In November 2018 we marked the centenary of the end of the First World War and once again recognised the horror and tragedy that armed conflict has brought, and still brings, to the lives of many around the globe. Commemorating this moment allowed us to listen to the voices of the past to reflect on how we use the freedom we have today to create peace, to listen to others and commit to forming radical ways to resolve some of the issues we are facing today, issues like social isolation, bullying, gang culture, racism and extremism.
We are inviting young people to use our INSPIRE peace charter to create shared pledges of action, to collaborate with peers, those in authority and their local communities to create new initiatives that use their entrepreneurism, passion and networks to build peace. We are encouraging Young People to be part of a peace building movement with their peers, to collaborate with each other, and celebrate what can be achieved when they commit to being ambassadors for peace to transform their neighbourhoods into places of reconciliation and inclusion.
In November 2014, Oasis worked with 20 South London schools, St. George’s Catholic Cathedral in Southwark, the Imperial War Museum and a partnership of other local churches to bring 1000 young people together in an act of collective remembrance on November 11th. The youth-led event consisted of music, poetry, readings and videos, a two-minute silence culminating in the mass planting of thousands of paper poppies made by the young people forming a giant word ‘PEACE’ as a piece of public art.
Four years later thousands of children and young people attended INSPIRE events across the country, where they made commitments to build peace in their schools and communities.
This is just the beginning for INSPIRE – a movement of peace makers, ambassadors and change agents led by young people. We want to encourage young people to use their entrepreneurism, networks, creativity and energy to come together and commit to taking steps towards peace; peace that will transform our communities and culture.