On Sunday there was peace on Afghanistan. For twenty-four hours, midnight to midnight, the guns ceased on both sides. After urging by international aid agencies, in particular UNICEF and the UN, both the international forces stationed there and the Afghan forces, including the Taliban, agreed to honour one day of peace, in order for charities to reach children in areas which had been unreachable for the previous two years to vaccinate them against polio. But those agencies would never have dreamed a day when all the fighting would stop on both sides was even possible if it wasn't for the efforts of one man: Jeremy Gilley.
Jeremy Gilley set out in 1998 to make a film about peace. His only problem was that there was no peace; not a single day in any year when human beings were not killing one another. So, he decided he would start out by trying to create one day every year on which a worldwide ceasefire would take place, and document his efforts through film. If he was unsuccessful, the film would show how human beings were incapable of peace; if it was a success, then he would have created something incredible. He set the date for this day to be the 21st September every year. Peace One Day
On Sunday night, I saw the Peace One Day concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London. As part of the concert, Gilley's film about the project, 'The Day After Peace', was premiered. The film has been ten years in the making, and now, finally, ten years on, Jeremy Gilley's persistance, charisma and persuasiveness has resulted in something wonderful: on Sunday, for the second year in a row, the guns ceased on both sides in Afghanistan. The film may now be complete, but this is just the beginning for the Peace One Day project.
I know that I am now going to do everything I can to help. If there can be peace across the whole world for just one day, then peace every day is just one step closer. What amazes me is that this is all the result of one man's dedication and tenacity. It really made me think, because ultimately every idea in the world begins with the idea of just one person.
I want to be one of those people.