written by Louise Ingham
The History of Hiroshima
The history of the city of Hiroshima began in 1589. It was a city right at the centre of politics, the military and later became home to large factories and the top school in western Japan.
On 6 August 1945 during World War II, an American bomber dropped the first atomic bomb ever deployed on Hiroshima. The explosion instantly killed around 70,000 people. Eventually around 150,000 died because of the effects of the bomb. On 9 August a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki killing around 75,000 people. The effects of this event are still felt today.
Commemorating Hiroshima and Nagasaki
This year, people around the world are commemorating the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is a time to mourn those who lost their lives and to refocus efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. Remembering this anniversary carries on the legacy of ‘hibakusha’, the survivors of this fateful event.
The realities of the atomic bombing continue to be taught to future generations. Remembering the event seeks to educate society so that we can continue to learn, grow and seek a more peaceful world for the future.
Nuclear Weapons Today
The number of nuclear weapons available has been steadily reduced since the Cold War but it is thought that there are still approximately 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world. The production and testing of nuclear weapons are a continuing threat to communities, health and our environment. It threatens peace.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted in 2017 and it seeks to abolish nuclear weapons. This treaty is an important step because it is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons. Its aim is to completely eliminate them. By 22 July 2020 82 states had signed the treaty and 40 had ratified or acceded to it. Once 50 states have ratified or acceded to it, it will enter into force.
Promoting Peace After The Bombings
There are many organisations seeking to remember the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to promote peace. Hiroshima for Global Peace seeks a peaceful, international society that is free of nuclear weapons. Amongst many other aims, they have a peace plan which seeks to advance Hiroshima as a hub for promoting global peace.
The United Nations are also encouraging people around the world to engage with this anniversary and enter into discussions on how we can move forward into a better future. To do so, they are hosting the ‘UN 75 in Hiroshima’ global peace dialogue event. At this event a senior UN official and members of the public will discuss ways to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goal and an agenda for disarmament.
One way we can all get involved and use our voices is to sign petitions. The Union of Concerned Scientists for a Healthy Planet and Safer World are working with Hibakusha Appeal to promote a global appeal to the United Nations seeking to abolish nuclear weapons. If you want to get involved you can sign this petition.
It is incredibly important that we are all aware of what happened so we do not allow it to happen again. There are so many resources to do this, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is a great place to start. It has a lot of resources to learn more about the history of the bombing, the reality of using atomic bombs and to hear survival testimonies. You can find out more here.
At Peace Partners, one of our aims is Peace. We aim to promote a message of peace and to do so we partner with The Prem Rawat Foundation and we support the Peace Education programme. We believe in a more peaceful world.
Whilst there have been improvements to reduce the use of nuclear weapons there is still so much to be done. This anniversary is a chance to remember those whose lives were lost, to educate ourselves, and to strive towards a more peaceful society - one free from nuclear weapons.
“The wars are still happening …. But every human being taking on that responsibility of knowing themselves, and establishing peace for themselves, that’s the only solution that has not been tried.”
Prem Rawat Oct 12, 2018
In 2018 international Peace Ambassador Prem Rawat visited the Memorial Park in Hiroshima. You can watch a short video about his visit here on the TimelessToday website:
The Mayors for Peace UK and Ireland Chapter meeting that took place on Friday 3rd July 2020, was an excellent opportunity for Peace Partners to shine a light on what we do, focusing on one of our flagship areas, the Peace Education Programme initiative that we have pioneered in the UK.
It was insightful to hear from the Lord Mayor of Manchester, find out about the development of the Mayors for Peace European Chapter, the ICAN Cities Appeal and commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the atomic weapon attacks and the end of the Second World War. A poignant element included a personal insight from a policy advisor who had visited Hiroshima to learn more about its legacy.
Our lead on the Peace Education Programme gave a presentation to Mayoral figures outlining ways in which this initiative could be utilised by local regions and communities, with some interaction taking place to follow up with interested parties afterwards.
Look out for a more fuller report in our next e-bulletin about this important meeting and also our plans to acknowledge with peace declarations for the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima.
Peace Partners is supporting The Prem Rawat Foundation Peace Education Programme.
Life has inevitably slowed down for most of us during Lockdown and it has given us a chance to reflect. For the final week of our Well-Being and Positivity campaign we are focusing on ‘Gratitude, Appreciation and a Silver Lining’.
The pandemic is unprecedented and has caused an upheaval in our normal way of life. For some of us we are getting used to the ‘new normal’ and finding the positives within it. Whilst there has been loss and sadness, there have also been positive things to come out of the pandemic.
The pandemic has a silver lining - it has given us the possibility of shifting our mindset and behaviour. We have seen how our planet can thrive in our absence and therefore it might encourage us all to live more consciously and take better care of the planet.
It might also encourage us to take better care of ourselves. Without the regularities of normal life there has been time and space to reflect and find gratitude and appreciation in life. We have had time to reflect on who we are, and society, life and the people around us. There has been more time to think. With our normal way of life we had taken away due to Lockdown, we can reflect on what we used to enjoy and will one day enjoy again – perhaps a coffee in a café with a friend, going to the gym or round to a friend’s house for a catch up.
You may realise what you appreciate about Lockdown. This might be being with family or video calling friends, spending more time with your children, or finishing the books you never got around to reading. It might be time spent in the garden, or mediating and doing yoga. Whatever it is, for many there has been time to appreciate and find gratitude in these acts.
Some suggestions of ways to find gratitude and appreciation are to be proactive and look for small moments of happiness each day. You might take a photo of things that make you happy, or take some time to reflect on everything you appreciated at the end of the day. You might look for the good in others - and there has been plenty of this during Lockdown. Communities have come together to help one another and charities are still fighting for their causes.
We are coming to the end of our Well-Being and Positivity campaign and we hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. It is a difficult time for us all but we hope this campaign has brought you joy and positivity. As J.K. Rowling says, ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light’.
This week, take time to find gratitude, appreciation and a silver lining. We would love to hear about the silver linings you have found during the pandemic. Leave a comment on our Facebook page or tweet us at @peacepartners_ and use the hashtags #PeacePositivityWellBeing #LetsFocusThePositive #PeacePartnersSilverLining
It's Volunteers' Week!
According to new research 10 million adults have been volunteering in their community during the Coronavirus outbreak and most say that they will carry on when the lockdown ends. The impact and importance of volunteering is evident.
Peace Partners would like to thank our incredible volunteers who continue to go the extra mile to support our work and make a difference to the lives of many individuals across the UK and around the world. The team are currently helping to secure funding to support vulnerable people in the society, working with Foodbanks to continue to provide vital supplies, and assisting international frontline work during COVID-19. This month our team has produced many heartfelt and peaceful projects to inspire wellbeing, including poetry and children’s activities. We have also hosted our first virtual Peace Education Programme. We would like to say a massive thank you to our team for all of their passionate work and dedication.
Thank you to our trustees who work hard in the background, guiding our team and projects: To ensure that the charity stays focussed on our main goal of raising awareness, improving knowledge and developing expertise in order to increase sustainability in water, air and food solutions, leading to individual peace.
Would you like to volunteer with us?
To find out more please see our current opportunities here. We look forward to hearing from you.
.Author: Louise Ingham
Life moves fast - it can be too easy to rush through only seeing a never ending cycle of to do
lists and worries. Finding a moment of stillness to reflect can seem difficult but it is so
rewarding. This week we are focusing on how we can all stay centred and calm with the
theme of Feeling Peaceful During Lockdown.
Lockdown has brought many additional strains upon us. We are bombarded with constant
news updates which can be stressful and scary. We have been confined indoors with no
normal freedom of movement or socialisation. Many parents have been trying to balance
full time jobs with schooling children from home. It has been a stressful time for everyone,
especially key workers and their loved ones.
Therefore, this week Peace Partners wants to look at ways we can all stay centred, calm
and peaceful during lockdown.
It is important that we look after ourselves both physically and mentally. One suggestion of how to do this is to practice mindfulness and mediation. Mindfulness can help you pay more attention to the present moment and your feelings and so improve your mental wellbeing and help you find peace.
Mediation has been proven to increase blood flow and energy and to reduce stress and
feelings of anxiety, depression, anxiety, anger and confusion. If this is something you might
be interested in trying there are plenty of YouTube videos that provide guided meditations
as well as apps such as Calm and Headspace.
Yoga is a wonderful way to help you achieve a peaceful body and mind. It connects you to
your body and breathing and often combines mediation and practices of self-love and
gratitude. Since we cannot attend yoga classes at the moment if you would like to try yoga
there are lots of free phone apps with yoga classes or videos on yoga. The 30 day challenge
Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube is very popular.
Other suggestions on ways to feel peace during lockdown is to exercise or take walks in
nature, be creative and take up new hobbies such as cross stitch or playing an instrument.
