St Patrick’s Day, one of the biggest annual celebrations in the world, is a great opportunity to raise money and awareness for a worthwhile cause: a world free from the fear of violence
The Shamrock is a friendly and widely accepted symbol of Ireland. In Irish mythology it is associated with St Patrick and the conversion of Ireland from a warlike violent society to the Island of Saints and Scholars, an era that lasted for many centuries, providing a beacon of light in Europe’s Dark Ages. The cause resonates strongly with the Irish and their friends around the world. We know from our recent experience that with hard work it is possible to build peace and remove violence as a serious threat.
In the international arena, as a neutral ‘honest-broker’ with an excellent reputation in international affairs including peace-keeping, Ireland is well placed to make a positive contribution to peace and the reduction of violence.
A global Shamrock Appeal has great potential to raise funds for this cause. Funds raised will be distributed through a Charitable Foundation to support practical peace-building initiatives, in Ireland and around the world.
An example of just such an initiative is a project that successfully reduced gang violence in Haiti. Concern Worldwide and the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation used experience gained in Ireland to work directly with gang members, resulting in a dramatic drop in violence. In addition to the direct benefit of reducing violence, the success allowed further investment in poverty reduction.
In addition to money, the appeal would raise awareness and send a message of hope that we can eliminate the scourge of violence in our world.