‘We want to address violence with peace’

Soraya Salie, the founding member of the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, said spreading peace was a solution to violence.

As the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children came to a close, the message from an event at De Waal Park in Oranjezicht on Saturday December 10 was all about spreading peace.

The Peace Festival was organised by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) and Heavenly Culture World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL).

The organisations believe that promoting a culture of peace was the solution to violence against women and children.

Soraya Salie, the founding member of the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, said the event was about promoting and spreading the seeds of peace.

“In Bonteheuwel we are dressed in yellow because we want the entire world to be so bright that it will blind the evil that is happening. We want peace in our time.”

Ms Salie, who is also a member of the IWPG, added that the group had been involved in the 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Childrenn which came to an end on Saturday December 10.

“There is so much violence in the world, especially in Cape Town. We want to address this violence with peace. We are telling our people to let us find that inner peace. Once we find that, it’s easy to get rid of anger and we will achieve world peace.”

Ms Salie said the campaign was also about hope and breaking the silence around domestic violence.

“Speaking is healing and there is always somebody out there who is prepared to listen. Join the Walking Ladies and other clubs because we are a group of women supporting women. We have this opportunity where we can release this anger by just speaking about it.”

Ward 77 councillor Brandon Golding, who spoke at the event on Saturday, said that the message of peace was important.

“It’s great at this time to celebrate peace. It is a peaceful time of year, a time of love, forgiveness and reflection. I am very happy to see people here who are advocating peace. If we want to drive peace it has to be among all people.”

He said peace was about finding commonality and working to earn trust. “It takes work but it feels really good,” added Mr Golding.

Media liaison for the festival, Kevin Jephta, said the event had been a first for the organisation and that the feedback they had received was good and so they were planning another event for next year.

“It was a joyous celebration with the message of peace. It was about bringing people of different cultures together.”