With the Olympic Games just days away, Catholic aid agency CAFOD is urging young people to pass on the peace.
Pass it On, CAFOD’s Olympics peace campaign is inspired by the 100 days truce that accompanied the Ancient Olympics, formed so that athletes could travel to the Games in safety.
CAFOD has been encouraging its young supporters to take part in an online initiative by uploading video clips and posting personal messages to all those in the world who are not living in peace in 2012.
The focus is on five countries - Uganda, Columbia, Rwanda, the UK and the Philippines - all places where sport is being used to aid peace and reconciliation work.
So far, more than 500 young people have taken part in the online campaign, uploading their video messages to the website, including The Most Reverent Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, Father Christopher Jamison and Olympic champion Jason Gardener, MBE.
Pass it On has also been embraced by CAFOD fundraiser and Olympic torchbearer John McBride who has posted his own message of peace on the site. John has also passed on his own physical symbol of peace, his Olympic torch.
After running his leg of the relay through the streets of County Durham, John flew to Kenya where he presented his torch to children living in Nairobi’s Korogocho Slum.
The 48-year-old, who was nominated as a Torchbearer by CAFOD, ran his leg of the relay in bare feet through Barnard Castle, as a symbol of solidarity with poor youngsters in Korogocho who cannot afford shoes. Every year John completes the Great North Run barefoot to raise money for CAFOD.
John passed on his symbol of peace to St John’s Sports Society, a gym for young people in the slum, which – thanks to CAFOD - is free for those aged under 16.
John said: “In the St John’s Sports Society, the torch will act as a symbol of hope and peace. It will stand there as a reminder to all those young people that their dream of competing in the Olympics is not a distant fairy-tale, but something they can reach out and touch with their own hands.”
To Pass on the Peace, see: http://passiton.cafod.org.uk/