The Words of the Ohtsuka Family

Day of Peace in the Karelia Region, Russia

Katsumi Ohtsuka
September 21, 2010

Medvezhiegorsk and Kostomuksha, Russia -- UPF-Russia organized a variety of creative activities on the International Day of Peace for students in the towns of Medvezhiegorsk and Kostomuksha in the Karelia region of northeast Russia.


On September 21, the Altair team of volunteers from the town of Medvezhyegorsk, Karelia initiated events in honor of the International Day of Peace. Beginning in the early morning, the work was in full swing at the city school ?2. Junior children made origami style doves in their classes. The school corridors were turned into galleries of different countries of the world. Each room incorporated a separate state with corresponding symbolism, including the flag, cards, and welcoming messages and wishes of peace, goodness and justice.

There was also a "Wall of Peace" with great numbers of doves and appeals to the world community from the children of each form. At 12:00 noon, the entire school staff and children joined in observing the International Minute of Silence. The slogan "600 minutes for peace" corresponds to the number of children and teachers in our school.

During the second part of the day, volunteers spread the message of peace throughout the town. The passers-by received paper doves. The stage in the main square was decorated by volunteers with placards and posters about the International Day of Peace for the inhabitants of the town to enjoy.


Peacemakers in Kostomuksha, Karelia organized a Relay Race of Good Deeds, an outing for disabled students, and a "Rise and Act" anti-poverty program on September 20 for Internaitonal Day of Peace.

Several Kostomuksha city organizations joined a "Relay race of good deeds," which started on September 20. This activity was initiated by the city administration and the Central Library. Teachers from the children's outdoor activity center, children's sports school 2, workers from the house of the youth and cinema, and the Fregat tourist complex also joined in. They jointly decided to make the beginning of the new school year unforgettable for children with limited faculties. Entertainment and educational programs were prepared for the children at the Rodnik rehabilitation center and for invalid teenagers at the public association "We are together."

A real tourist outing to the forest, visiting a reindeer-breeding farm, enjoying lunch in a Karelian peasant hut, viewing interesting films, participating in interactive games, and even discotheque dancing will be accessible entertainment for the children whose contacts were usually limited by personal computer. For the first time, wheelchair-bound young people are able to participate in all the events. Also on the eve of the International Day of Peace, young peacemakers from school ?2 participated in a meeting of the Globe school club. The meeting opened with an activity in support of the young peacemakers movement against poverty and destitution under the slogan "Rise and Act" initiated by UN in 2006. During the event, the participants listened to the address explaining the main principles of development and consolidation of the civil society. At the end each student was invited to sign a commitment to leave a healthy ecological heritage to the future generations and promote examples of positive and healthy lifestyle. The total number of the participants was 1182.

In confirmation of their intentions, the delivered a copy of the address to the deputy head of the Kostomuksha city district, Igor Shirshov. 

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