Thousands Celebrate World Peace Day in Munich
Colleagues Dieter Braun and Guenther Schoell were inspired by Prem Rawat’s address to the Australian Parliament House in 2005, in celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace. Taking Prem Rawat’s message that “Peace is Possible” as their theme, they got together with a team of 20 volunteers from Munich and nearby Augsburg to organize the first World Peace Day event in Munich. This unique event specifically raised awareness of the humanitarian work of TPRF.
Thanks to the volunteers’ dedicated time and effort and particularly due to Karin Wittkewitz, who enthusiastically accepted the role of the event manager, everything was organized within a very short timeframe.
The event took place on September 21, in the historical Marienplatz, a large paved square outside of the Lord Mayor’s official residence in Munich. The timing could not have been better as the city was just in the early stages of the Oktoberfest, which attracts thousands of visitors to Munich every year. Over 1,500 visitors of all ages and from all walks of life browsed the stalls and enjoyed the lively musical performances. Other entertainment included living sculpture installations and a spectacular balloon release, which sent 400 messages of peace into the sky.
Display folders presented TPRF’s many projects including the Peace Education Program’s work in prisons with clear proof of how lives are being changed. This particularly attracted the attention of a former offender and a prison warden who were amongst the crowds of people browsing the exhibition.
Approximately 500 Euros were raised in donations on the day. The awareness-raising event also achieved a broader impact by piquing the interest of a psychologist researching into the rehabilitation of prisoners, as well as a representative from the local students’ UNESCO group. Both have suggested future collaborations. Due to the success of the event, the organizers are now considering organizing a Peace Tour later in the year in various market places throughout Germany.