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"We all have suffered for many years,
 I just cant hold back my tears."

Rebecca Wills, aged 15.

She'll Get Her Way

Our country is tense with weapons around. 
We live in suspense - another bomb found.

The marching season, they call it, 
Seems like a time for retribution and strife. 
Not like the old days, 
What has gone wrong with community life ?

Despite all this - the still fresh scent 
Of sweet hay fills my nostrils. 
Nature is still in control 
And, she'll get her way.

Michelle Clarke, aged 13.
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"Why can't we have peace and let 
the world's choir sing a different tune ? "

Catherine Johnston, aged 13.

To hear the cry of a child for help 
To see them suffer. 
In pain with no hope. 
Crying out for help, 
Crying out for help ! 
Where is the Ray of Hope ?

Nicola Alister, aged 12.

I yearn for peace. 
Why should we fight ? 
On my face one less tear. 
Let me see the light. 
Let's hope for peace. 
It must not fail. 
Thoughts during the day. 
Thoughts at night. 
Not day dreams. 
Not night dreams. 
Just hopes.

Laura Templeton, aged 12.
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My Very Last Day

Now there is happiness because someone seems to mind. 
Peace , we wake up to and in our streets we find, 
More responsible people caring about what they do. 
Looking at one another just as they should. 
I am very selfish for the wish in my heart, 
That this peace continues for my lifetime never part. 
But is this so selfish 'cause if everyone would do the same,
 The peace would never be shattered and never war again.

Anthony Murphy, aged 10.

Its Up to Me and You

No more crying, no more dying, 
Wars in our land are done. 
Peace and happiness rule our world, 
Not the bomb nor the gun.

We talk about peace, 
And teach our children what is right. 
Politicians and governments, 
All they do is fight.

Peace in our lives, 
What can we do? 
Stop this fighting, 
It's up to the and you.

Nicola Toole, aged 10.

Peace or Not ?

Politicians begin talking, 
The long sought after end is in sight. 
At last people feel freedom, 
Safely in their beds at night.

Life resumes a normal guise, 
Exultation fills the air, 
People rebuild shattered lives, 
The sense of peace is there.

A packed conference room, 
A crammed shopping mall, 
Two very different scenarios 
Hold both very much enthralled.

First the light, next the sound 
A vacuum of destruction.

In the conference room a feeling of waste, 
Beleagured politicians dismayed. 
In the shopping mall a splattering of blood 
The innocents' offer of the day.

Tranquility, love and peace 
What could have been before the terrorists' gift 
And while the evil in man survives 
The question remains , "what if ?"

Richard McClean, aged 14.
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'Peace is like a calm sea .gentle without a breeze. 
Where only small ripples of water appear, but it 
still seems so clear.'

Roisin Boyle, aged 13.

"Peace could be the sunny day after the storm 
going walking through the fields"

Olivia Baxter aged 12.

Peace comes from within us.
Evolves with us as we grow.
And brings the nation together. 
Come tell us that you care. 
Everyone welcome.

Hannah Bradley, aged 13.

'Peace is like a dream, silent ant beautiful 
gently caring and so sincere.'

Carmen Bryce. aged 12.

"Eternal peace is what-we are looking joy as 
peaceful as the summer's day. 
Each creature good in its own way."

Amy Breen, aged 12
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Flapping wings 
Clap behind the back 
Of the rising dove. 
Her soaring joy 
Flattens to smooth flight 
While gliding now to view 
The lake, the trees, the green. 
Wind through feathers 
Whispers of hope 
And, stooping to listen, 
She dives towards fluttering leaves. 
A smoking shot Punches from the shoulder 
Of the hidden marksman 
And the warn white dove, 
Stuttering in flight, 
Floats in the ripples 
Of the cold dark pond. 
In peace now she rests, 
Waiting to soar again.

Ronnie Small, Friend of A Ray of Hope.
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Rays Shining on Your Face

A Ray of Hope

Rotating round and round. 
Around the country, orbiting the world. 
You feel the warmth on your Face

Open your eyes and see the future 
Fighting no more

Happiness found 
Observe the world, sadness gone 
Peaceful place 
Eyes on the ray

Julie Lam, aged 13.


Michael Devlin, aged 15.
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No More.. No More.. No More..

No more shouting, 
No more tears, 
No mothers crying, 
For their sons' lost years. 
No more bombing, 
No more fears, 
Peace and tranquility, 
For the foreseeable years. 
No more names, 
Called in hate. 
Begin again, 
With a clean slate. 
No more.. No more.. No more..

