Thursday, September 21, 2017

Schools : Intl Day of Peace : Together for Peace : Imagine !

International Peace Day 2017

"In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” (...) "We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people - and societies - from achieving their full potential.” (...) “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”

António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General 

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The theme for 2017 : "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All."

The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes and those leaving in search of a better life. 

TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.

credits : Unesco

This International Day of Peace celebrates the power of global solidarity for building a peaceful and sustainable world.

The Day highlights solidarity with refugees and migrants and showcase the shared benefits of migration to economies and nations, while also acknowledging legitimate concerns of host communities. Ultimately, it is about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity.

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon


Imagine, a lovely book !

Jean Jullien has illustrated Imagine, the first picture book set to John Lennon’s original lyrics. The book has a foreword by Yoko Ono Lennon and was created in collaboration with Amnesty International to “inspire a new generation to imagine a world at peace”. 

It will be published today, 21 September to coincide with the UN’s International Day of Peace.

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon

The book set alongside lyrics from Lennon’s powerful 1971 hit single, whose message is as relevant to society today as it was when it was released. 

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon


The book follows a pigeon “as she sets out on a global journey to spread a message of peacehope, tolerance and friendship among birds from around the world, of all shapes and sizes”. 

Publisher Frances Lincoln Children’s Books has also released the trailer (below) animating Jean’s charismatic bird characters, showing the pigeon hopping off the tube and going on his travels.

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon

There is a website dedicated to the project, also decorated with Jean’s illustrations and created by The Creative Corporation.

The website Imagine allows you, me and students to hear Imagine by John Lennon and to share a message of peaceStudents can read some of the messages, including written ones from Richard Curtis and Juliet Stevenson, and illustrated ones by Cressida Cowell and Ross Collins.

Invite your students th share a message of peace. If they can, invite them to buy the book. It's beautiful book.


Standard UK delivery: £4.95 or free over £60!

Express UK delivery:  £12

Out UK: £12.99

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon

“This book is a beautiful visual version of John Lennon’s cry for peace and harmony. Its message for humanity has never been more urgently needed than now.”

Juliet Stevenson


"This book is very special to me. The words were written by my husband John and it makes me so happy to see them illustrated in this beautiful book. He wrote Imagine as a song calling for peace around the world. Today, we need peace more than ever, so I think his words are still very important."

Yoko Ono Lennon

illustrations: Jean Julien
Yoko Ono Lennon


  • Read the book in one of your lessons during the week or next week;
  • If they can, invite them to buy the book. It's a good cause;
  • Make a collage, draw a picture or write a story with the title ‘Peace’. 
  • Invite students to write: Imagining as a bird and drawing what they look like and add to the telephone wire;
  • Create your own TOGETHER event and promote the importance of inclusion of refugees and migrants in your school. Visit Together resource page for details;
  • Click here to download Amnesty International activities pack which includes helpful discussion questions. 

There's also info on a poetry competition for 7-11 year olds - Amenesty International is asking entrants to write a poem that captures the different sights, sounds and symbols of freedom

Deadline: 1 December 2017

Winners could receive a school visit from a National Poetry Day ambassador and have their poems illustrated by a professional artist! Wow!

"On this International Day of Peace, we must all renew our commitment to global solidarity. To sustain peace, we must build it every day, in every society, with every woman and man, by working together towards a better common future for all."

Irina Bokova, Directore-general UNESCO, message 2017


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