120 Ethiopian Youth United Once Again With the Handprint Flag
On March 21st, 120 students from the University of Wachemo in Ethiopia participated in the Youth Empowerment and Peaceful workshop (YEPW) following the 7th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War with around 250 attendees on 20th. The participants gathered to discuss a common identity for Ethiopia's diverse ethnic groups to come together as one, and to reiterate the significance through the handprint national flag. The handprinted flag, measuring 3m wide X 1m 60cm long, will be used in the 10th annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace to be held in Ethiopia in May.
IPYG has established the Youth Empowerment for Peace Workshop (YEPW), a platform for young people to discuss and address the challenges they face. Starting from 2016, YEPW itself has made 2,000 young people from 55 countries involved in the movement in 2021. Participants worldwide collaborate with IPYG to address the problems faced by young people in their own countries and work towards the common global goal of ending war and promoting peace and sustainable development.
Mr. Endale Mulatu, Peace studies coordinator of Wachemo University stressed the unity for peace at the congratulatory speech. “This time is for youths to create a common front to determine their future and make a peaceful world to leave a legacy of peace to the next generations. We need to stand together for peace. Peace is our common property regardless of color, sex, race, religion, ethnic difference, or political outlook.”
After that, attendees had the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing Ethiopia's national development, moments of feeling united as one nation, and ways to create a common identity. The youth-led the discussion on ways to achieve peace, with Wachemo University students presenting a proposal to bring the diverse Ethiopian ethnic groups together under a shared identity stressed that accept diversity and have an attitude we are one.
Based on their collective discussion, participants made handprint flags with the hope of a united Ethiopia. Twice of the people, compared to the January event, joined in making these flags with their handprints, expressing their desire for peace. They also took the time to write peace letters to the Prime Ministers of Russia and Ethiopia, expressing their deep yearning for peace. Attendees shared the results of the previous event and discussed plan to hold YEPW in June, demonstrating their commitment to continuing these efforts beyond a one-time event.
IPYG stands for International Peace Youth Group, an international group made of youths wanting peace. The IPYG has been heading toward peace with its four representative projects - Peace Walk, Peace Letter, Spreading peace culture, and unification of the Korean Peninsula. In particular, during the 20th-anniversary commemoration held in various countries, there is an ongoing event where countries are sending peace letters to Russia, in order to take a leading role in achieving peace.