“Peace begins with a smile. There is both a visible peace and one which comes from the heart. We are here to spread the message that Peace is the way to go for humanity”

Every year, since more than past 20 years, Peace Messengers from Japan come to The World YWCA office in Geneva to spread the message of peace in the background of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most of them are 3rd and 4th generation survivors, young and courageous to share stories from their families, elders, lands.

The World YWCA house hosted these peace messengers this year too, introducing them to the movement and our commitment towards a world where peace and justice are core parts of a sustainable land. Our Deputy General Secretary, Casey Harden, welcomed the cohort of Peace messengers from all age groups. It was heartwarming to see most of them being young girls this time.

The young messengers coming from different prefectures of Japan, shared their heartwarming messages and stories with the group. They linked their stories to the fading away of the stories around Atomic Bombing given the first generation survivors were no more there to tell them. With the importance of sharing these stories of survival and pain across the world and in Japan itself, these young girls shared their vision towards Peace and its importance in the current world situation.

Post the session, the young girls sang a song around Peace. They spent time with the World YWCA team members discussing in depth issues around peace, health and gender equality; and the roles to be played by the young women. They also shared their insights on diversity and discrimination based on nationalities and linked it to the mission of World YWCA.

Background to World YWCA stand on Nuclear Weapons:

In the 2015 World Council held in Bangkok, Thailand, The World YWCA, recognizing that nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are inextricably linked in their nature as a form of violence against women, undermining rights to safety, health, dignity and freedom from violence of women, young women and girls, and should be both denied, resolves to: Advocate against the usage of nuclear weapons or energy, work to create an alternative, nuclear-free communities with increased roles of women, in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 which calls for women’s leadership on sustainable peace.