Today in class, we were fortunate to Skype with the founder of Peace One Day, Jeremy Gilley. Talking about what inspired him to try to establish an international peace day, and his best memories from working all over the world, he won over the class. One should never underestimate one man’s intent to change the world.
Jeremy Gilley was an actor before he started to make his own films in 1995. 4 years later, in 1999, the non- profit organization Peace One Day, was founded. At the beginning, it was a film project, made to document Gilley’s efforts to establish a fixed date of global ceasefire and non- violence. Consequently, in September 2001, UN member states unanimously voted for the resolution, establishing 21 September as the UN International Day of Peace. Nevertheless, there were many who doubted whether a day of ceasefire and non-violence was feasible, or if it was just possible in theory. To prove the critics wrong, Gilley and Jude Law, a Peace One Day ambassador, went to Afghanistan and managed to come to an agreement with the Taliban, stating that they would not harm people aiding the locals on 21 September. Three years later, 4, 5 million children had been vaccinated against polio.
However, Peace One Day does not only focus on ceasefire in conflict-areas, their intention is to stop the domestic violence and bullying. What is great about having one specific peace day is that people who are aware of the date will think about it, and consequently some of them will treat each other better. Therefore it is important to spread the word, so that many more will know of Peace One Day and 21 September in 2014.
I must admit that it was an honor getting to Skype with Jeremy Gilley. His enthusiasm was so catching, the way he spoke about the non- profit organization and his work, inspired not only me, but the whole class. It is remarkable what a difference a person, and his support system, can make in this world. Due to his work and dedication towards establishing a fixed date for global ceasefire and non- violence, he and the organization should, in my point of view, be rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Individuals like Jeremy Gilley, with so much passion and drive, are what the world needs. In order to make peace, even if it is only for one day, it is important to stop being cynical, and start being positive. Every effort can make a difference, and that is why I want all who read this to tell at least one friend or a family member about Peace One Day. Let us raise awareness around 21 September, let us institutionalize the day, and move one step closer to world peace.
Jeremy and our class Skyping
Who will you make peace with?