"Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind." — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
Today, September 21, 2016 marks the International Day of Peace and this year the theme is The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace. The 17 SDG's (Sustainable Development Goals) "are a shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world's leaders and the people."
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world's leaders and the people,” said UN Secretary-General. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.” The UN invited young people from around the world to submit short videos of their thoughts on how to achieve world peace in conjunction with the SDG's.
It's a beautiful thing to see how many young people around the world are passionate about issues like violence and poverty and inspiring to hear what they have to say.
Widespread problems such as climate change, poverty, hunger, lack of clean water and sanitation, and inequality bring suffering to far too many members of our human family. We must do all we can to alleviate this suffering and contribute to a world of peace, sustainable development, and prosperity for all.
What does this have to do with us here at Pro TEFL?
Well, first and foremost, we are strong believers in peace around the world and believe that furthering education, especially teaching the English language, will help make the world a better place. Our mission distinctively aligns with the fourth of the SD goals, "Learning and education are the heart of goal four," as you can hear in this Flocabulary rap song below.
Pretty cool stuff, Flocabulary is a web based learning program that uses hip-hop and rap songs to teach vocabulary and develop core literacy skills across students starting from grades kindergarten all the way up to grade 12. Flocabulary is an inventive, awesome way to teach and we'd encourage this type of ideology within any TEFL classroom.
Flocabulary made this rap in partnership with the Education Outreach Section of the UN Department of Public Information with the goal of spreading the words on how working towards the sustainable development goals can help move us all closer to world peace.
What about Thailand?
Each year, hundreds of thousands of children come to a temple near Bangkok to meditate. Last year, over one million schools in Thailand recognized International World Peace Day by starting the day with one moment of silence. The Buddhist philosophy supports "The universal law of one" and that we can co-create our own reality together as a race of humans, undivided by race, religion, color, sex, borders. In order to change the world, you must start with very small things like yourself.
This thought affords that children are the place to start. We are all humans and must remember that together we are one. If we choose to work together we can turn this planet around in a very short time.
In Thailand, the Kingdom of Smiles, we are constantly reminded that, "Peace begins with a smile," as the brave Mother Teresa once said. So smile today, and see how you can make a change towards world peace. Maybe even consider moving your life to Thailand to start teaching students and changing lives in a positive way.