Preface by the Director General of UNESCO to "The Ray of Hope Poetry Anthology"

Dear "Ray of Hope" Poets,

Poetry is an exercise in bending language to express and transmit emotions, to create new meanings, a new sense of beauty and wonder. Each poet who has contributed to this volume shares with the reader the searing reality of experiencing senseless violence day in day out without surrending to cynicism or despair. Particularly for the children who write in these pages,for whom the immediate environment is practically all they have seen of life, we must applaud the act of faith which permits them to "see beyond" to the potential reality of peace.

They have accomplished two things which give poetry its unique power: the imaginative use of language to report on what it feels like to live with hatred and violence- - what I call "leaning in"- - and the mobilization of language to transcend inhumanity in the search of peace, or "leaning out". Here often in the same short poem, we have all the darkness and anguish that some adults can visit on children sharply contrasting with the luminous ray of hope that these boys and girls have found within themselves thanks to their parents and teachers.

When the world learns - - all of us - - that "the other" is also us, that Belfast is also our hometown, that those who suffer near or far are only episodically on television, but are permanently in our hearts, then UNESCO's goal of creating the "moral solidarity of mankind" in pursuit of peace will be within our grasp. The passion of these poems takes us in that direction. They cry out for another way to solve our differences, one based on the democratic principles of justice for each individual, respect for all communities, minority or majority, and the freedom to speak out, even forcefully, while foreswearing force and violence.

With the approaching Christmas season, so dear to Protestants and Catholics, can we not celebrate together the birth of one who saw in the vision of children the "ray of hope" that could guide us to peace.

1, personally, and all of us at UNESCO thank you for this splendid anthology and wish you a peaceful 1997.

Federico Mayor

20 December 1996




In Northern Ireland the path of peace has proved difficult, but hopes remain high that that ultimate goal can be achieved. In the growing clamour for peace, adults in our society have expressed their yearnings in a number of ways that often have touched us all.

In this poetry anthology it is the turn of our children. All of the entries express a wish for a better future, a desire to turn away from the darker aspects of our past. It is right that the children should have this, their own forum. They are expressing their feelings in a naturally engaging and guideless fashion that is at once challenging and obvious. It is a form of expression that we as adults may have lost, but perhaps could do well to emulate. There is much for us all to reflect on in these lines.

All of the entries are thought-provoking, and some are very impressive indeed. I commend them not only for their intrinsic poetic value, but also for the sentiments they espouse.

MICHAEL ANCRAM Minister for Education Northern Ireland


P regress

' f find the great thing in this world is not so nutch where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.'

O.W. Holmes

E loquence

' It is the heap that makes men eloquent.'


A spiration ' No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.'


C reate

' It is better to create than be (earned. Creating is the true essence of fife.'


E quality ' As men we are all equal'

Publius Syrus

Are you complaining About the strong surge of feeling ? Tor that we want The bravery of those who do not accept Merely !he visible.

Calm is submission, Depression, Death.

Life is in the whirl rW'here the wind lashes And each ceflshakes And believes In the impossible.

Only rebels Are beacons For the change 'That the human condition Demands.

Federico Mayor Director General U'N'ESCO

there is a spark in every heart, A Ray of Hope that fire to start.'

Sarah Ferguson. aged 12.

Peace is being relaxed. Peace is silence. Peace is Christmas. Peace is giving gifts. Peace is sitting around the dinner table. Peace is decorating the Christmas Tree. Peace is family reunions. Peace is going on holidays. Peace is getting exam results !!

Jennifer Collins, aged 17.

Please don't come near my front door. My mummy isn't well and we want to live without annoying anybody."

Samuel Gibson, aged 9.

Not a Crime

Peace in our time surely not a crime. Not always possible because of greed. Let's all join hands together and promise that we'll never Hurt each other anymore and evil thoughts cast out the door.

Danielle Morgan, aged 10.

Spoiling Our Day

I like it when it is peaceful - when we go out to play. We do not have to worry that a bomb might spoil our day. There are no awful road blocks with traffic in a queue. I wish that it could stay like this - peace for me and you.

Darren Bustard, aged 10.

