International Day of Peace 2018: What does peace mean to you?

Timothy Shivers

From Somalia to Sri Lanka, our work in war zones around the world shows us that peace means different things to different people. For International Day of Peace 2018 we are running a campaign asking people what peace means to them. For some of us, peace is simply the absence of war. To others, it can mean something altogether more complex. Here are some of the inspiring messages you have already shared with us when we asked ‘What does peace mean to you?’

Peace is personal

On 21st September we celebrated International Day of Peace. We were overwhelmed with the inspiring, creative and thoughtful responses we collected, and they all point to one thing – that people around the world are going to extraordinary lengths to make the world a more peaceful place for themselves and for their communities, and to believe that change is possible.

For Dishani Jayaweera, a local peacebuilder in Sri Lanka, peace means happiness. 


“For me peace is happiness. For me peace is people knowing how to deal with conflict, to pick the opportunity from it, and to grow to another level of being. Peace is love. Peace is loving, not only people you know and who are close to you, but releasing love and compassion to all those around you, the universe, and loving the life of the universe.”


For Michael Sodipo in Nigeria, peace means community.


“Peace Is building relationships in my community. Developing young people, where people can live together peacefully without any violence. This is peace for me.”


Peace means freedom for another of our peacebuilding partners.


“Peace is to live in harmony, to live without fear, fear that someone will harm or kill you. Globally, peace is to live in cohesion across society, and to have the freedom to fully be yourself without taking over the identity or freedom of anyone else.”


For Peace Direct team member Oscar Lester, peace grows.


“Peace is like a flower and conflict a weed, meaning that we must properly address the root-cause(s) of conflict if we wish to see peace bloom anew.”


For one of our supporters, Caroline Stanley, peace comes from respect.


“Peace to me means the recognition of life in every living entity in the ecosystem and recognition that each element sustains the other and so work towards protecting the survival of each other. Peace is not just about the absence of war it is a respectful relationship between human being, animals and the entire environmental elements.”


Hassen Ahmed wrote to us during the campaign to share that for him, peace can be creativity.


“Peace for me is a prerequisite for creative thinking and innovation. Where there is peace and stability, young people have the freedom to think creatively and innovate new ideas that could positively change the world.”


We heard from Violeta Berisha, who shared her thoughts. For her, peace is about equality.


“Peace represents the orientation of love towards the general good, sincere communication, understanding of the problem of others, placing equal importance for all and providing equal opportunities.”


For our ultra-marathon runner & fundraising champion Rob Pope, peace is positivity.


“Peace means living in a state where your impact on others is only ever seen as positive. If everybody does that, peace will happen.“


We’ve been totally blown away by all your amazing responses to our campaign for ! Explore all the messages, thoughts and ideas through the button below:


Explore #whatpeacemeans


Now it’s your turn. What does peace mean to you?


We would still love to hear the meaning of peace in your lives. You can do this on social media by tagging us and using the #WhatPeaceMeans hashtag on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter – you can share a short video, or a simple post. Have a photo you love that depicts what peace means for you? Share it!




If you don’t use social media, no problem! We’d still love to hear from you. Simply respond below in the comments to this post.


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