You could also take part in the Peace Education Programme, a The Prem Rawat Foundation
initiative: www.tprf.org. The programme provides a focus for exploring your own inner
resources such as appreciation, choice and inner strength and the opportunity to discover
personal peace. Check it out here: www.peacepartners.co.uk/peace-education-uk. Plans are underway for Peace Partners to host this course virtually, via videoconferencing. Interested? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week, we hope you stop to find a moment of stillness to find some inner peace. We
would love to hear any ways that you are finding to feel peaceful during lockdown. Leave a
comment on our Facebook page or tweet us at @peacepartners_ and use the hashtags
#FeelingPeaceful #PeacePositivityWellBeing #LetsFocusOnPositivityandWellbeing
How Covid-19 Has Had a Positive Impact on the Environment
The environment is getting a much needed break at the moment, and our theme of this week’s Wellbeing and Positivity campaign is ‘Our Environment Is Thriving Right Now’.
While everyone around the world is working together in the fight against the coronavirus, the planet is recuperating. The Climate Crisis is a huge challenge to our future and it seems the world is finally taking notice. We have seen rallies across the world urging more to be done to protect our planet, including Extinction Rebellion and the inspirational Greta Thunberg, speaking on behalf of the next generation.
The corona virus has seen a dramatic drop in travel and activity and as a result the environment is improving. With less traffic on the roads and airplanes in the skies, air pollution levels have dropped in the UK, China, Italy and all across the world. For the first time in decades, people in Indian can see the Himalayas in the distance.
It is not just the skies – the water is cleaner too. Venice’s canals have begun to run clear for the first time in many years due to the reduction in tourists and travel on the water ways. More fish and birds have returned to the canals, enjoying the space for themselves.
Other animals are enjoying having the run of the place, too. In Phuket, there is the highest number of turtle nests in the past 20 years and a herd of goats took over an empty town in Wales, pottering around gardens and across roads. Wild boars are roaming the streets in Barcelona and an alligator sunbathed on a deserted beach in South Carolina, US.
Whilst the environment is thriving, we too seem to be thriving in the great outdoors. It is wonderful to see so many people enjoying nature and going walking and cycling (all properly socially distancing of course.) It has been the perfect time to get into gardening and watch bees, butterflies and birds enjoy the garden. Charities are continuing to do their part, too. Conservation groups around the UK are still fighting to restore habitats and improve biodiversity.
It is wonderful to see the planet thriving in our absence. It is heartening to know that with a little breathing room the planet can start to heal and flourish.
Once we are over this battle with coronavirus, it is likely travel and pollution will increase. It is important that we all remember the positive impact we had on the environment during this time. Together, we can all focus on keeping this positivity and love for the planet, even when life speeds up again.
This week, keep the environment at the forefront of your mind. We would love to hear about how you have been enjoying nature or helping the environment during lockdown. Leave a comment on our Facebook page or tweet us at @peacepartners_ and use the hashtags #PeacePositivityWellBeing #LetsFocusOnPositivityAndWellbeing
A little kindness goes a long way, especially during such uncertain times. This is why Peace Partners have chosen to start the Wellbeing and Positivity campaign with the theme of The Power of Love and Kindness. Helping others is beneficial for everyone. Love and kindness will not only support those around you but it will also improve your own wellbeing. It can have a hugely positive impact – it can combat fear and make us all feel a little less alone.
It has been proven that being kind and taking positive action is good for our mental health. These loving acts reduce stress and can activate the ‘pleasure centre’ of the brain. Hugging your loved ones is great for your health too; it produces Oxytocin - the ‘love hormone’ – and helps to bond us together. Even though we might not be able to see or hug loved ones right now, Dr Michelle Sands suggested some wonderful hug alternatives. Hugging or petting a pet produces the same hormones - what a great excuse to allow the dog to sleep on the bed!
Listening to music and finding ways to be creative can also effectively relieve stress. There are so many different ways to be kind. They can be the smallest of actions, or the largest. You could drop food round to a vulnerable neighbour, call a friend who is struggling or donate to a charity. Online #ViralKindness Facebook groups have been created to spread care and kindness in communities.
It is also vital that you are kind to a very important person right now – you. We suggest that you take time for yourself doing things that make you happy, whatever they may be. That might be doing yoga, reading, watching your favourite show or gardening.
This week is also Mental Health Awareness Week and The Mental Health Foundation has chosen kindness as their theme. Our mental health and wellbeing is always important but even more so right now. The pandemic is making it more difficult for those struggling with their mental health. It can be scary when there is so much change, isolation and uncertainty. But love and kindness can help us come through this. It is normal to feel anxious right now and it can help to share your worries with people you trust.
The world feels uncertain right now and it is only natural to feel worried. Peace Partners wants to be there for our supporters during this time and provide some positivity to help everyone cope a little easier. We are happy to announce that we are launching a Peace and Positivity campaign this month; we want to focus on the idea of new beginnings and lightness, even when the world seems a little dark.
