International Day of Peace
Written by Plant With Purpose on September 21, 2016 in General
By Owen Clarke
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
Peace isn’t something that can be bought. It can’t be paid for, it can’t be given out, or delivered to a central African village like a truckload of rice or maize. Events aren’t held to “Raise Funds for Peace” and children don’t mail packages of peace to orphanages in Guatemala. Yet Plant With Purpose is making great strides in the practice of peace. From the Dominican Republic to Burundi to Thailand, Plant With Purpose is sowing seeds of peace, bringing people together through love, community, and the Word of God.
Peace doesn’t exclusively refer to an absence of physical violence or war. It refers to an absence of strife of any kind—be it mental, emotional, or physical. For a rural Haitian community to be at peace does not simply mean they aren’t quarreling with anyone, it means that they are able to care for themselves and their families. To be at peace means to be comfortable, to be secure in one’s own living situation.
Veerapan Bunsupa, a 32 year-old farmer from Huay Pong, Thailand, has been partnering with Plant With Purpose for three years now. In this time, he has seen peace grow in his community and shares, “People have better relationships through community activities such as planting trees, forest protection, village cleaning, and network activities. And our children now regularly go to school because the parents have better support for schooling.”
Families at peace don’t have to worry every day about where their next meal will come from. Families at peace don’t live day to day, without savings or resources to fall back on in the event of a problem.
Through services such as Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) which provide a platform to save and fair loans at low interest rates, Plant With Purpose is fostering peace. Groups of people that would have never interacted are now saving together, reaping the benefits of their saved funds together, and are able to acquire affordable loans to help themselves grow economically. Thanks to VSLAs, Plant With Purpose partners can rest easy at night, with their savings tucked away, knowing that their lives aren’t solely dependent on the harvest of a single crop or produce.
A Plant With Purpose partner from the Tanzanian community of Nasai said, “Plant With Purpose has restored joy to our community by joining various households into one big happy family. We work together every week and while working we become friends.”
The International Day of Peace is more than a celebration of all the goals humankind has achieved. It’s a reminder of how far we still have to go. There are trees to be planted, crops to be grown, and walls to be torn down. And Plant With Purpose will be there every step of the way.