Brockville – From November 17 – 24, the YMCA of Brockville and Area, together with YMCAs across Canada, celebrate the presence of peace in our communities, and reflect on the peace-building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.
YMCA Peace Week offers activities that help children, youth and adults explore peace from personal, community and global perspectives. Collectively, YMCAs in Canada ask people to: Build community. Act for peace.
More than the absence of violence and conflict, peace is the ongoing work of building and maintaining conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity.
Peace-building is core to the YMCA’s commitment to strengthening the foundation of healthy communities and part of the YMCA of Brockville and Area’s year round programs.
According to the 1981 World Alliance of YMCAs Statement on Peace, “…Peace has many dimensions. It is not only a state of relationships among nations. We cannot expect to live in a world of peace if we are unable to live in peace with those close to us – even those who differ from us…The responsibility for peace begins with each person, in relationship with family and friends, and extends to community life and national activities…”
This Statement is relevant today more than ever. “It’s important that we work together to create peaceful communities where everyone feels that they belong” says Emily Wimpenny, Manager; Aquatics and Youth Programs, at the YMCA of Brockville and Area. “By celebrating YMCA Peace Week together we are taking a stand and creating the future we want for our community, country and world.”
When people act for peace, they build community by promoting a sense of belonging, fostering empathy and embracing diversity.
“We all have opportunities each day to choose to act for peace. They may be small actions, but they make a big difference and create a ripple effect through our community. By sharing our message of peace we are able to inspire others to become engaged in peaceful actions,” says Emily Wimpenny, Manager; Aquatics and Youth Programs.
A special highlight of this week is the presentation of the YMCA Peace Medal to an individual or group who, without any special resources, demonstrates a commitment to peace through individual contributions made within their local, national or global community. This year’s ceremony will be held on Wednesday, November 21st at the YMCA of Brockville and Area (345 Park St. Brockville, On) beginning at 12:00 pm and will honour local community members who have made significant contributions towards peace-building.
The YMCA of Brockville and Area is a powerful association of people joined together by a shared passion to foster a sense of belonging for all. In an age of complex social challenges, the YMCA is steadfastly dedicated to building healthy communities by inviting and encouraging Canadians to join in, to give back, and to gain the connections, skills, and confidence they need to thrive.