NEWS

Come back to see the progress the petition is making and how you can stay involved. We’ll update you regularly on all the petition news, how many signatures we’ve gathered, and the latest organizations and world leaders backing our efforts.

To see the progress of the petition and all the complete PEACE mosaics, click here.

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Peace Petition day in Istanbul

On 12th April 2008, 15 volunteers of AFS Turkey organized a Peace Petition day in Istanbul. In four districts of Istanbul, volunteers asked people to sign the petition and make a small contribution to peace. At the end of the day, more than 700 signatures were collected.

Posted by Onur Candar (Turkey) on Apr 29, 2008

Here's my story

My name is Saddam S. Lakbao, I am 17 years of age, i live here in the Phililippines, as we all know that our country is not so go, our livings here is not so good also. So I decided to try this program so that I can help my parents sending me to school.I am a college student, I’m taking up thye Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I have 6 brothers and 2 sisters. All of us are in school. I felt pity to my parents because they are giving all their best for them to give as good life but its hard. I will study hard and help them from this poor kind of lif:(

Posted by Saddam (Philippines) on Apr 24, 2008

we want peace but how can work

i travels many places and usa too i talk with peoples and spend time with difft peoples they are so good difft countries speak difft language but dont want hart any body and want love eachothers but media is very power full on the world now i watch many funny movies and show on the tv, cable,internet, they jokeing about difft peoples culture and mostly about difft religions and difft countries just for make money and start more deficalties middle of peoples,countries,so when they watch they think ????? i want give massage stop build wall middle of peoples we all want peace and live friendly with eachother

Posted by hammad (Pakistan) on Apr 23, 2008

Kinta Chapter collaborates with local state schools to promote Peace

A student from Australia has been invited to SMJK Poi Lam, Ipoh for a one week placement under a Foreign Student Exchange Programme to promote global peace. The 15-year old student,Sam,arrived at Ipoh in July under the arrangement of AFS ( American Field Service), with the aim that he would get to experience authentic Malaysian cultures as well as to communicate with our students. The principal of SMJK Poi Lam, Chan Weng Keong in his welcome speech, mentioned that Sam would stay in Malaysia for a year. ” Presently, he is placed at SMK Tanjung Rambutan. SMJK Poi Lam has invited him for a short stay so that he could experience a different learning environment. Students must make use of this golden opportunity to communicate with Sam and make friends with him so as to learn more about Sam’s culture and religion,” he said.

Sam told the reporter that prior to this, he has been to Malaysia 3 times before and had visited Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Penang. He had chosen Malaysia as his AFS destination recently because he knew a bit of the Indinesian language. He also said that his stay in Ipoh was comfortable and he liked the Siamese food here.

Sam is now staying with host brother, Kevin Wong Sing Keat, the head prefect of the school. He will return to Australia in July 2008.

American Field Service ( AFS) Kinta Chapter leader, Mr Thirucelvam Subramaniam said that AFS would arrange for students worldwide to participate in their Foreign Student Exchange Programme so as to promote global peace.

Also present at the welcome ceremony were the president of the Parents-Teachers Association of SMJK Poi Lam, Ng Meng keat, the officer in charge of students affairs in the Perak State Education Department, Encik Mior Khir bin Haji Ghazali, AFS Kinta Chapter Public Relations Officer, Peter J Bucher, AFS Students from Germany and Costa Rica as well as other volunteers of AFS.

*This is the translation version of the article that was published on the Nanyang Siang Pau ( Chinese News Paper ) 19, September 2007. Translated by Mr Chan Foo Heng, SMJK Poi Lam, Ipoh

Posted by Sri Gayathri Velayutham (Malaysia) on Oct 09, 2007

Paint for Peace article

Many people regard World Peace as something unattainable and impossible to achieve. We see the result of war every single day in the news, innocent lives being killed. Victims led their lives feeling that it was a mistake bringing them into this world.

As the president of the AFS-YES (Youth Exchange and Study) Alumni Malaysia, I realize that although we cannot completely stop the war, the least we can do is to drive the public to move towards peace.

“PEACE is something we can create!” is the tagline of the online peace petition campaign. The petition drive had its international launch at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway on April 27th. Together with 7 members of the AFS-YES Alumni Malaysia, we decided to organize a public event to raise the awareness of peace through intercultural understanding.

The petition was held to ask the world leaders to open doors to cultivate more exchange programs. Intercultural tolerance enables us to see beyond our differences and look deep into our similarities as mankind in this world.

We begin promoting the petition by sending mass emails to all our friends and family, putting up posters in our own car so the public as we drive on the road and even promoting the petition through schools for the past two months. Our goal is to collect 10 000 signatures with the Paint for Peace Petition Weekend as the highlight of our project.

The Paint for Peace Petition Weekend was held on 29th and 30th September 2007 in One Utama Shopping Center. Throughout the weekend, shoppers signed the petition and placed their palm prints on the banner, after which they will receive a door gift and a peace ribbon from us. The banner painted will later be presented and displayed at the World Peace Forum in New York at the end of October.

“This is the most memorable thing I’ve done in my youthful years!” says project assistant Ng Yah Tyng, 19 years old. Youth empowerment is the key word in this project. “Although we are all still full time students we share the same will power to make a difference in this nation. We seek for greater opportunities to develop our leadership skills and promote youth empowerment in Malaysia.”

When we say we want world peace, we don’t just say it and try to be Miss World. We seek express our desire for world peace through our actions. By encouraging the public to help paint this banner, we believe that there will be a birth of a new nation worldwide who will seek for greater understanding and tolerance towards one another.

Intercultural exchange programs teach young people all over the world, that our concerns are global. An exchange experience fosters mutual understanding that can help bridge our differences and lead to peace.

