Walking for Peace in T&T

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

IT was a short walk but a significant message being sent by secondary school students of Barataria North Secondary School to mark the International Day of Peace.

The objective was to show their community that they can promote positivity and peace amidst the violence and negativity.

Neil Transport Services

With banners and posters held high, some 175 pupils walked last Thursday from the school’s compound at Third Avenue, Barataria to 8th street, across to St Georges and then walked back to the front of the school by George Bailey Drive.

Starting about 9 am and finishing about 10 am, parent and past student Makesha Toppin-Joseph told AZP News the aim of school administrators and parents was to get the school and children to do something positive and break that negative image that the school holds in the area.


Making declarations against violence, Toppin-Joseph said, “We stood for peace in our neighbourhood. The hope was to get our children to own the neighbourhood by doing something positive in it. If they own it, they would care for it.”

International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 and is observed each year on September 21.

 In 2001, the day was designated as a 24-hour period of non-violence and ceasefire. The theme changes every year and this year, 2023, the theme was Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals.

Also in recognition of International Day of Peace, Writing to Heal headed by Caron Asgarali hosted Poems for Peace the week before.


The event took place at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Port of Spain.

Asgarali who heads Project RARE (Raising Awareness on the Ripple Effect of Gun Violence) launched the free online platform Writing to Heal: Surviving Trauma, Building a Legacy of Resilience in 2021 during the pandemic to help people cope.

Peace is the issue. Photos: Makesha Toppin-Joseph

Writing to Heal is still conducted online but occasionally hosts an in-person event such as Poems for Peace. 

Give peace a chance

At that event, participants met, started with prayer, got some writing tips and prompts, read a few poems written by other people on peace, wrote their own poems and finally shared the poems they had written. 

Touting peace

“We consider this a positive action, and every positive action is significant,” Asgarali said.


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