SINT MAARTEN (SOUTH REWARD) - On February 16th, members of the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset gathered at the MAC High School and the St. Maarten Vocational Training School (SMVTS) to paint peace murals in efforts to promote peace among the youths.
One of Rotary’s key area of focus involves promoting peace and the month of February is recognized as Rotary’s Peace and Conflict Resolution month, where Rotary clubs worldwide initiate projects centered around the ideal of Peace.
Given the recent uproar surrounding at-risk youth in our community involved in criminal acts and violence in the schools, the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset felt a sense of urgency to address the issue head on. The motive behind the painting of the peace mural is that it would serve as a daily inspiration to the students, faculty and staff and a reminder on the importance of exhibiting peace.
The peace murals portray a “Peace Dove” along with the quote, “Remember That Peace Starts with You”. Other inspirational words such as; Respect, Honesty, Love as well as the Rotary International 2018/2019 theme, “Be The Inspiration” were included in the peace mural at the SMVTS. The concept and design of both peace murals was done by member of the club, Rotarian Jade Maccow with the assistance of prospective member Jeffrey Baxter.
“The painting of the peace murals could not have come at a more opportune time. Although we are facing many challenges with our youth, criticizing them is not the solution. As revolutionary leader and former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, once said ‘No one is born hating another. People learn how to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.’ Likewise, we need to focus our attention on instilling the right values in our youth, which in my opinion is the only way we can achieve change,” President Jaida Nisbett said.
The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset is committed to positively impacting our youth and intends paint similar peace murals in the other schools on both sides of the island. A heartfelt thank you is extended to the school management for the opportunity to execute our vision of the peace murals.