Over the next month we will be posting a couple of times a week to this page. Our posts will focus on three themes: Wellbeing, Peace and Environment. We know there are so many contributing factors to supporting your wellbeing so we have selected a few themes we believe are important and will be focusing on these.
The campaign kicks off on 18th May and this week it will address the themes of The Power of Love and Kindness. We will be looking at how love and kindness can have a positive effect on those around us and ourselves too, especially now.
Keep an eye out for videos, recordings, articles, photos and much more. We will be including material from all over the world; sharing positivity worldwide during the pandemic. There should be something for everyone to enjoy! Please do leave your comments and feedback – we would love to hear how you are getting on.
Peace Partners hopes you will enjoy our Peace and Positivity campaign. We hope that you will laugh, feel inspired to make positive changes and continue to support.
Written by: Sean Morrissey
The global outbreak of coronavirus has changed the way we define community, for now. Many of the traditional fundraising channels have all but dried up, as regularly scheduled events and social gatherings are wiped off the calendar in accordance with social distancing guidelines. These fundraising events are about more than philanthropy; it is a chance to shake hands and share ideas with likeminded, charitable people and to show our greater appreciation for the important work they carry out every day.
But we have also seen, over these last few months, a tremendous outpouring of support and solidarity from communities around the world. The hashtag #alonetogether continues to circulate the globe, as the clang of pots and pans are heard from neighbouring doorsteps each evening to celebrate the brave work of our health care professionals.
The year has certainly brought out our better angels; from Alibaba CEO Jack Ma’s donation of 5.4 million masks to the whole of Africa, to Captain Tom Moore’s incredible one-man fundraising campaign which, at time of writing, has raised more than £30 million for the National Health Service. The story of then 99-year-old “Captain Tom”, who pledged to walk 100 laps around his garden in support of the NHS before his 100th birthday, stands as an inspiration to us all in our ability to make a change.
This Tuesday 5th May, the world comes together for #GivingTuesdayNow in support of charities impacted by coronavirus and to recognise the tireless work of all those on the frontlines, from medical staff to public transport workers.
There are a myriad ways to show your support this giving Tuesday, here are a few:
This coming Tuesday, Peace Partners encourage our friends and supporters to go one step further and share their support and solidarity by starting your own #GivingTuesdayNow Facebook Fundraiser. All funds raised through your Facebook fundraisers will directly support Peace Partners’ coronavirus response partnerships with The Trussell Trust and St Mungo’s .
To help you create a successful Facebook fundraiser we’ve developed a ‘How-to-Guide’ and range of supporting images. Click the file at the end of this article to download.
Now more than ever, we have an opportunity to stand united in our support of community groups and caseworkers, of area food banks and homeless shelters. Together we can make history, with gifts of gratitude and hope around the world this #GivingTuesdayNow.
Written by: Louise Ingham
Today we are celebrating the 50th annual World Earth Day!
The theme for this year is Climate Action. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges to humanity, wildlife and the planet and we all need to work together to combat it. Due to COVID-19, Earth Day has organised plenty of digital events through their website, visit www.earthday.org to get involved.
Here at Peace Partners we are focusing on how to keep positive and maintain our wellbeing during this challenging time. Despite the many difficulties and losses the crisis has brought, there have been noticeable benefits to the environment. We have seen significant drops in air pollution and carbon emissions across the world, due to decreased travel and industrial production.
In addition, the air and water is becoming cleaner and there have been surprising wildlife sightings, in places where they haven’t been seen in decades. For example, dolphins in the Venice canals and deer roaming the streets of East London.
There are plenty of ways you can help the environment from home and celebrate World Earth Day this year. Practical work that has a positive impact can be fantastic for improving your well-being. Simple things can help such as letting your grass grow wild in your garden – this encourages wildflower growth and protects wildlife that might live in your garden, such as dormice. and newts. You can put out bird food to help the bird population thrive, or place some moss and water into a bowl to provide a drink to the busy bees. Eating more vegetarian meals whilst at home can also have a hugely positive impact on reducing carbon emissions.
As Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary, and with millions practising social distancing, we celebrate the resilience of the environment and its capacity for recovery.
With whole countries going into isolation, we have seen some uplifting developments in the major areas affected by mass tourism: the Himalayas are visible for the first time in decades thanks to a drop in air pollution, the waters in the canals of Venice are at their clearest without boats crowding them daily, and closer to home UK lockdown has resulted in an air pollutants dropping significantly.
The fight for equal access to clean air, water and nourishing food is more essential than ever, to ensure that more positive changes can be registered in time for 51st Earth Day in 2021.