Journalists requested to exercise more of peace advocating
International Peace Youth Group first hosts peace forums for journalists
28 November 2017 | Education
Hosted with the aim of educating and informing journalists on the importance of promoting peace, different round table discussions were held about the challenges journalists go through that prevent positive stories from being published.
The International Peace Youth Group (IPYG)’s mandate is to achieve world peace and promote the cessation of all wars and conflict. The Southern Africa branch started in 2013 and currently has about 805 affiliate organisations, whom through the combined efforts of youth across the world can make the hope of humanity a reality and effectively legislate peace. “As the youth, we must think of ways to encourage conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence, especially for our neighbouring countries. We must assist current interventions to promote peace and proactively participate in the peace movement at a local level,” says Roberto Goreseb, representative of IPYG.
“At a practical level, many government policies and strategies have been implemented to deal with the problems we face today such as firearms control act and employment equity policies, but the reality is lives are still lost to violence and a good standard of living is not accessible to most households. As the media, you have the key to change people’s perspectives and this can be done through your words,” he says.
The discussion between IPYG representatives and journalists ranged from practical issues that would hinder a reporter in promoting the culture of peace to the communities to projects that could be initiated to promote the importance press freedom in neighbouring countries like Botswana and Zimbabwe.
“One article can reach thousands of people at one go, we hope that all the reporters in attendance will become messengers of peace,” he says.
Kotokeni Shimbinja, the executive chairperson of National Youth Development Organisation (NYDO) addressed the journalists and provided more insight on what the IPYG stands for. “IPYG Namibia is a volunteer organisation that was founded in 2015 in Windhoek through a group of peace loving youth who had a vision for the future. IPYG was established with the hope of empowering the youth to protect themselves from threats they face and to enable the young people to leave peace as a lasting inheritance for future generations,” he says.
“I honestly and sincerely believe media are the catalysts in this work. My words today can reach about 20 people but through the media we can reach the whole nation. As you may know, there are many people that are working for peace – it is not just the International Peace Youth Group. Today I stand before you and challenge the media to promote the message of peace to their audience,” says Shimbinja.
He also advised the people of Namibia to see the importance of spreading a culture of peace and requested his countrymen to challenge the status quo “so that we can give peace as a gift to future generations.”