‘Peace is always beautiful’ – Walt Whitman
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nation’s General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people.
To mark this important day, HI-USA has started the first network-wide effort, Sleep for Peace. In tribute to the UN’s International Day of Peace, HI-USA are allocating $1 of every stay towards their scholarship fund which helps underprivileged youth to experience hostelling for the first time.
As a non-profit organisation, HI-USA’s mission is to promote cultural understanding and this is best fulfilled when as many people as possible can participate in hostelling. The scholarship fund enables young people to stay overnight at a hostel and become a traveller, even if they are still close to home. These are young people from tough backgrounds who have never heard of a hostel or believed that travel was an option for them.
By simply spending the night of 21 September at any of HI-USA’s 50+ hostels, you will directly support this fantastic scholarship fund, as well as doing your part to help promote peace. Some hostels are even hosting additional peace-building activities, so be sure to check at their front desks. HI-USA have a wide selection of great hostels in many amazing locations, make your reservation today!
Hostelling has many benefits but one of its most significant is creating a road map to world peace. As Martin Luther King once said,
‘People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.’
The very nature of hostelling leads to cultural understanding and diminishing of stereotypes, which in turn leads to a more peaceful world.
Each year, travellers from more than 90 different countries visit HI-USA hostels. By sharing a dorm room, cooking meals and sight-seeing together, you meet and befriend people from backgrounds vastly different from your own. While you’re eating, drinking and talking to one another, an amazing thing happens; you realise you’re not all that different. Yes, your food, dress, customs, and even world views may differ, but these attributes are not what define us as human beings. Experiencing this is what changes attitudes and opens minds in a way that you just don’t get from reading a textbook or watching the news. With the scholarship fund, HI-USA are enabling more people to experience this reality.
Small steps can really make a big difference.
As a wise girl once said,
‘How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’
What are you waiting for? If you’re travelling in the USA on Saturday 21, all you have to do is Sleep for Peace. Book your stay today!
Here at HI we would love to know how hostelling has helped you to understand other cultures, please leave your comments below.