Minister of Community Affairs and Housing the Hon. Mike Adam has called for a national movement to restore the order and strong sense of community which once prevailed locally.
Minister Adam was speaking on Wednesday in the George Town Dart Park during the unveiling of Cayman’s first peace pole.
A prominent international symbol of harmony, the peace pole was planted by five students who had participated in the Empowerment and Community Development Agency’s summer film project which looked at discrimination.
Commending them, the Minister said: ‘This is a powerful reminder in the midst of the negative events that have recently beset our community that our best hope for a bright, peaceful and prosperous future rests with our young people.’
He added that the planting of the pole also reminds residents that the community must come together to sow seeds of peace in homes, on the job, at school and in the wider community.
‘We have to stand up for peace-promoting principles such as cooperating with the police and becoming our brother’s and sister’s keepers,’ Minister Adam said.
‘Let us commit to joining these students in taking a stand for harmony and saying no lawlessness and violence.’
The development agency’s Programme Officer Miriam Foster explained that the students decided to take their own stand for peace after participating in the summer workshop.
‘They watched the movie Freedom Writers during the programme. It was a film about activism for peace and it motivated them to take their own steps to bring about freedom from strife,’ Ms. Foster said.
Inara Myles, one of the students who spearheaded the peace pole planting, said that there are over 200,000 peace poles planted around the world.
‘The pole symbolizes the oneness of humanity and our common wish to have a peaceful world. It reminds us to think, speak and act in the spirit of harmony,’ she said.
Fellow-student Daniel Connolly-Foster said ‘Cayman’s first peace pole has the message ‘may peace prevail on earth’ written in English, Spanish, Taggalo, and Hindi, representing some of the key languages spoken in Cayman.’
The remaining students involved in the project, Ana Olson, Jenna Munruddin and Megan Ebanks read a peace poem they had written and led the audience in the songs Send it On and Heal the World.
A video produced by the students as part of the summer film project and entitled Stop Discrimination was also viewed before the unveiling.