ROTARY-LED CREATIVE CAMPAIGN PROMOTES PEACE AND MENTAL WELLBEING IN SCHOOLS
School pupils across Birmingham are being invited to get creative as part of a Rotary Club campaign to promote peace and mental wellbeing among young people.
The Peace Pole competition forms part of a drive by Heart of England Rotary Clubs, to tackle the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, discrimination, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.
It is being widened out following the success of a recent project being rolled out at schools across Warwickshire.
Schools are being invited to submit their design for a Peace Garden and the winning entry will be presented with their own bespoke Peace Pole, donated by the Heart of England Rotary Clubs, covering the areas of central Birmingham as well as Hagley. Rowley Regis, Halesowen, Kings Norton, Smethwick, Edgbaston, Handsworth, West Bromwich, Stourbridge, Yardley, Sheldon, Erdington, Sutton Coldfield, Client Hills, Oldbury, Wylde Green, Solihull, Dorridge and Knowle.
With an estimated 250,000 across the globe, Peace Poles are internationally-recognised as the most prominent symbol, monument and silent visual for peace as well as representing a celebration of Peace and Collaboration between different countries too.
Rotarian and Peace Project Co-ordinator, Margaret Morley, said: “As an organisation Rotary is totally committed to working with schools in any way they feel necessary to support their Peace Education Curriculum and encourage a culture of peace, which is so important in today’s society.
“Promoting peace is a Rotary area of focus as well as part of the school curriculum. It’s not just about planting a peace pole it’s about working with schools to encourage young people to think about what peace means.”
She added: “Peace Poles are so important as they take children out of the classroom, they provide areas of tranquillity and reflection, so important with mental health issues. They also encourage an interest in the environment planting/growing.
“The Peace Pole is a constant reminder that we are working together to create a caring and compassionate society.
“Children love them, ceremonies can be planned around them to encourage a culture of peace within the school.”
Each year the Rotary also awards more than 100 fully funded Peace Fellowships training for dedicated leaders around the world. Since the program began in 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,400 fellows across 115 countries, many of which now serve as leaders in governments, the military, education, law enforcement and international organisations like the United Nations.
Margaret added: “As a humanitarian organisation, peace is a cornerstone of our mission. We believe when people work to create peace in their communities, that change can have a global effect.”