The International Day of Peace instituted by the United Nations resolution 36/37 in 1981 is celebrated worldwide. This day has been recognized by the General Assembly as a time to “celebrate and strengthen the values of peace within and among all nations and peoples.”

Today is marked by a 24-hour period of nonviolence and cease-fire around the world. However, for young peacebuilders in LOYOC and across the globe, it goes beyond laying down arms for a day. There is a need for continuous efforts towards building and maintaining safe, secure, and developed communities around the world.

Today, LOYOC joins her voice to the rest of the world in celebration of the International Day of Peace. As young peacebuilders, through our initiatives and everyday actions, we pledge to continuously advocate and commit our efforts in building peaceful communities where everyone will flourish and feel valued regardless of race, gender, age, or religion.

For over two decades, LOYOC has been contributing towards promoting social cohesion and peacebuilding in our Cameroonian communities. Some of these efforts which were highlighted in the Examples for Advancing Youth Peace and Security have over the years, promoted tolerance, social cohesion, and peace in our target communities. 

Today, in commemoration of International Peace Day and laying down of arms, we highlight the Salaam School Initiative, launched in 2018 in the Far North Region of Cameroon, which seeks to support the re-education of children affected by violent conflict who have now become orphans or forcefully displaced in the Far North Region of Cameroon.This initiative is providing access to quality education and livelihood through the salaam school. It provides a safe space for learning, and psycho-social healing for children, builds resilience, and provides life skills and hope to serve as an alternative to violence. Through the Salaam Initiative, so far we have recorded the following; 

1. 120 children enrolled and engaged. 60 of them are benefiting from formal education (20 girls and 40 boys) and 60 benefiting from psycho-social support and recreational activities

2) Reshaping the perspective of the community and local authorities on alternative educational mechanisms. 80% of community members and local authorities have demonstrated their desire to support the initiative. 

3) The 120 children who are befitting from the initiative have experienced an improvement in reading, writing, and acquisition of new skills and are on the path to trauma healing.

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As we celebrate this day and embrace Peace, we hold on to the words “Peace is not an event. It is supposed to be a Lifestyle. – Achaleke Christian, Executive Director, LOYOC

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