The zones of special operations (ZOSOs) will be two locations where activities will take place on Peace Day, tomorrow, under the theme 'Peace Wi Seh'.
Spearheaded by the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) in collaboration with Peace and Love in Society (PALS) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, a 'Trees for Peace" planting exercise will be one of the Peace Day activities that will be observed by schools across the country. The tree-planting exercise in the ZOSOs will take place at Mount Salem Primary School, St James, and Denham Town Primary School, Kingston.
Chair of the VPA, Dr Elizabeth Ward, said: "The planting of trees symbolises hope and the continuity of life. It enables children to focus on respect, tolerance, and care for our environment and each other." Ward indicated that the observance of Peace Day would also include a walk through the communities of Denham Town and Mount Salem.
Involving children in any form of group activities that are educational develops a sense of collective responsibility and pride, which can be successfully transferred to the human condition to foster peace, said Ward.
Ward lamented that the country was facing unprecedented levels of crime and violence that was creeping into the nation's schools. Fifty-five children were victims of homicide in 2017, 34 per cent over the previous year. Therefore, Ward said, it was imperative to have interventions.
"Children can learn how to resolve conflicts peacefully," she said, adding that this was encapsulated in the theme for this year's Peace Day.
Schools can register to participate in the Trees for Peace project by submitting a photo of a planned garden site and a Trees for Peace entry form, which can be obtained by sending a request by email to the VPA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 771-9907 or 363-1726.
The Ministry of National Security, JN, Sandals, and C.B. Facey foundations, the Child Protection & Family Services Agency, the National Environment and Planning Agency, the Forestry Department, and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs are supporting the Trees for Peace initiative.