I Long .................

f long for the day my mum and dad talk about the long times of peace. No bombs to maim and kill. No guns to bring fear - noone to bring tears. I want to live in peace, I don't want to hurt or be hurt. I love this life, my life. I long..................

David Atkinson, aged 10.


I peer through the corner of my window, Afraid to be seen overhead, The fiery flames roar like lions Turning the sky a blood red.

Another car cremated.

I revel in fear as Stones are thrown like raging bees, Bottles are broken, Smashed, Just like our community, That's our life.

As dawn draws near, All grows slowly still. And once again I have a ray of hope, That peace can be made with strong will.

Amanda Clarke, aged 13.

A narrow beam of light Comes into my mind each day. That we'll all join together as one, Harmony and union, I pray.

Sonya Bigg, aged 13.

Why wait ? Why pray ? Why fight ? Why stay ? Children so small. Not knowing. No reason. No understanding. Love me. Love me not. Love me. Love me not. Hate blown away like pollen in the wind. The world blossoms in a new dawn.

From an idea by Gillian Withers, aged 14.

I looked out of the window onto a lime green tree, And suddenly a little thought appeared to me. I began to wonder about the wars being fought, How it shouldn't be this way, then another thought. Peace is a funny word for which I have much hope, I've decided how this crazy world just has to cope. There would be no arguments if I could have my way. Peace would really, really be made to stay. I looked out of the window onto a lime green tree. And suddenly a little thought appeared to me.

Carol Faulkner, aged 14.


Sitting on the dew- filled grass, Letting all my worries pass. Dreaming of a world at peace, Hoping that it's not just on lease.

Janine Forster, aged 12.

As I think back over the past few years, I realize my thoughts, feelings and fears. Immense terror all around. The blood of victims stains the ground.

Andrea Smyth, aged 15.

Peace in our Province

Our country needs and wants peace reconciliation and respect. Our country needs and wants prosperity. We are just ordinary people, just straight forward people.

Sarah Louise Shields, aged 12.

"Peace for me isgoing up a mountain with my Dad ant having no one to bother us.'

Stuart Magill, aged 14.

The pale men come with their strange ways. Like a pack of hungry wolves, They devour and destroy the land.

Every part of the earth is sacred to me, From the dark misty woods, To the shimmering sea. How can we buy and sell our heritage ?

Every tree and rock has its name, Every waterfall and rapid - impossible to tame. We dream and hope to wipe out the agony. Our ray of hope. The morning sun streams through the trees.

Sheryl Carlisle, aged 13.

Dusty wind blows across the dead city. Where nothing is to be found, But a pile of squalid waste, That covers the area around.

The city was dead quiet, Nothing dared to be spoken.

Are the people hibernating underground ?

Amy To, aged 14.

Please Miss,

Mark's pen has leaked in his pocket! Tell Francis to move his walking sticks ! George's computer is not working ! Kieran's electric wheelchair has stopped ! Why is Paula's hearing aid making such a funny noise ? Teresa's 'speech talker' is saying naughty words !


The teacher screams.


A head that's needing peace. A teacher needing peace. A school needing peace. A town needing peace. A country needing peace. A world crying for peace.

Class S4, aged 16 / 17.


Peace is for a perfect world - in which we all should live. is for enlarging - people's love to give. is for attitude - trying to look ahead.

CC` is for concentrating - to make peace attend. is for everyone - to be involved with us.

Our 9 c9 A (C E at last to hold - and in our brother trust. Joshua Stanley, aged 10.

"Happiness, joy, pleasure, security. All we need is a little less violence, and a little more peace.'

Lindsay Watson, aged 12.

What Peace Means to Me

Peace means to me Tranquility No hatred No fighting No murders No bombs.

Peace means to me Quietness To be on my own No disturbances To be with nature Silence Silence Silence.

Sinead Brannigan,aged 12.

Just Peace

Peace is the silence you hear in the morning. Peace is being contented with each other. Peace could be a walk through the woods. Peace could be sitting on a rock listening to the music. Peace could be the countryside with the animals and NATURE Peace could be sitting down watching the world go by. Peace is a fight free zone. It is silence, friendliness and love.

