Around the World: Andover Youth Celebrate UN International Peace Day 2020

It’s a challenging time for any kind of event but that didn’t stop Andover Trees United.  They were joined by a small group of young people to plant a tree to commemorate Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots International Day of Peace.

Every year, Roots & Shoots invites youth from around the world to take part in a UN Peace Day procession.  Since 2018, Andover Trees has been the UK host at Harmony Woods, a community woodland behind Augusta Park.

“Unlike previous years, we can’t invite the hundreds of children and VIPs up to the woodland and to comply with Covid-19 restrictions we are having to do things a little differently,” explains Andover Trees leader, Wendy Davis. “We are delighted to be joined by Maylis and Jess, two students from Winton Community Academy who, determined not to see this important day pass unnoticed, headed to the wood before school to take part in a small procession and tree planting ceremony.

The tree being planted is honouring lives lost and changed and the services given by so many across the world to help and care for those in need during the pandemic.”

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. The United Nations invites all nations and people to commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

This year, the theme was ‘Shaping Peace Together’.

Here are the reflections of the day:

Jess from Winton Academy reflected on the day: “The Andover Roots & Shoots Peace Day event was just as good as any other year with the exception of the other schools’ attendance because of the current situation. But the walk with the dove was very successful and we covered one of the arches in the woods with beautiful doves and written peace quotes. An oak tree was also planted by my friend and I with handfuls of dirt from all the volunteers at the woods and with a little speech from Wendy about being united in peace with the current events.”

Alex from Andover Trees United said: “We had a really lovely morning in the woods. Even though we could not congregate in a large group this year, it did give us the opportunity for the local community to come up to the woods in their own time and leave a message of peace. This year, in the midst of a pandemic, it has felt even more important to treat each person and creature with peace, kindness and care. I’d like to thank Maylis and Jess for taking the initiative in commemorating the day and making it so special.”

Tara Golshan, Executive Director, Education the Jane Goodall Institute said: “Under the current crises, organising any event is a huge challenge. Once again Andover Trees has not allowed any obstacles to stand in their way! Reminding us of the importance of peace, unity, and hope, which is particularly relevant during this time.”

Thank you to Andover Trees United, Winton Academy, volunteers and the community for organising this special day!

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