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14th Bonn Peace Run: Bonn youth send out signal against hatred

14th Bonn Peace Run : Bonn youth send out signal against hatred

2,000 young school students took part in the 14th Bonn Friedenslauf (Peace Run) on Friday morning. By running laps around the Hofgarten, they raised money for good causes.

With the slogan "Together instead of side by side - living together in diversity" 2,000 young people from 17 schools sent out an impressive signal against war, hatred and harassment at the Bonn Peace Run on Friday morning. Before that, the remarkably motivated children and young people had been looking for private sponsors who would donate a fixed sum of money for each round of their Hofgarten run.

With the proceeds they support projects of the forumZFD (Forum Civil Peace Service) as well as peace education sponsored by the women's network Women for Peace. Even before the run, the pupils had dealt with the topics of peace and understanding, exclusion, xenophobia, human rights, sea rescue, refugees and the causes of fleeing - both in class and in an accompanying educational program. "The donations should benefit our peace work in Israel and Palestine. In Haifa, for example, we run a joint youth center for Israelis and Palestinians," said the coordinators Christoph Bongard and Christine Lieser from forumZFD. A goal that the eight-year-old Yousef likes to support with his participation: "My parents come from Palestine. There should finally be peace in their homeland. Especially for the children." Class mate Mattheo could only agree.

Teacher Isabel Beck participated with 300 children from her inclusive primary school. "I have participated since the first Peace Run," she said, praising the enthusiasm of the children. Elena and Yvonne from the Adelheidis School proudly presented the stamps on their starting numbers. There was one stamp for each of the 700 meter long laps. "It was a lot of fun. For a good cause. We all want that there will never be war again and that all children can live in peace", said the eight-year-olds. Tom and Joelina (both 13) from the Heinrich Böll Secondary School in Bornheim were worried about peacekeeping and thought that new wars were possible: "If you follow the news about the crazy Trump, you might get worried. He's far too aggressive. He's a bully and a rabble-rouser who keeps threatening war. In any case, we want to make a contribution to peace with our participation."

Father Andreas Bethmann could understand the fear of the young people: "You have to worry. There is a lot going on internationally. Too many populists rattling their sabers."

The drama teacher Heike Werntgen and KiKa (children's television) host FUG led through a multi-faceted stage program. The children of the Jahn School sang a peace song and those of the Erich-Kästner-School performed an Indian dance, which thematized the protection of the earth.

30 security personnel made sure that the 14th run went smoothly. One of them was Christian Düx. "I want to help with this good cause. We should also focus on inner peace. Today there is far too little respect and too much aggression. The tolerance necessary for our diverse society is sometimes a challenge. But if you get engaged, it can be an enrichment," said the 71-year-old.

Orig. text: Hans-Peter Brodüffel

Translation: ck