School Day of Non-violence and Peace is observed in schools worldwide on January 30 to motivate tomorrow’s citizens to find non-violent solutions to conflicts. The day originated in Spain and has spread across the world, reminding us of the teachings of pacifists and advocates of non-violence, including Mahatma Gandhi.
History of School Day of Non-violence and Peace
Llorenç Vidal Vidal, a Spanish poet, educator, and pacifist, felt that schools should be the place where the leaders and citizens of tomorrow are taught about the importance of universal peace and conflict resolution through non-violent means. With this aim in mind, he founded ‘Dia Escolar de la No-violència i la Pau’ or the School Day of Non-violence and Peace on January 30, the death anniversary of the legendary apostle of world peace, Mahatma Gandhi.
Vidal started the day in his hometown of Majorca. He conceptualized the day as a beginning for creating and nurturing an educational ecosystem that facilitates the teachings of non-violence. Over the years, owing largely to his efforts, the day has acquired the status of a pioneering, non-governmental, independent, free, and voluntary initiative to popularize the teachings of “non-violent and pacifying education,” absorbed by educational frameworks across the world.
Today, the day is observed worldwide and is also known by the acronym DENIP, derived from its Spanish name. DENIP is working to create and promote a culture and an ecosystem of education that values non-violence and peace. It propagates universal love over egoism, non-violence over violence, and peace over war.
On this day, schools worldwide organize events and conferences where educators, teachers, and students at all levels are invited to participate and freely discuss how to create a non-violent, peaceful and just society. These engagements advocate providing students with the education to appreciate and promote the importance of peaceful coexistence, tolerance of different points of view, solidarity, and respect for human rights and non-violence.
School Day of Non-violence and Peace timeline
The world's greatest proponent of non-violence falls to an assassin's bullets on January 30.
The Spanish poet, educator, and pacifist Llorenç Vidal Vidal commemorates Gandhi's death anniversary by dedicating the day to propagate non-violent practices in schools.
The Universal Circle of Ambassadors of Peace (Cercle Universel des Ambassadeurs de la Paix), an organization in Europe that honors peace advocates and pacifists, appoints Vidal as an ‘Ambassador of Peace’ for his work towards world peace.
School Day of Non-violence and Peace celebrates 50 years of observance across the globe.
School Day of Non-violence and Peace FAQs
Who founded the School Day of Non-violence and Peace?
Llorenç Vidal Vidal, a Spanish poet, educator, and pacifist, founded the day to create awareness about nurturing an educational ecosystem that advocates non-violence and peace.
Why was January 30 chosen as School Day of Non-violence and Peace?
The School Day of Non-violence and Peace is observed on January 30, the death anniversary of the legendary Mahatma Gandhi, to pay tribute to him and remind the world about his teachings.
Is the day also called International Day of Non-violence?
The International Day of Non-violence is observed on October 2 every year as per the resolution passed by the United Nations in 2007. The date coincides with the birth anniversary of Gandhi.
How To Observe School Day of Non-violence and Peace
Organize a seminar in your local school
Invite a peace activist or a community worker from your local area to address the students in your neighborhood school. They can learn the importance of maintaining peace and solving issues harmoniously.
Have a discussion with a peace activist
Along with a group of friends and acquaintances, meet a peace activist and discuss ways and means to promote harmony in society. Discuss and deliberate on why we see aggression and frustration more than ever before in our daily lives. Try to find peaceful and non-aggressive ways to settle conflicts around you.
Spread the message on the internet
Livestream your events and activities on the day or participate in online sessions and spread the message of non-violence, peace, and harmony on the web.
5 Famous Peace Activists From Across The Globe
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Dr. Ambedkar was a socio-political reformer who shepherded the non-violent movement against the discriminatory caste system in India, which was prevalent through the 1800s and 1900s.
Russell was one of the few people who opposed the First World War by participating in pacifist activities.
Martin Luther King Jr.
King, the most prominent face of the American civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, advanced his struggle for equal rights through non-violence and civil disobedience, following the tenets of Mahatma Gandhi.
Losing her vision and hearing as a child motivated Keller to champion the cause of disability rights throughout her life.
An American political activist, Benjamin, co-founded ‘Code Pink: Women for Peace,’ an independent, non-governmental organization that challenges militarism globally and campaigns to redirect resources from wars to life-affirming activities, such as healthcare and education.
Why School Day of Non-violence and Peace is Important
Teaching children is vital for a non-violent society
In 1931, Mahatma Gandhi remarked in his address at the Royal Teachers' Montessori College in London that "To teach the world to maintain real peace, we have to begin with our children." More than seven decades later, those words ring truer than ever, with society seeing more aggression and frustration. Therefore, it’s crucial that the leaders and citizens of tomorrow know the value of peaceful coexistence.
It's a fantastic way to honor Gandhi
Arguably, the world's greatest apostle of peace was felled on this day, decades ago. Gandhi paid the price for advocating peaceful solutions to conflicts. To prevent any denigration attempts to create a non-violent society, we have to reaffirm his teachings and principles. It's apt that on his death anniversary, we remind young ones that silencing efforts to attain peace need to be thwarted.
We need to nurture more pacifists
There seems to be too much aggression and frustration in societies worldwide, which bursts through periodically through armed conflicts, forceful occupation, and unbridled violence. We have to create more advocates for non-violence so that the world considers peaceful solutions as ‘de facto’ and not as an option. What better way than starting at our schools and laying the foundation for future advocates of world peace?
School Day of Non-violence and Peace dates