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South Sudan Youth Peace Walk: Taking Steps of Hope Towards Peace

On June 4th, in South Sudan, where over one million refugees reside in neighboring countries due to a long independence war and civil conflict, 20 young people gathered at an open space office in Juba to participate in the 11th anniversary celebration of the Declaration of World Peace and the Peace Walk event hosted by HWPL. They united their hearts for the realization of peace.

The event introduced participants to HWPL’s Peace Walk activities and included a Peace Walk. Additionally, through HWPL membership activities, 30 new members signed the HWPL membership.

As conflicts erupt worldwide, threatening global security and coexistence, hope of peace emerges from citizens. In May 2024, citizens across all continents joined hands for HWPL’s 11th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace and Peace Walk, organized by a the UN-affiliated NGO Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL). Themed “Communication for Global Citizenship of Reconciliation and Tolerance” this event aimed to cultivate and share a global culture of peace.

This event was held in collaboration with Junub Open Space in South Sudan. This organization was established to support South Sudanese youth and the development of local communities. They conduct various campaigns, including mechanical education, computer training, hygiene education, cultural performances, and efforts to eradicate hate speech.

Since 2017, Junub Open Space has organized the Peace Walk annually with International Peace Youth Group(IPYG), the youth organization of HWPL. As a peace partner of IPYG, Junub Open Space actively cooperates in various activities for peace in South Sudan.

At the 10th annual commemoration last year Chairman Lee Man-hee said, “Since we pledged to work together for world peace 10 years ago, we have been calling for peace all over the world. We have advocated that peace should be taught at home and at school, and that everyone should become messengers of peace.”  He also emphasized, “Everyone should be one under the title of peace and work together to create a good world and make it a legacy for future generations. This is what we need to do in this era in which we live.”

Martin Odu, a financial officer in South Sudan, stated, “promoting peace can also contribute to the resolution of conflicts and the prevention of future violence. By engaging in dialogue, mediation, and reconciliation efforts, we can address the root causes of conflict and find sustainable solutions that address the needs and concerns of all parties involved.”

Recently, HWPL addressed the Israel-Iran conflict in a statement, urging “Organizations worldwide, in alliance with HWPL as peace solidarity, urge Iran and Israel to put a stop to the acts of aggression immediately and to come forward for conversations to usher in peace”.

Furthermore, HWPL has been making efforts to establish peace in South Sudan by obtaining signatures of support for the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War(DPCW) from the President and senior officials during its dispatch, and by forming partnerships with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sports for peace education.

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