VISIT 9: WPF Rotterdam 21 April 2022
Peace, Sustainability, Fair trade and Care for the earth
Of course Peace, Sustainability and Fair trade go well together, says Roosmarijn Saat, chairwoman of the shopping centre Groene Passage (Green Passage) in the heart of Rotterdam. The world peace flame shines in the main entrance of this green shopping centre, with the sign reading: One flame, uniting people world wide.
It took a lot of effort, says Henriette van Oekel, before we got permission to place the flame here. Henriëtte had seen the WPF monument in Nijmegen and since then she was determined to get a WPF in Rotterdam! Many locations were considered, but ‘the flame decided the right spot’. With persistence and patience of everybody involved the WPF was finally realised in the Groene Passage in 2013.
Meanwhile Henriëtte together with Annemiek started promoting the Peace Education Package at schools. With the result that each year, on the 14th May, schoolchildren recite their peace poems at the Rotterdam Second World War monument. It makes teachers understand that there is a direct connection between commemorating war and working on peace.
World peace is what we need, all three woman fully agree upon. How can we connect different initiatives? For instance to involve Rotterdam as a fair trade community in the annual commemory on the 14th of May. Connecting the WPF and fair trade.
In the very centre of Rotterdam the WPF symbolises the interconnection between people: the flame IS PRESENT here.
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This summer I got the idea to visit all WPF monuments in the Netherlands. I have not seen all yet and I would love to meet the people behind the monuments: they care for the flames and they spread the light through all kind of activities. How are they touched by the wpf? What are they motivated by?
Anke van Keulen