An Invitation to Hear the Voice of the Children and Youth of Wales

On Saturday, May 18 the children and young people of my native Wales continued a tradition begun in 1922 of sending out a message of peace and goodwill to the children and young people of the world. This year’s message was written by a group of children and young people in Wales as a way of responding to the violence in which many children and young people of the world are forced to live. I had the privilege of reading this message as part of the Welsh Program that day in Marwick Place.

Llais – Voice

We have the right not to be harmed, and the right to care and protection.

We have the right to give our opinion and to be listened to.

If there is war, we have the right to be kept safe and to not be forced to be soldiers.

We have the power to raise our voice, and the right to be heard.

Is anybody listening? Is anybody taking action?

Our WEAPON is our voice. A weapon to shout and be heard.

A weapon to protest. A weapon to vote. A weapon to comfort others.

A weapon to express ourselves through the arts. A weapon to help us deal with violence.

A weapon to support those who are suffering.

A weapon to reach out a message of hope, a message of peace and goodwill to the children and young people of the world.

To children and young people suffering because of war – as in Yemen -- We are listening.

To children and young people living in fear of attacks with knives – as in London -- We join with you.

To children and young people standing up for their right to education without the fear of being shot – as in the USA -- We hear you.

To children and young people who are forced to fight in wars instead of receiving an education -- We raise our voice, our weapon.

Violence incites violence, just as love incites love, and laughter incites laughter.

We are the future --The largest youth generation in history. We HAVEN’T forgotten.

The children and young people of Wales stand alongside the children and young people of the world, calling on the world to listen and to act against violence and war.

And to say, ENOUGH.

Our weapon is our VOICE. Come with us, children and young people of the world, and stand with us.

-- Huw Christopher