On September 22nd, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) hosted the eighth Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. The event was held under the theme “Building a Culture of Peace as Global Citizens”.
Over 500 participants joined the hybrid event reflecting on the collaborative strides toward sustainable peace in Southern Africa as the global community has yet to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and faces other threats caused by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
The event opened with a congratulatory address by the City of Cape Town’s Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security chairperson, Councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe, saying that The City of Cape Town is committed to promoting peace and a society free from constant fear and anxiety. The Councillor said, “To make Cape Town a city where all people can live with less fear of crime and violence requires collective action at scale, where government, the private sector, non-profit organisations such as HWPL, and residents work together to make communities safer”.
Speaking on the introduction of the 12 units of the peace education curriculum in the Cape Town schools, Gadija Samuels of Modderdam High School in Bonteheuwel shared, “The peace education program has empowered my students to be more considerate and self-respecting, which has led them to respect others. Peace education is a wonderful tool that we have received.” Peace education programs have been rolled out in schools worldwide, with children able to learn about peace at a grassroots level.
Event participant Youth Development Coordinator Albert Matthews for the First Community Resource Centre, a youth organization working to interrupt the cycle of gang violence in Hanover Park, shared that what he took away from the event was the importance of discussions around peacebuilding. “Once we’re able to have dialogue and conversation with people and meeting at a common ground, we’ll be able to understand how we can ignite this fire of peace and let it start spreading like wildfire in our communities. Matthews added that community members need to meet each other at a common ground and put their differences aside, understanding that they all want to live in peace and be at peace.
Regarding the importance of peacebuilding at the global level, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said, “The global village has suffered from the unexpected COVID-19 that has hit every country. People are not alone amid difficulties. We live in the same global village, and we are neighbors and families. Each one of us is the one who is obliged to make our world a better place to live. And shouldn’t we pass on our good world to our descendants?”
Since the 18th of September 2014, the host organization HWPL has called for solidarity for peacebuilding at the global level through collective actions with various actors, including heads of state, ministers, lawmakers, religious leaders, educators, youth and women leaders, and reporters. This annual summit shares peace activities and achievements in cooperation with governments and civil society worldwide.