Peace Gong rings out for volunteering
New Delhi: Special issue of The Peace Gong on Volunteerism being released during a Children's Social Conclave © People's Institute for Development and Training (PIDT), 2012
Children in India have released a special newspaper dedicated to volunteering, coinciding with Global Youth Service Day.
A special issue of The Peace Gong, a quarterly newsletter written for and by children in India and beyond, has been dedicated to volunteerism.
Young reporters wrote on different dimensions of volunteerism and articulated key themes underlined by the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10).
Most of the stories reflected on initiatives taken by the young students themselves. Children from six states of India (Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, and West Bengal) took part; and children from Australia, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal and Scotland also contributed to this issue.
The newspaper was launched during a Children’s Social Conclave held on 10 May 2012 in New Delhi to mark the culmination of Global Youth Service Day, initiated by Youth Service America. Twenty two schools from the National Capital Region took part in the conclave.
The Conclave was organized by the People’s Institute for Development and Training, the Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore Foundation, UNV, World Wildlife Fund India, Rahim Greens and Sacchet.
Interviewed by children for The Peace Gong, UNV Deputy Executive Coordinator Naheed Haque pointed out that for a peaceful and liveable world children’s voices need to be heard and acted upon.
Download the Peace Gong issue here
Peace Gong Delhi Bureau child reporters Vishwam, Shlok, Shabad, Suryansh, Anant, Ann Savina and Shreya (all of Class X) were joined by senior supporters at the colourful release function. The overarching message was: “To ensure a global non-violent future, children should be encouraged to volunteer to build bridges of friendship amongst young people. Promotion of child participation in community-building would not only contribute towards trans-generational progress but also lay the foundation of an active young citizenry who are aware of their rights and duties.”
After the launch, Rumana Mehdi, a Peace Gong reporter from Pakistan wrote: “The Peace Gong gave me a platform to express my thoughts and made me realize that the world is in for a change due to the courageous work of teenagers. Moreover, we all stand united regardless of our country’s status, creed or religion. Peace Gong proved to be an eye-opener, and I wish it acts as a source of inspiration to all teenagers like me.”
The Children Social Conclave was entirely managed by volunteers of a youth-led initiative called Clean Green Vision. This is a unique platform which gave students from the participating schools an opportunity to showcase volunteer initiatives they are taking up for community service.
The volunteer initiatives ranged from teaching underprivileged children, working with the elderly, leprosy patients, recycling, working with the blind, blood donation camps, visiting cancer patients, and creating awareness about the environment to mobilizing the community for ensuring cleanliness and sanitation.
A panel of five highly qualified judges judged the presentations of the school students. Three prizes and a special mention were given along with other attractive gifts. Rosary School was ecstatic at winning the first Peace Gong trophy.
A Braille edition and a talking paper of this special issue is being brought out in association with Arushi, a Bhopal-based NGO working for people with disabilities. With this, Peace Gong becomes the first children’s newspaper in Braille and talking paper in India.