Share Peace Picnic

On 23rd of September we celebrated International Day of Peace with SHARE PEACE PICNIC in the Central Park of Serres. This year’s message of the Peace Day was Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for all. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General said in his message: “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.”
This message inspired us, the PRAXIS team to organise SHARE PEACE PICNIC to bring everyone in Serres together – the locals, Yazidis and European volunteers. Bring them together and enjoy our time together while sharing our diverse cultures.
In this blogpost our team is sharing our experience of organising this event:

"Normally I don’t enjoy this kind of social events, but I have to admit that this picnic was something really good. People from the camp came, even the girls and we enjoyed a really good afternoon together.
I even ate pie, something really odd to me. I met new people, the others danced, and my incredible canary sauce (Alioli) was a success and that’s what matters now. For me it is the best event till now, so I hope I can support in more works and share more with my friends here in PRAXIS."
- Cristo

"For me it is really exciting to organize this kind of events! Specially, when our main goal is to bring people together and enjoy the time. I am someone, who likes to make other people happy - it makes me the happiest.
So while back, when we started to generate ideas for this event it became like a mission – whatever happens, we will give our all and make this the best possible event ever. And with this kind of attitude magic happens. The whole organising process was like a ride in American mountains, overcoming smaller and bigger challenges on the way, but our team was determined to find all the solutions and create an event that will be remembered.
And I believe this is what happened. We enjoyed the event a lot. We loved to taste different kind of homemade food, play football, dance, talk to each other, make soap bubbles, draw, play Frisbee. We were really happy to see so many people joining us. We know it is just a beginning and we can grow a lot, but hey, you have to start from somewhere!
  In our group we believe that sharing our time is the most precious thing we can do and this is why we organize this kind of events outside our everyday activities. To show the locals different cultures and make our Yazidi friends feel more welcomed and feel more home."
- Maris

"The best picnic starts with sharing. Our picnic was special because it brought together people from different path and we met in the middle.
We shared our food with each other and we ate together. Later some of us played football, some of us drew our hands on the poster in order to make our logo for the photo wall.
People kept coming and coming to our event. Even the girls from the camp. In the beginning they were little shy, but they were so cute. We shared our food with them which made them happy and they opened up more to join our activities (like playing football).
For me the most enjoyable part was dancing. We came together and danced to a lot of different music at the end of the picnic."
- Tomris

"All after, I am glad, and satisfied. I would like to say thank you, for our team.
At first, because even if there were some barriers coming up within the organizing part, we solved it in a calm and trustful way. We believed that this event is going to be perfect as it is going to happen and we believed in our goal.

Our goal was to feel ourselves closer to each other, and spend time together. Celebrate that we are in peace for that couple of hours we spend there, in the Share Peace Picnic event.
I would say, in the future our aim should be to keep this in front of our eyes, and be happy for the peaceful hours that we can spend today in this world.
I hope it was not just one time event, and then we are done, but I would like to keep continue to do events like this.
Well why do I feel so, because it feels good to be together with our friends from the refugee camp of Serres. Show each other our colorful backgrounds, cultures, dances, and last but not least to support each other, and feel that we are here for each other and we can count on each other.
Just to make a finale conclusion for the International Day of Peace, well the exact day (21.09) might be over, but I would like to ask to celebrate it every day. It shouldn't be just one day of the year, but make it for every day of the year."

And this is how the SHARE PEACE PICNIC looked like. We enjoyed it, so we are excited for what will happen in the future! Hopefully You are as well!
Our team wants to thank everyone who participated or supported us with this event.
Peace is not something really big and abstract, it start from small things around us. It starts with a smile, with “Hello!”, with offering someone a hand and it can grow into something big: the WORLD PEACE! So, we encourage you to make this everyday habit to share peace around you.