The International Day of Friendship is a UNESCO initiative, which was revived by the United Nations General Assembly in 1997. Established on July 30th, it defines the culture of peace as a collection of values, attitudes and behaviours, which reflect and favor convenience and sharing.
The objectives of this day
The United Nations would like, by establishing this as an international day, to demonstrate the importance of friendship in society and the benefits of comradery regarding mutual co-operation and social security. Friendship is a simple but powerful act of offering a hand to those in our entourage that are outside our immediate circle.
The primary objective of this day is to remind us that friendship between people, counties, cultures and between individuals inspires peace and breaks down the barriers between communities.
The Program of Action on a Culture of Peace is set on 8 areas of action:
- Foster a culture of peace through education;
- Promote sustainable economic and social development;
- Promote respect for all human rights;
- Ensure equality between men and women;
- Foster democratic participation;
- Advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity;
- Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge;
The importance of friendship in personal development
The link between two people can be positive, or can be completely negative. To illustrate this point, Ikea lead a study demonstrating the influence of insults and compliments on plants. The world leader in furniture placed 2 plants, for 30 days, in a school in the Middle East. The plants received the same amounts of water, sunlight and fertilizer. The students were asked to record vocal messages of love and encouragement for 1 of the plants, and record critical, hateful and threatening messages for the other plant. After 30 days of conducting the experiment, the results were impressive. The plant receiving the positive, love-filled messages continued to prosper whereas the plant receiving the negative, hate-fueled messages seemed to struggle and wither. How should the results be interpreted for such as an experiment? If criticism influences the development of a mere plant, it must also have an influence on humans (read: I Did Drugs To Be Loved).
Portage and the support of the therapeutic community
With respect to the help programs aimed at those suffering from drug addiction, Portage believes in the collective strength of a group and mutual co-operation. Regarding the therapeutic community that was put in place in rehabilitation centers, the residents share their day to day with a group of people facing the same challenges. At Portage, respect is the at the heart of all interventions. The therapeutic community approach focuses on the model of the resident’s wellbeing, mutual co-operation and support, which can be used throughout their therapy in order to regain the hope of a happy and productive life.