On the 21st of September each year, nations and people around the world come together to celebrate International Day of Peace. Initiated by the United Nations, the aim of the day is to “honour a cessation of hostilities” and encourage “education and public awareness on issues related to peace.” It presents an opportunity to reflect on the importance of global solidarity. It also presents a chance for local communities to unite in welcoming people from diverse backgrounds. Peace is not only something that needs to occur between nations, but also within nations.
Today, Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) invites all Tasmanians, and Australians, to stand in solidarity with the people from migrant and refugee backgrounds who are their friends, neighbours and colleagues. Ensuring every person feels respected, safe and included is part of what makes a peaceful society.
Supporting and respecting people from diverse, multicultural backgrounds means celebrating their contributions towards making the world a more unified, stronger and vibrant place. International Day of Peace offers a chance to come together and do this.
The word ‘peace’ can mean different things to different people, depending on their lives, experiences and values. MRC Tas clients, volunteers and staff share what peace means to them:
“Harmony. Having the right to feel safe.” – Sal
“Tolerance, respect, acceptance.” – Mely
“It is the attainment of physical, mental, social and legal aspects of life.” – Bhim
“When you’ve accepted that there are things you can’t control.” – Mae
The message to spread on this International Day of Peace is one of respect and humanity. Respect people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, live together in harmony and view migration as an opportunity to foster a more peaceful society.
For Tasmanians, taking action to promote a more peaceful society can be done through volunteering, actively reaching out to newer community members and treating every person—regardless of race, gender or ethnicity—with kindness and compassion. Those who choose to volunteer play an important role in peacebuilding as they meet and interact with a diverse group of people, strengthen local and global ties and promote tolerance.
Volunteering with MRC Tas allows Tasmanians to get involved in a variety of ways. Volunteers can:
- Work with people and families as they build a new life in Tasmania
- Provide social support to people of all ages
- Support people with English conversation
- Support employment pathways
- Assist young people with their studies and build confidence in education pathways
- Help people to learn about driving in Tasmania and learning how to drive
- Assist with events and activities
- Provide administration and project support
- Support people to access mainstream services
More information can be found at www.mrctas.org.au/volunteer/
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