We envision a world where all people are equally respected, fully protected and universally realized. Included in this vision is a world where all young people – regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, gender or other differences – are encouraged and empowered to non-violently claim their own rights and serve as advocates for the rights of others.
We believe there are capable young leaders in every global community, who can become catalyst or ‘Agents of Change’. Bringing those leaders together to inspire change is the mission of Global Youth Peace Fest-GYPF.
It is significant that the year 2000 had been designated by the United Nations as the International Year for the Culture of Peace. The euphoria generated during this period and concerns that were expressed also affirmed growing concern over the consumerist culture, dwindling moral values, disregard of human concerns and widespread environmental degradation. At the time various international initiatives were taken to involve youth. It is a fact that youth are not being effectively involved. Mahatma Gandhi who emphasized the importance of youth being given greater roles said that a society which doesn’t ensure youth involvement will have little chance of growth. In keeping with these thoughts, Yuvsatta (Youth for peace)- first organized the World Youth Conference on the theme of ‘Millennium without Violence’ in January, 2000.
This attempt of Yuvsatta (Youth for peace)-to organize an international event was quite successful in which young students from 15 different countries and personalities like Sri R. Venkataraman, former President of India, Prof. BR Nanda, prominent historian and senior Gandhians like Prof. KD Gangrade and Prof. N. Radhakrishnan participated. Gandhi Smriti&DarshanSamiti, New Delhi, India, also published a book on the proceedings of the Conference, which was later released by Prof. Moegiadi, the then Director of UNESCO, New Delhi office. An event of this scale involves lot of networking with stakeholders, logistics management and financial support, which at that time became challenging for Yuvsatta volunteers. As a fall out, they were not able to make such an effort for the next six years.
Lack of resources could not dampen the spirits of Yuvsatta volunteers; they started the concept of ‘Peace-city Chandigarh’ with opening of Peace Clubs in the schools and colleges of the city. Under this campaign, more than 100 “Peace Clubs” were formed in the major educational institutions of the tricity i.e. Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula. Several principals and teachers in-charge of respective schools and colleges are dedicating their time and resources to the task of making these clubs vibrant and result-oriented. Education of the peace volunteers on the positive aspect of nonviolence through constructive activities, discussions, interactions and effective dialogues is the main focus of this initiative.
In 2006, Yuvsatta volunteers once again made an attempt of organizing an international event by inviting 100 young people of India and Pakistan. This was a unique experiment for spreading the message among the youth of warring countries that continuous dialogue and contact is essential for better understanding and removal of misgivings. Next year, in 2007, participants doubled with over 250 young people gathering from both the neighboring countries of India and Pakistan. As they were not willing to be mute witness to their futures being written and unwritten and destroyed by their respective governments. They were not hesitant to be counted as change-makers. These youth leaders decided to spread their small network among the youth of other countries as well, so that man-made barriers can be removed. In later years this effort resulted in participation of young people from many other countries, from around the world.
Progressing well into the latest edition of 14th Global Youth Peace Fest-GYPF 2019, over 250 young people from over 20 countries of the world participated. Now, for the 15th Global Youth Peace Fest-GYPF 2020, the target is to bring together young leaders, change-makers, peace activists and students from over 50 countries together for a better and just world.