Cape Town Mayor 20 June 2022–In celebration of Youth Day, the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) hosted a peace festival under the theme “Promoting sustainable livelihoods and resilience of young people for a better tomorrow.” The festivities were held at the Albert Luthuli Plaza near the Civic Centre in Cape Town, South Africa where over 1000 youth from all over Cape Town gathered for IPYG’s first offline event since the outbreak of Covid-19.
It was held in remembrance of the youth who lost their lives during the Soweto Youth Uprising on 16 June 1976. Today, young people continue to die before they have a chance to bloom due to ongoing conflicts such as those seen more recently in Eswatini, Mozambique, Ukraine, and Myanmar.
“HWPL has a clear mandate to create a world of peace and leave it as a legacy for future generations. Our society today is still facing Gender-Based Violence, and gangsterism, and your attendance today indicates the need for peace. It’s up to us as the youth to create this peace, by uniting and working as one to see change,” said Nkanyiso Radebe, Regional Manager and Spokesperson of HWPL.
A case study on the impact of the Culture for Peace achieved in Mindanao, Philipines mediated by HWPL’s Chairman Man Hee Lee was presented at the festival. The mediation achieved a peace agreement that is yielding enormous results. Many lives were lost because of religious conflicts in the region which no one could solve for forty years, but through dialogue facilitated by HWPL, Mindanao is now enjoying the fruits of peace and harmony.
IPYG brought awareness of the need for an increase in peace projects within the communities, and the impact of volunteerism and dialogue in reducing all forms of violence.
City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis’ representative, Councillor Francine Higham said, “We need our youth activists to be ambassadors for peace around the world. What is critical now is the continued promotion of peace through our non-violence and unity”
Four hundred and thirty learners representing various schools in Bonteheuwel, Atlantis, Worcester, and Mitchell’s Plain attended the festival and enjoyed the games and educational material available. Bonteheuwel High School Grade 10 student, Uzzair Rossier shared, “Bonteheuwel is a place I call home. It is also a place that is constantly plagued by violence. There are daily shootings, domestic violence, and gang fights. There isn’t anyone that feels completely safe any time of day. I long for the day there will be peace my friends and I can enjoy, and where we can all live in harmony with one another. I am hoping to be a peace messenger who can one-day host peace talks and contributes to my community by inspiring young people to make good choices and live in harmony with each other.”
The IPYG is an international youth organization working towards uniting the youth to help create a more peaceful world. The organization encourages youth to join in the work of peace and facilitates amplifying the voices of the youth.