Students and faculty of Pontifical Catholic University in Goiás, Brazil filled the auditorium on September 19, 2014 for an exciting program, “Celebrating a Culture of Peace,” in commemoration of UN International Day of Peace, hosted by the university’s School of International Relations and Global Peace Foundation Brazil.
The International Day of Peace calls on nations and peoples around the world to dedicate September 21 for peace through a moment of silence, an hour of service, interfaith worship and intercultural exchange. This year’s theme focused on a declaration made by the General Assembly in 1984 affirming that every person has a right to peace.
Student writer of Pontifican University and GPF intern Mychelle Oliversa Coelho described the room as “more than enthusiastic.”
Lecturers included Global Peace Foundation Brazil’s President, Massimo Trombin, and Professor Aline Borghi, who presented theoretical, historical as well as practical perspectives about peace.
The rising excitement came from the international presence that joined Pontifican University and GPF-Brazil through Skype. GPF chapters from Malaysia, Indonesia, , Paraguay, and the United States shared their songs, dances and pledges for peace.
“To be able to identity with other human beings from different cultures, religious and ethnic backgrounds, not only created a heightened sense of self, but also joy that peace matter and is possible,” Mychelle reflected on the experience.
The budding relationship between the International Relations Program at the University and the Global Peace Foundation has been enriching for both. GPF has gained many enthusiastic and skilled volunteers, while university students have gained a field for real-world application and skills development of their classroom learning.
“GPF proposes a discourse of peace ‘in action’ that complements and puts to the test what we learn in the classroom,” Mychelle believes. “In these circumstances, GPF takes the student outside of our books to show how peace can be constructed in practice, the work that’s already being done and its challenges.”
Credit: Original reporting by Mychelle Oliversa Coelho. Mychelle is an international relations student an intern with the Resource Development Team of Global Peace Foundation Brazil. Photo credit: Erika Trombin
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