Peace, Social Justice and Planetary Care is about Friendship
All Nations, All Traditions
- A Circle of Friendship -
Friends for Peace, a coalition of groups working for peace, planetary care and social justice, began in 2003 to set aside a day to celebrate the consciousness of peace rather than bemoan its scarcity. The objectives of Friends for Peace are to promote, strengthen and maintain peace, planetary care and social justice within our communities and the environment. Friends for Peace www.friendsforpeace.ca is a registered non-profit organisation and seeks to achieve its goals by:
(1) supporting specific local and international projects;
(2) engaging in outreach programs with schools, churches, environmental, peace and other similar groups in the city to educate and expand awareness and acceptance of one another, thereby uniting people from all walks of life regardless of age, political affiliation, faith or ethnic background;
(3) support the creation of networks and coalitions so that peace processes are valued and legitimized in our institutions; and
(4) encouraging all to embrace the pursuit of inner peace through meditation and mindful living as an alternative to conflict.
Annual events such as the Celebrate Friends for Peace Day bring individuals together for inspiration, communication, and creative collaboration through meditation, speeches, music and dance to share the experience of unity of purpose. The name for this day was formerly Peace Prayer Day - now changed to Celebrate Friends for Peace Day. The Peace Song Circle on Parliament Hill (2003 - 2005), also organized by Friends for Peace, merged with this day to provide more impact.
The current projects in the city supported by Friends for Peace are the Multi-Faith Housing Initiative of Ottawa's Interfaith Council, the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, Child Haven International, and Peace Camp Ottawa, which brings Palestinian and Israeli teens together. This is in addition to supporting the Physicians for Global Survival initiative to expand the mandate of the Canadian War Museum to include the creation of a culture of peace. In Africa, the Nelson Mandela Children's Foundation, the Congo Education and Schools project plus the Morungatuny Resettlement Program in Northern Uganda are also supported. In India a school, orphanage and medical centre is supported at the Ram Yoga Centre north of New Delhi. The planetary care project is the campaign to make the Dumoine River watershed a protected conservation park. Friends for Peace also co-operates with other groups in Ottawa for the annual Ottawa River clean-up.
Founded by Ian Prattis in 2003, the directors of Friends for Peace are: Robert Lavigne, Vivian Dickie, Ian Prattis, Maike Dombrofsky and Sat Hari Khalsa Kaur. The officers are: Ian Prattis (co-ordinator) and Carolyn Hill (treasurer).