Joanne McKee, aged 12.

My Prayers

Every night and day I pray, 
No more the heavy price to pay. 
Keep the children in your arms, 
Safe from injury, safe from harm. 
Lasting peace our hearts plead, 
In every mind love to seed.

Samantha Higginson, aged 10.

The Dove

The bombs did cease and we had peace. 
I'm just a boy who wanted joy. 
I had a dove and I gave it love. 
It shows me freedom when it flies above.

Stephen Clements, aged 10.

On the Way

Peace in our cities, peace in our towns. 
People full of laughter walking up and down. 
Children playing safely in the street never round the corner 
to peek- to sounds of fire brigades in the street. 
A finish to the price to pay - peace is surely on the way.

Derek Smith, aged 10.
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"Now that there a peace. there a hope for the future. 
For every man, woman, child. Creed and Culture.

Sarah Welsh. aged 12.

"The only way to live in peace and find a way to cope- 
is to talk and laugh and love together and give a ray of hope".

Nicola Jenkinson, aged 11.

"We should learn to live together as we journey through this life, we should live peacefully together ending all trouble pain and strife"

Claire Furfey, aged 12.

Many years of pain, 
Little hope of joy, 
What do they hope to gain 
For every girl and boy 
Lets remove the guns and bombs. 
Replace them with love and songs. 
To the future we must think first, 
Remove the terrorist's violent thirst. 
Now all work towards the peace, 
With God's help this war may cease.

Gillian McCullough, aged 13.

After the carnage a lonesome dove flies silently overhead and I think -'Will it ever end?'

Aarin McCullough, aged 13.

Brighter than Before

Peace did make the sun brighter than before, 
it took a lot of work, but happiness it bore, 
But then the troubles started - what did it all gain '? 
Nothing but unhappiness and hope went down the drain.

After lots of talks and discussions, the ceasefire again did come, 
Life will never be the same for the unfortunate suffering some.

Lyndsy Anderson, aged 12.

Peace Here!

Stop this fight bring it to an end 
All rival flags they should descend 
This new day paves a road for peace 
The fight for this land should surely cease 
All - party talks to sort this out ? 
Munitions no longer have their clout. 
The right stand up and have your say, 
"The mending process with no delay !"

Scott Thompson, aged 12.
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When I was Born

When I was born there was nothing but trouble. Bomb scares, checkpoints and lots of noise. Then one day in September they promised they would end it all. It lasted only a few short months. It was so wonderful. We could go anywhere without any fear. Then one day it started again. So much pain, so much trouble. Maybe peace will return to stay.

Stephen McCutcheon, aged 10.

We Need Peace

We need peace, 
We need love, 
We need something to seem like heaven above. 
We don't want fights, 
We don't want war, 
We want peace more and more. 
What can we do ? 
What can we do today ? 
When will it be decided - all the right way? 
We deserve better, 
We deserve it right now. 
The future and peace always seem so far.

Danielle Campbell, aged 10.

Peace of Mind

Quiet, considerate people pass by, 
Beautiful creatures of all kinds released, 
Shiny bright faces and a sunny, blue sky. 
A perfect cliche of Peace.

But look a little closer, 
Think a little deeper; 
Delve deep into your mind, 
Leave childish fantasies behind. 
Wipe away the surface of dreams 
And reveal the purity rarely seen, 
By people who expect the story book peace 
Where all kinds of violence abruptly cease.

Deeper, deeper, deep into the soul, 
Thicker, fuller, making life feel whole. 
Peace of Body, Spirit and Mind 
Peace of the psychological kind. 
But few will find peace of mind 
Few are oblivious of war raging outside.

Which peace do you prefer ? 
Open your mind and sec ! 
I found peace many years ago. 
The year I found me.

Stacey Gregg, aged 14.
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'tout texte est unique, et c'est au même temps la traduction d'un autre ' ....

(Octavio Paz)

Pour les enfants de la Rue.

Bier, sur, vous demandez pardon. 
Chaque jour, tous les jours. 
Pour exister, malagré ... la gratuite de l'air.
Combien il est difficile, n'est-ce- pas ? 
Le temps à vivre, le temps à vertir; 
autours du neant ...lintolérance mise à part. 
Continuez grand même débout, destinémment, 
mes chers enfants de la Rue. Bien, Sûr.

"Every text is unique and it is at the same time 
the translation of another" ....

(Octavio Paz)

For the street children.

