsterdam.

 Read more about the 2005 event
 See photo gallery





With this event War Child Holland strives to establish the International Day of Peace among the general public in the Netherlands and to give children of war a voice that can be heard. in cooperation with other Dutch organizations who strive for peace, attention will be raised for the International Day of Peace and more specifically for the importance of ‘peace building’ and ‘conflict prevention’.


The International Day of Peace “is meant to be a day of global cease-fire, when all countries and all people stop all hostilities for the entire day. And it is a day on which people around the world observe a minute of silence at 12 noon local time.

-- Kofi Annan --
UN Secretary-General
21 September 2005

Everyday millions of children are being confronted with the consequences of war! Hunger, illness, poverty, loss, fear, sorrow and despair determine their lives. The 21st of September - the International Day of Peace - is the day that we can do something about it! In Holland this is being organised by People Building Peace. Worldwide events are being organised for Peace in more than 170 countries
 Check out:

The International Day of Peace was first established in 1981 by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. In 2001 another resolution was agreed  to fix the date annually on 21 September and for it to be a day of nonviolence and cease-fire. The resolution was adopted unanimously by the Member States of the General Assembly.



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