Bronagh Curran, aged

Peace within Sadness

Peace in the world, Or within my heart, it can be a peace of mind, Never to part.

Peace filled with fear, With the lost love so dear, And my heart filled with sorrow, Longing for tomorrow.

Peace in my heart, Knowing we must part. Tears in my eyes, As I say my goodbyes.

Peace is what the minister says, As he told us we all must go some day.

Nicola Megarry, aged 14.

'Peace to me is the choir singing.

Sean O'Neill, aged 9.

"Peace is my forever wish."

Kathy Cooke, aged 11.

"How can we possibly cope without a ray of hope ?"

Elke Zwahlea, aged 12.

Why not work together ? Why not make new friends ? Why not care for children ? For our future years.

Emma Moore, aged 13.

For What ?

What was the point ? Was there a meaning ? How can we tell ? You have destroyed so much, Taken away so much, Beyond the point of no return. What you have risked, To fulfil a desire ? Made a tremendous void in lives. What was the point ?

Sandra McKibben, aged 16.

Star over Ireland

Precious in God's Sight

The peace in this world is very fragile today. When the peace is broken, the innocent pay. People don't think before they go to war, But others outside will ask - what is all this for ?

The time is gone when we walked hand in hand, When we could have walked anywhere in this land. But even in our own land we don't seem to agree, And the pictures and news broadcast for all to see.

A verse of a hymn springs now to mind, It tells of people of not just one kind, And says red and yellow , black and white, They are all precious in God's sight.

by Linda Magill

There is a star that's gleaming over Ireland. It's shining down from heaven up above. I see its light on city streets and villages, And on the hills and valleys that we love. Then as I watch the beauty overwhelmed. The lakes and rivers - golden curving shore I pray that men within their hearts will soften And that the days of strife will be no more.

As I survey this island bathed in beauty, The silver light and coming of the dawn, I know our youth can bring about renewal, And that a time of love and peace will soon be born. Across the globe our people have been scattered, But in their hearts the island is still home. Now to these shores each year they are returning To visit friends and families they yearn to come.

As thousands from across the sea are drawn here, To see again this green and lovely land, So let us join with them in love and friendship And all the world go forward hand in hand. And now we pray as season follows season, That love unites our people near and far. 'Thus we may gain anew our strength and courage From the bright light and joyous message of the star.

Rosemary Williamson, Friend of A Ray of Hope.


What is war ? War is Powerful, Raging, Violent.

What is peace ? Peace is Fragile, Gentle, Quiet.

Louise Coll, aged 13.

' l live in a small viffage. Two years ago we had an experience that shocked the whole village. 'this stays in my memory.'

Catherine Canavan, aged 13.

"The workman shall go, to his word without hate. The child will collect flowers at thegate.'

Ruth Curran, aged 12.

A Ray of Hope is like a light, Shining through the clouds. Showing us that there can be peace And many friends around.

The light is like a candle, Shining in the dark, Showing us a pathway, To peace in all our hearts.

If only we could see the light, There might be peace at last. Together we could make it work, And forget about the past.

Cassandra Gardiner, aged 14.

It would be nice to have peace here, Where people can laugh and cheer.

Didn't God say we were sister and brother, For all of us to love one another.

Bill Clinton and Hilary went to Belfast Square, All my brothers and sisters and I were there.

Leanne Campbell, aged 13.

This is our Hope

A country divided, a country at war with itself. With nothing to gain but everything to lose. The conflict persists.

Another day passes, and with another death dies sanity, Suffocated by the air of hatred and despair That engulfs our country.

Yet through the darkness appears the ray of hope. Individuals prepared to fight for justice and peace. Their only weapon love.

Like the dove of peace flying over the sea of tumult, So our belief is the hope for the future, And the end to the past.

A country united, a country at peace with itself, With nothing to lose and everything to gain, This is our hope.

Christine Mahood, aged 18.


Peace is so important to us, We need it desperately. We have to stop this fighting, In our country. O why can't we just stop, And give it all a rest. Then everything would be perfect, And everything at its best. We've seen enough of bombing, And people killed each day. Our country is so beautiful, And that's the way it should stay.

Aaron Hanna, aged 10.

Give Peace a Chance

Give peace a chance that's what they say. Living with our countrymen - day by day. No more murders or bombs that go bang, But give us hope on which we can hang, Both sides together without a fight. Politicians together in an agreed site. Freedom to walk on the streets at night, Happy care free days that are always bright. O how we long for these days to return, Violence doesn't work is the lesson we learn.

Christopher Me Neill, aged 10.

Accomplish it Today

The green fields of this fair land, Have become places of war, And no one can remember, The peace there was before.

Violence and corruption, Have become part of daily life, And each individual has learned, To live a life of strife.

But now there is a glimmer, A tiny, ray of hope, Something that will help us, All to really cope.

Harmony is what we dream of, And it seems so far away, But if we work together, We can accomplish it today.

Lynsey English, aged 13.

'Peace is (ilk a river that flows through the heart. We have to crave thus special gift, it's graces to impart.'

Blagheen Casement, aged 12.

Let's Work Together

Peace is freedom But free from what ? From all the war From all of that.

Change the world, Forget the riot. Bring the peace, Peace and quiet.

What can we do ? What can we say ? To stop all the war, To take it away.

Born into fighting, Not into peace. Years of turmoil, When will it cease

No one wants this, We all feel the same. Let's work together, And find peace again.

Sonya Jones, aged 14

Peace in Creation

Time didn't begin and never will end It's seen many things come and go, Time holds the secrets of many years past But the earth holds the secrets of woe. Whether created by a spirit called God Or evolved from the salt of the earth, Whatever it was that created man I've no doubt to a monster gave birth.

We began as primitive cavemen The hunters that couldn't be stopped, From simple spears we made of flint We worked our way to the top. At the peak of the great hierarchy The most civilised of the earth, We wanted power, got greed - then warfare As we strived to prove our worth.

Divided by so many elements We just couldn't see eye to eye Be it origin race or religion Solved by firework displays in the sky. You may stand in Northern Ireland With a flag in either hand Red white and blue, green white and gold The colours that split this land.

You may stand in Yugoslavia Yet another different kind Amongst Moslems, Serbs and Croats With a guard on either side.


As you flick on the television Before the images meet your eyes, You know what you'll see is destruction But what everyone's asking is why ?

A black man standing in England To many a painful sight It's easy to pick him out in the crowd The black face among the white. A Catholic from the Short Strand Won't come down the Shankill Road A Protestant walking up the Falls Potential suicide mode.

We've discussed the past and the present Destruction is plain to see But what is the hope for the future ? Our world in union, together we'll be. So much out there, like time there's no end But we've still got the chance to redeem We can be the stars of that uncharted land Where peace isn't only a dream.

As I glance across the mountains The horizon is topped with sun But this beauty is marred by the silhouette Of a man holding out a gun. As I lie in Northern Ireland In a field on a summer's day The quiet's disturbed by the boom of a bomb Whose fault is it this time WIT or 'RA.

As I stand in Yugoslavia I think you can guess the scene, Of a country shattered to pieces Is peace a forgotten has-been ?

But there's one Ray of Hope for the future A candle to light our way The good shall destroy the evil And peace will be here to stay. A last Ray of Hope for creation Lies in people created of good, They're often the ones who have suffered the most The ones in forgiving mood.

I used to think that peace was this A relief of physical pain The dawning of day on a stark dark night The rainbow after the rain. Peace doesn't begin universally Not even on earth does it start, I know where peace must really begin, It has to begin in your heart.

Lara Davidson , aged 14.

A Meadow Filled with Golden Corn

A dove soaring high in the sky, With the wind whispering through its feathers. This is what peace is.

A meadow filled with golden corn, Bowing to each other in the gentle breeze. This is what peace is.

A swan gliding on the deep, still, waters, Its graceful head serene. This is what peace is.

Stillness and quiet. No noise except the contented breathing as you drift off to sleep. This is what peace is. This is what peace is.

Kerry Armstrong, aged 13.

4 New Tomorrow is Corning

Peace is here, 1 hope it will last. Let old memories Be a thing of the past. Bringing together the joy of peace Smiling faces in the street. Children playing side by side, Without fear and nothing to hide. A ray of sunshine peeping through, A whole new tomorrow is coming too.

Michelle Simpson. aged 11.

"14'e re all looking for a Ray of Ape to bring as a(( together again.'

Tara Miller, aged 11.

Peace all around the world. Every colour, race and creed. Allow one another to have their belief. Cease the violence, hatred and rage. Erase the bad memories.

Claire Walker, aged 13.

Life without Hope

Full of despair, full of fear. I huddle in my shelter and shed a tear.

Those screams of pain they haunt my head, Like a long strange nightmare I had in bed. Back then I knew they were images of afar world unknown, But now reality has taken over, by God I feel alone.

I wish there was somebody out there who could answer my prayers of hope, But I know they have vanished long ago how long can I cope. The shelter is cold and unwelcoming - it matches by pessimistic mood, The water supplies are dwindling and there's a perishing store of food.

I guess I should be grateful being one of the surviving ones,

I've come through the great explosion wondering what's next to come. Are there others out there somewhere ? confused thoughts within my head. I can but always remember the past and know you're never better off dead.

Jessica Bell, aged 14.

Let's Free the White Doves

Don't destroy my dreams, My hopes and my future. Let's free the white doves

For everyone's sake.

We want peace, And - we want it now. But without your help The question is how ?

Filled with dread, Filled with sorrow. Please make it stop, Please now - not tomorrow.

Peace is what we want, Why can't they see ? Don't they want it too ? Why can't it be ?

Peace in our time, "

Was once what was said. They thought it divine Let's not be misled.

Let's free the white cloves For everyone's sale.

Sarah Boyles, aged 14.

Set Me Free

I am alone with my thoughts, Longing for someone in whom I can confide. Daily, as I look out the closed window, I wish for freedom. To once again live along with nature, - There, on the outside.

Especially at springtime when it's so beautiful, Flowers of pretty colours growing everywhere. To feel a gentle breeze against my face, And the warm sunshine, As soothing scents fill the air.

I want so dearly to breathe that air, To look up into the heavens clear and blue. To listen to the song of the birds in the trees, Then watch them fly away, Drifting like a feather on the breeze.

I hope from deep down within my soul, That these things I will know again, And they may not fade to just memories, Confined in my head.

I pray that someday, I will be a prisoner no more. No longer condemned by a yellow star. In my mind I know that my spirit shall rise, And break these chains that weigh so heavily on my heart.

I trust in God that I shall one day taste freedom, So bitter sweet. But I often wonder, When it's over, How many of my friends will still be there For me to greet ?

Michelle Brown, aged 16.

I walk through the dark damp streets not sure where to go. The people running up and down - look at you as if they know. Bottles and glasses shatter and litter the street. Bitter angry stares from the people I meet. There's a riot tonight - a fight between two sides. I don't want to be involved but I've nowhere to hide. They say religion and Ireland is what its all about. But I think it's just an excuse for them to scream and shout. It goes on through the night in the cold and tortured air, Nobody stops and thinks - nobody seems to care. In the morning sadness has fallen over the street. Like a mist from the grey sky.

Michelle Bell, aged 14.

People do not like war, they Enjoy life being quiet and peaceful find being able to (Create life and see it grow in front of their Eyes.

Claire Winnington, aged 13.

"Let the Love in peace fly freely Let the flower of peace bloom fruitfully.'

Tracey Gill, aged 13. 53

Unknown Infant

Hard did the East Wind blow Through the dismal deserted street. Deep with frozen packed snow, Cutting through the child - blue its feet.

A bundle of rags on a young boy Crouched in a door alone. Abandoned by Mother and Father, unwanted joy Chilled through, thro' to the smallest bone.

Church bells rang clearly overhead. Snowflakes slowly downward did drift. Children stirred - sought the stocking on the bed. Pulled out Christmas gift after gift.

Except one young child - none for one boy. Only Nature's cold elements came. None thought of some small toy Some gift for him - none felt shame.

Stay! he is not forgotten now. His cold body shows less colour. He kneels - his head doth bow. His face pained, a terrible palor.

Little hands - firmly clasped Blue lifeless lips - a prayer uttered, 'Oh Lord Jesus,' a little voice gasped, Why have you forgotten me'.'" he stuttered.

'done heard the answer that came Down from the I leavens - along with the snow; None heard the voice call his name. The voice that reached down below.

When others, their hands slid heat Afore large blazing logs. small body was found on the street Frozen - rigid - discovered by dogs.

A ;mall boy died - it is no dream. Do not turn your head to hide the shame; I lis face was happy and serene. Yours - does it contort and blush with pain.

Look inwardly - seek the truth, Are you above the humane element Think then - remember that youth Race not along the road - hell bent.

Geraldine Tigchclaar, Principal Teacher.

The town is dying, Despair, Dishonesty, Death and dilemma, Dancing bullets and smoke filled ruins.

People running, Helping the wounded, Leaving the dead. No smiles now. Only tears.

Shocked, Scared, Afraid.

Only hope remains.

Christine Ewart, aged 13.

A ray of hope beams onto me, Peace on earth for eternity ? All fighting ceased,

Tears wiped away.

Bouquets of flowers stacked high on the streets, Each flower is for sympathy, as loved ones weep.

Kelly Hagen, aged 13.

"'We all have suffered for many years T just cant hold backmy 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.

'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.

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. 1 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 trial]. Two very different scenarios field 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.

'Peace is like a calm sea .gentle without a breeze. II sere only small ripples of water appear, (rid it .sf ill seems so clear.'

Roisin Boyle, aged 13.

'Teat a round be tire sunny day after the storm going walking through the fields

Olivia Baxter aced 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 gentry caring and so sincere.'

Cannen Brvce. aced 12.

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

Amy Breen, aged 12

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.

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.

Yan Lee, 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, hi 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 comer 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.

"A0 70 that there a peace. there a hope /Or the future are. -for event, man. woman, , hi [d. Creed and it

Sarah Welsh. aged 12.

"The only way to live in prate and )m4 a way to ropers to talk and laugh and lo, ,e together r an give a rail ( f hope'.

Nicola Jenkinson, aged 1 I.

"We should learn to line together as Fur journey through this (ye) File should live peacefully together ending all trouble pain and strife"

Claire Furfey, aged 12.

Many years of pain, Little hope orjoy, 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.

57 fter the carnage a lonesome (love fries silently overhead and l think -'Wiffiteverend?'

Aarin McCullough, aged 1:3.

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 art end All rival flags they should descend ['his new day paves a road for peace 'Me 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.

'Now that there is peace, there is hope for the future. For every man, woman, chili!. Creed and Culture'.

Sarah Welsh, aged 12.

"The only way to five in peace and find a way to copeis to talk and laugh and love together andgive a ray of hope'.

Nicola Jenkinson, aged 11.

'We should (earn to five together as we journey through this life, we should five peacefully together ending off trouble pain and strife'.

Claire Furfey, aged 12.

Many years of pain, Little hope or joy, What do they hope to gain For every girl and boy ? Let's 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 clove flies silently overhead arid l thinly- '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.

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. 'Me 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.

'tout texte est unique, et c est au meme temps (a era<Cuctian dun autre ' ....

Pour les enfants de (a Rue.

Bier, sur, vows demanedez pardon. Chaque jour, tous les jours. Pour exister, malagre ... (agratuite de Pair. Combien if est difficile, nest-c, pas ? (e temps a Mine, (e temps a vertir; autours du neant ...(intolerance mice 'apart. Continuez grand me" me debout, destinemment, mes chers enfants de (a Rue. Bier, Sur.

Octavio Paz)

"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 )

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.

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.

From Lord Yehudi Menuhin.


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.

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,

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

Member Schools Fleming Fulton School Largymore PrimarySchool St. Colman's Primary School Assumption §rammarSchool Dromore Yfigh School Forthill §irls'7fighSchool Grosvenor GrammarSchoof

Co-ordinating Teachers Juliet Currie Victor Currie Bob Leonard John Lockett Don McBurney Margaret McCrory Rosalind McKee Kuala Shaw Margaret Storey

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.

Federico Mayor
86 Belfast. October, 1996.