As Dr. Yahya Mat Hassan, AFS Malaysia National Chairman launched the event, he explained, “Learning takes place when there is a reflection. In such intercultural exchange programs, the students were taught that there is no absolute right or wrong in another culture.

“Therefore, our students are exposed into the value of accepting differences. This mindset cultivated in the student’s life will help to create a new value in their lives.”

Also presented during the opening ceremony were Dr. Marjorie Harrison, Cultural Attaché of US Embassy Malaysia and celebrity Yasmin Yusuff, who is also a former exchange student and the current ambassador for AFS Antarabudaya Malaysia.

As cliché as it may sound, the youths today are the leaders of tomorrow. As we live in a completely different culture, we see the whole world with different perspectives as find the way to reach the peace. The solution to every fight is knowledge and acceptance of other people, cultures, religions, languages, traditions. Friendship leads to Peace, Peace leads to Understanding.

So, was the goal achieved? You wonder. Indeed, we have collected almost 11 000 signatures on the petition so far, 3500 signatures on that weekend itself. A job well done to the organizing committee, sponsors and parents and the public for their support in making this event successful. I am glad that there are a lot of peace supporters out there.

The signature campaign will still be on till the end of October. If you missed your chance to participate in this event, you are still not too late! Log on to www.exchanges4peace.org to sign the petition today and watch your country’s flag appear in the word “PEACE”.

Written by Jessica Kan, President of AFS YES Alumni Malaysia, YES batch 2005

Posted by Sri Gayathri Velayutham (Malaysia) on Oct 09, 2007

Paint for Peace event

Last weekend, AFS-YES Alumni Malaysia organised the Paint for Peace event at One Utama Shopping Centre. The event was held in conjunction to the Peace Petition Drive and International Peace Day.

Over the 2 days event, AFS YES Alumni has collected 2753 signatures on online and paper. It was truly a memorable experience for the AFS YES Alumni members whom stayed up late at nights to organise this 2 days event.

Many people painted their palm and made their mark on the 40ft x 5ft banner, which will be presented to a UN representative during the World Peace Forum during the AFS 60th Anniversary.

Throughout the event, many activities were organised such as Coloring contest, Cultural Trivia, Students performances and many more. The event was sponsored by the AFS, AFS YES Alumni Sending Parents, Usaha Meriah Sdn Bhd, Wangi Forwarding & Shipping Sdn Bhd, Nippon Paint Sdn Bhd, Gillin Printers Sdn Bhd & Golf Joy Marketing Sdn Bhd.

Gayathri Velayutham PR & Marketing Executive AFS Malaysia

Posted by Gayathri (Malaysia) on Oct 03, 2007

Bravo!170,000 Signatures for the Peace Petition!

As of September 27 our online signatures reached 87216! The even more exciting news is that in the meantime we have also received 82,994 signatures on paper. This adds up to around 170,000 signatures! We want to congratulate everybody on this excellent result. Special thanks go to the Partners on the “Top 15” list below, which includes both the current online signatures and those we have received on paper as of Thursday, September 27.

Posted by yuan (United States) on Sep 28, 2007

Petition Progress in Mexico

We are pleased to report that out signature contest for member schools is going very well. Early reports indicate that we will be able to add, at minimum, several thousand signatures to the petition early next week and we expect to generate at least 5,000 new signatures by the final day of the contest. Students who collect signatures are eligible for prizes, as are schools who collect more than a thousand signatures.

In fact, with just one school visit last week, we were able to generate more than 1000 signatures in just a few hours at that single school! This was a clear example that having a volunteer or staff member go directly to a school and pass out signature sheets is the one of the easiest ways to gather signatures. The bracelets have been of great help too…just wish we had them a bit earlier! We are offering bracelets to anyone who collects a minimum of 50 signatures.

Curt S. Crossley National Director AFS Mexico Sep 28, 2007

Posted by Curt (Mexico) on Sep 28, 2007

AFS Paraguay --1850 + petition signatures collected on Peace day

15 AFS volunteers dedicated their time to collect signatures on Peace day. The small, but very motivated, group worked hard and gathered more than 1500 signatures!

AFS had made an agreement with Esso Paraguay and the two biggest malls in Asunción (Shopping Mariscal Lopez and Shopping del Sol) to get permission to collect signatures in the gas stations and within the shopping malls.

The initative was a success and apart from collecting a lot of signatures to support the petition we reached a lot of people with information about AFS mission and programs.

Also we are currently in contact with the local WAGGS organization and will be in contact with Rotary this week after the international agreements signed.

Magnus Solvberg Aase Marketing Coordinator AFS Paraguay

Posted by Magnus (Paraguay) on Sep 26, 2007

September 21 is the International Day of Peace !

Friday, September 21 is the International Day of Peace. On this day, millions of people worldwide will in some way recognize the need to continue working towards peace. It represents a wonderful opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of Peace on a shared date. For AFS volunteers, staff and students around the world it provides a good occasion to reflect on the AFS mission.

In 1981, on the 20th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly, a UN resolution declared that the International Day of Peace “will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our Organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the Organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace. May this Peace Day indeed be a day of peace.”

Every day, AFS strives to make the world a more peaceful place by fostering intercultural understanding. I hope that you will take some time on September 21 to make an extra contribution to our mission. For creative ideas you can visit the International Day of Peace website (cultureofpeace.org) and encourage people you know to go to www.exchanges4peace.org and sign the petition in support of a global expansion of youth exchange programs.

Francisco “Tachi” Cazal

President and CEO

AFS International

Posted by Tara Hofmann (United States) on Sep 21, 2007

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