“Travel has become one of the great forces for peace and understanding in our time. As people move through the world and learn to know each other, to understand each other’s customs and to appreciate the qualities of the individuals of each nation, we are building a level of international understanding which can sharply improve the atmosphere for world peace”. – John F. Kennedy
To travel is to learn about people from around the globe. You learn what makes them tick, what makes them happy or uncomfortable, what makes them laugh or cry, what makes then go “ohhh” and “awwhhh”. Learning such things is vital to understanding the people we share this little blue ball with and that understanding makes us all more aware of the innate desire for peace within people. In the end, we all just want to get along!
Sleep for Peace is a worldwide initiative of Hostelling International which celebrates the contribution hostelling makes toward international understanding and peace. Hostelling brings people together in dorm rooms, common rooms and open kitchens to build shared experiences and create friendships that span thousands of kilometres and countless years.
Sleep for Peace started with HI-USA in 2013 and quickly became a global campaign. In 2017 alone over 270 hostels in 32 countries took part!
This year Hostelling International are inviting all the participating hostels to take part in a “Peace Postcard Party” on September 21st. Guests will be given a special “Peace Postcard” and be asked to respond to the following statement:
“Travel changes the way we see the world. Describe something you’ve changed your mind about since travelling and meeting new people.”
The postcards will then be collected and send directly to the UN! These postcards are also available online so everyone can take part!
Every participating hostel puts their own spin on Sleep for Peace celebrations and An Óige is no different! This year will see the return of our “Handboards” which help encourage you all to make friends in the common rooms.
We have once again teamed up with our fellow charity GOAL, an international aid charity, to help raise funds for those whose lives have been torn apart by war. Over the last two years our guests have raised €500 through in hostel donations for victims of the conflict in Northern Syria. Donation boxes are up in the following hostels:
- Black Valley Hostel
- Ben Lettery Youth Hostel
- Blue Stack Centre Hostel
- Cashel Holiday Hostel
- Lakeland House
- Sheila’s Hostel
- Dublin International Hostel
- Errigal Hostel
- Glendaloch International Hostel
- Glenmalure Hostel
- Killarney International Hostel
- Knockree Hostel
- Rowan Tree
- Trá Na Rosann Hostel
You can also donate directly to GOAL’s work here.
Sleep for Peace is one of An Óige’s favorite campaigns! One of the most exciting parts of the campaign is hearing about our guests fantastic experiences around Ireland and the world. While the post cards are designed to let the UN know how fantastic hostelling is, there is also a Global Peace survey. This survey is designed to showcase the the views of young people on peace and to make a powerful statement from a global community of travelers.
So keep an eye on An Óige’s facebook, twitter and instagram for more information on Sleep for Peace! Be sure to get involved, either through the survey, postcards, donating to GOAL or just by being nice to someone, and hopefully we can spread a little more peace around the world!
If you want to learn more about how An Óige contributes to global peace just subscribe to our monthly newsletter.