Pupils from Deele College and the Royal and Prior Comprehensive School in Raphoe celebrated the Peace Pledge Tree installation in Derry.
The pupils came together with other schools from the border counties and Northern Ireland to commit themselves to working for peace in their communities.
The event in Derry’s Foyle Arena was organised by Co-operation Ireland and the Rev Dr David Latimer.
The Peace Pledge Tree is in the city’s Ebrington Square and it will form part of a peace trail.
The tree is a seven-meter high sculpture created by local artist Maurice Harron that features peace pledges on its leaves.
The peace pledges are written by pupils from over 400 schools.
All the main churches were represented at the Amazing the Space event held in Maze/Long Kesh in 2017, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex showed their support by attending in 2018.
Liam Nesson also sent his support via a video message.
Dr Mark Browne, Director of Strategic Policy, Equality & Good Relations in The Executive Office said he was delighted to be a part of the event.
“Projects such as ‘Amazing the Space’ are a vital part of our journey towards realizing a truly shared and united community. “It is important that our young people are given the space and support they need to learn about each other, to challenge any misconceptions and to build long lasting friendships based on mutual respect and understanding.
“Through this project they have created heartfelt pledges of peace, marking their commitment to peace building and to working together.
“To see these pledges now placed, in their permanent home at Ebrington, part of a Shared Future infrastructure and the Pathway to Peace, is a proud moment, and a testament to the Executive Office’s commitment to Peace Building,” he said.
Dr Christopher Moran, Chairman of Co-operation Ireland said the installation of the Peace Pledge Tree means that all the young people’s hard work will be remembered in the city forever.
“Today’s event gives the young people involved in writing the pledges a chance to celebrate their contribution to peace and it is richly deserved,” he said.
Dr David Latimer said young people want a world free of discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, creed, language and gender.
“Our young people, with their vibrant ideas and clear perspectives, can reveal a better path.
“Their words and wisdom, displayed within The Peace Pledge Tree, can be a Beacon of Hope that will inspire many to turn their dreams of peace to reality,” he said.Tags: