“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has,” reckons Margaret Mead. The Amani Revolution Tour is the living proof of Mead’s belief. Between the 28th of March and the 30th of April, young leaders from six African countries came together, united by their commitment to transforming the ideal of building sustainable world peace into a tangible reality.
Once one conquers inner peace, there is an imperative need to pay it forward
After a successful PIPO in Kenya, Peace Revolution network expanded in Africa which has paved the way to start off the AMANI Project. Two African Regional Fellowships put the basis of the AMANI project: East & West. For the East Africa Fellowship 18 motivated leaders from East and Southern Africa gathered in a wonderful retreat site in Nairobi while 15 driven leaders from all around West Africa took part in the West Africa Fellowship at an enchanting site on the beach of Dakar.
Experiencing the benefits of cultivating inner peace during the 3-day training Regional Fellowships inspired Peace Rebels to further their commitment to Peace Revolution. Eventually, seven of them made it to the first African Youth AMANI Fellowship in Thailand from 14th to 28th of February, with other nine Peace Rebels from around the five corners of Africa.
The AMANI project is the direct result of an increasing number of peacemakers who want to take a stand against the lack of communication and constant clashes that are taking place inside our societies. ”I wanted to organize a PIPO so as to give back to my country this new concept that I learned that has positively changed my life. I believe the essence of education is not just to have certificates but to be able to communicate back that knowledge to others. I wanted young people in my country to have similar opportunities like I had and even easier. I wanted further to prevent further conflicts from arising such as the frequent strikes in our universities and inter-village disputes,” concludes Henry Molinge, organizer of a two-day PIPO on-demand “Cameroon: Peace for Development” gathering a total of 784 participants.
Motivation comes from within since once we’ve tasted the sweet flavor of inner peace, the certitude that we are part of something much bigger and greater than our individuality comes to life. “Peace Revolution has provided me an opportunity on how to search and harness the light within me. PIPO was a unique opportunity to share that light and to help more people harness that light within them. The world is a pot of boiling water, so much dissatisfaction persists in every society in our world today, through the teaching of meditation and self-development, the world is so much in need of peace and only peaceful people can give peace to a troubled world,” continues Jude Nnakwue, Civil Servant with the Federal Government of Nigeria and organizer of the 4-day PIPO “Peacebuilding for a united Nigeria”.
The newly trained African Peace Agents and Rebels joined forces after the Peace Revolution retreats and honored their commitments back home by promoting the practice of inner peace within their communities. ”I wanted to organize a PIPO because it’s my will and duty to give back to people what I have learned about one’s inner peace. This we can build up the momentum of attaining world peace together,” as Sheriffo Jaraju from Gambia, President and co-founder of the Youth Consortium for Progress (YCP) puts it.
“I would like to advise future PIPO organizers to first be passionate about world peace.”
As more and more people experienced the transformation outcome of the 42-day self-development program and attended the fellowships in Africa and Thailand, an intensifying assurance motivated the young African leader members of Peace Revolution to multiply their efforts and spread the light of inner peace with other young people, students and scholars in their homelands. “We’re looking at how people most especially the youth in higher institutions of learning define inner peace and how they strive to achieve it; also we take a look at the obstacles that prevent them from obtaining inner peace. We have so far got permission from different schools and we’re also looking at inmates who sometimes are mentally distracted,” says Ssebuliba Wilson, organizer of PIPO Uganda.
Become the change you want to see in others
If you also want to organize a PIPO, take it from Jude “game on, never let anything discourage you, start out early to identify your audience, send them notification well in advance, take time to sensitize them on the objectives of Peace Revolution, also depending on the anticipated audience, you must design a theme that addresses that particular strata of society. Also look out for partners who could be interested in the cause to partner with you. Finally remember that giving/sharing peace is free but not cheap,” says Jude Nnakwue, Civil Servant with the Federal Government of Nigeria and organizer of the 4-day PIPO “Peacebuilding for a united Nigeria”.
We reckon that the change lies in the hands of the youth and the organizers who came together for the AMANI Revolution Tour knew best. Under the theme of “A peaceful Nation starts with me: Maintaining Peace in Kenya, one person at a time,” Timothy Onyango Otuoma, organizer of PIPO Kenya set out to empower young Kenyans to take the path of building a better future for themselves and their country. The African youth takes it upon it to insufflate hope and rebuilds the world on its passion for peace, making every human being significant and utterly important to this process.
“The First Global Peace Experience in Tanzania will aim to outreach about 1000 young people in diverse institutions for transformation purposes and promising inner light,” was estimating Auni Mikidadi, organizer of PIPO Tanzania in the present stage. “We have a powerful potential in our youth and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends,” as Mary McLeod Bethune believes. How else could it have been possible to count 1659 people interested in cultivating inner peace as means of contributing to building a better world only in Nigeria during a 4-day event without the confidence of those who put together the event?
“I would like to advise future PIPO organizers to first be passionate about world peace. Secondly they should take time to read through the website and listen carefully so as to understand the vision of Peace Revolution. Once the vision is well understood, they will have the creativity of taking the necessary precautions to make the PIPO successful,” continues Henry Molinge.
We the youth of Africa would dare to disagree with Aristotle when he says “Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.” The power of the hope for a better world is what brought us together, our inner light bonds us in the belief that change is possible, peace is possible. Regardless of who we are and where we come from, we the many come as one in building the world we all aspire for, a world of peace, tolerance, love and kindness.