🗞 Peacemakers: Who makes your world a better place?

Famous people who stop wars are “peace heroes” – but we all know people who bring peace into our daily lives.

Do you know a “peace hero”? You probably do, but maybe you haven’t realised it before.

Now, you might think that to be a hero for peace you have to do something really big, like stop a war perhaps. Or help millions of people have a better life?

There’s a day coming up in September, the International Day of Peace, when we celebrate people who help bring peace to the world.

Peace Prize winners

Can you think of people like that?

You might have heard of Nelson Mandela, who got black and white South Africans to live together peacefully after years of violence.

Or Mother Teresa, who helped poor children and sick people in India.

Or perhaps you read in WoW! about Malala. She spoke up for girls to be able to go to school in Pakistan when bullies said girls shouldn’t get an education.

All those people have won the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s the most famous award for people who do big things for other people, to make the world a better place.

Nelson Mandela; Mother Teresa; Malala Yousafzai; Nobel Peace Prize
Everyday peacemakers

But on the International Day of Peace, on September 21, we can also think about people who do good on a much smaller scale.

That’s the view of another person we’ve met in WoW! recently. Can you think who?

Well, do you remember Jane Goodall? She’s the scientist we wrote about in April, who said we should take better care of Nature. As well as being a scientist, Jane is also a Peace Messenger for the United Nations – the club for the world’s governments.

As a Messenger of Peace, Jane wants people, and especially children, to understand that making peace is something we can all do in our daily lives, at home, at school, in our communities.

Jane has a club for girls and boys called Roots & Shoots. In many countries, they’re preparing events for Peace Day in September.

Jane Goodall speaks as a UN Messenger of Peace. (Spot the toy monkey who goes with her everywhere!)
Get involved!

You can find out if there’s something going on near where you live. In France, for example, Roots & Shoots have an exciting challenge for kids.

They’re asking people to send in the name of someone they know personally who is a Peace Hero – someone who is kind to other people, to other animals, and to all of Nature. They’re going to make giant pictures of these ordinary people and put on a big show in Paris for Peace Day.

Can you think of someone you would nominate?

It could be, say, your sister, who always knows how to calm things down at home when everyone’s getting angry. Or a teacher who is really good at teaching your class about the need to look after other people – and Planet Earth.

The challenge from the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots in France closes on July 15. So if you want to take part, you’ll have to hurry and send your entry to Jane Goodall here.


When we think only of ourselves and getting what we want, we can fight with other people or harm Nature with our selfishness.


The world needs peacemakers – people who think of others and our environment and work to make everyone happier and healthier.

Grown-ups’ follow-up

You can learn more about the International Day of Peace direct from the United Nations here.

Listen to Jane Goodall explain how Roots & Shoots sees Peace Day in this 7-minute video.

And for a more succinct view of her goal of inspiring young people to see how they can change the world for the better, try this…

In the podcast accompanying this article, we talk about this lovely short film by Maylis de Poncins, which illustrates another facet of making peace in daily life. Take a look here at Je suis, donc tu es (I am, so you are)…

Alastair editor of WoW!

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