Light a candle for peace

Light a candle for peace

With already devastated countries in the Caribbean about to be hit by a category five hurricane for the second time in days, and this year’s monsoon being one of the worst and most costly in terms of human life in recent years, natural disasters have been high on the public agenda of late. Alongside the millions of people affected by these catastrophes, many more continue to suffer the senseless and terrible toll of man-made violence.

In light of these human tragedies, last Friday Woodstock’s Amnesty International group hosted a memorial for victims of violence and natural disasters. Members of the Woodstock community were invited to the tea garden to light candles, observe a moment of silence, lend their thoughts to those affected by violence and consider what we can do to find positive solutions to these issues. Students of all ages attended the vigil, lighting candles and sharing their messages of peace and hope.

Nandini, leader of our Amnesty International group, explains what inspired them to organise the memorial. “We, as a group, felt that the ones who have lost their lives due to senseless violence and natural disasters deserved a moment of silence since they did not choose for their lives to end in that way. We wanted family members to be able to remember their loved ones if they were not given the chance as well since the busy schedules don’t allow people to go to a church. This gave them an opportunity to remember their families. Also, it is our duty as humans to honour the ones that died due to the events happening at the time all over the globe.”

“It is important to raise awareness of people affected by senseless violence,” says Kyumin, Grade 10, who also helped organise the event. “Although we might not be affected by it directly, or know someone who is impacted by such an incident, it still allows us to have a better understanding of a life. Additionally, it allows us to develop skills of sympathising with other people. Also, just by raising awareness, we can help victims to improve their current states.”

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