Of course, you ask for pardon. 
Each day, every day. 
To exist, in spite of ... the gratuitousness of the air. 
How difficult it is, isn't it ? 
The time to live, the time to move on.
So much of nothing Intolerance put aside.
Continue, all the same, upright, obstinately. 
My dear children of the street. Of course.

Susana Rinaldi, ( UNESCO, Goodwill Ambassador )
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A Tale of Two Schools ..............

At our school we go on trips with another school from Lisburn. Sometimes the children come to our school to listen to stories or see a play and we get on very well together. I get excited as I meet three of my friends from our ballet class. I like going to visit them at their school and I love making new friends. It is nice to be friendly and do things with people from another school.

We go to different churches but we are stiff the best of friends.

Tara Stanley, aged 6.

If Only I Could Have My Say ?

Peace - is it possible ? 
Wars and uprisings come and go. 
For these disasters who is responsible ? 
I wonder will we ever know ?

Pain and suffering is what we know. 
When there's peace will it go ? 
Young or old, they want the same. 
Peace is what they want to gain.

If I could only have a say 
I'd order peace to start today.

Sharon Ken, aged 14.

It is the Dove

The bird flies high, 
Deep in Right. 
It sees below, 
The world's sorry plight.

When bombs and rockets 
Fill the air, 
With a sense of loss, 
It feels despair.

But in the middle 
Of all this mess, 
The bird still manages 
To build its nest.

The people look 
Towards the sky, 
The question to be learnt 
Before more die.

The world is a place 
Now filled with love. 
The bird of peace 
It is the dove.

Charmaine Burke, aged 13.
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We see the sun's powerful rays, 
Especially in the lovely September days. 
They bring such warmth and pleasant times.

But the rays are such we cannot touch. 
It's light we cannot catch. 
Yet its power no light on earth can match.

Rays of sunshine bring hope for life. 
Hope for sunshine in the heart. 
To say we're sorry will ease the pain within.

Hope for me also you, 
May require much forgiveness too.

God asked in his word to go the extra mile. 
Cross over the sectarian ford and win the other's smile.

Naomi Fox, aged 11.
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Why Me?

As I watch the news, 
I hear of yet another death. 
Why me ? I think, Why did I have to be born here ? 
Among the fighting and the bitterness, 
Between two sides, Catholics and Protestants.

Sometimes I wish to myself, 
That the two sides just didn't exist, 
Then there would be no bloodshed. 
Why me ? I think, 
Why can't I walk down the street, 
Without fear 
Just because of my religion ?

Then I think, 
Why should I be ashamed of my religion ? 
So many questions to ask, 
Yet so little answers to satisfy me. 
I have one question to ask. 
Why me ?

Lynsey Robinson, aged 15.
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From Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

I congratulate the Northern Ireland Youth Choir 'A Ray of Hope' on the recognition they were given by UNESCO in the title 'UNESCO Youth Ambassador for the Culture of Peace'.

There is no greater contribution that one can make to peace than to bring communities together to sing.

This is what I am trying to do in schools and generally wherever possible. I applaud your achievements and trust that the goodwill ambassadors, the 'UNESCO Youth Ambassadors for the Culture of Peace', will form a potent and determined voice in the affairs of mankind.

My warmest wishes to you all,
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The foundation stone of peace is understanding, Building with the bricks of tolerance. The window of opportunity is open to all ; Soaring upwards with determination, Roofing out all mistrust and thoughts of vengeance Building each day, Peace by piece.

Victor Currie, Musical Director




The support of our sponsors is much appreciated and acknowledged. Banbridge District Council 
Department of Education for Northern Ireland 
Downpatrick District Council 
Elite Blinds 
Ewart Liddel Limited 
Lisburn Borough Council 
Royal UlsterConstabulary 
South Eastern Education and Library Board 
Southern Education and Library Board
White Gables Hotel

Peace and the democracy and justice it requires are not vain illusions or unobtainable goals. A culture of peace is something lived in the often simple but magnificentgestures of friendship and community we weave every day in our school, in our homes, with our laved ones and especially with those we have not yet been taught to love.


Member Schools Co-ordinating Teachers
Fleming Fulton School 
Largymore Primary School 
St. Colman's Primary School
Assumption Grammar School 
Dromore High School 
Forthill Girls High School 
Grosvenor Grammar School
Juliet Currie 
Victor Currie 
Bob Leonard 
John Lockett 
Don McBurney 
Margaret McCrory 
Rosalind McKee 
Nuala Shaw 
Margaret Storey
Federico Mayor
Belfast. October, 1996.
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