Last week we celebrated our freedom from Ebola Virus Disease and the below quotation from Nelson Mandela could not be more profound:
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”
As we celebrate our resilience in the fight against EVD, let us be reminded of the fact that Ebola is real and it is still lurking in the neighboring countries of Guinea, where it all began in the West African Region, and Sierra Leone.
The struggle for human survival is a continuous one that would not stop as we live our lives in anticipation of something to happen. Our society is in constant motion and every action we pursue should be directed at sustainable peace, development and corruption.
Last week, we wrote about the discriminatory policies of peace building and the discrepancies with the implementation of peace building initiatives. This week, we shall continue our discourse on the price of peacebuilding and we shall focus on two other issues.
The price for peace building requires two essential ingredients: trust and accountability. We need to eradicate within us the culture of entitlement and promote our core values for peace. As mentioned last week, essential elements in costing the price for peace building and consolidation are drawn from opportunity costs and these are not reflected in budgetary allocations of any country.
We do not require heavy allocations to defend our borders but we need an investment in human security in defense of inequality. We need to reduce the price we pay for the massive concentration of power and resources in the hands of few wealthy individuals.
Government and corporations should focus on addressing youth unemployment and deteriorating infrastructure.
The fallacy of governments to find massive public financial resources for war and conflicts, but seldom for programmes that would deal with accountability of peacekeeping operations, transparency, truth and reconciliation, food security, hunger and diseases, and foster technology growth as well as renewable energy.
To all messengers of peace, war, if it has to be waged at all, should be a spectator sport, something that unfolds on screens rather than on battlefields. It is our position that violence in any form does not lead to a permanent change, only peace does. It is also our position that the hyper concentration of wealth in the hands of few has corrupted costing for peacebuilding.
To build trust and accountability for peacebuilding, we need to democratize programme for peace. It does not mean just placing one or two young individuals at tokens to represent other youths on peace initiatives. It means encourage a broad base participation of young people. It means making peace programmes more horizontal, more accessible and more involving of young people who are affected by the decisions made on their behalf.
We need to educate our children through the stories and information we provide them with. There is no one-off receipt for making this happen but Messengers of Peace intend to mobilize young people to write their own stories and share these stories with the rest of the world.
Support the “Ebola Educates” Campaign in kind through your stories or with your generous cash donation.
Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates- Times Remembered”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.