On the 18th of May, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the Welsh youth movement, shares a message of Peace and Goodwill to unite the children of the world.
History of the message
It began in 1922 when the children of Wales wrote the first Message of Peace and Goodwill. Reverend Gwilym Davies, from Cwm Rhymni, shared this first message to the world through Morse code in order to unite children across the globe. The message that year read:
A wish, following drastic losses in WW1, that “there will be no need for any of us, as we grow older, to show our pride for the country in which we were born by going out to hate and to kill one another”.Message of Peace and Goodwill by Gwilym Davies, 1922
In 1924, the message was broadcast on the BBC World Service for the first time. Today, the message appears in many different languages and reaches all corners of the world by sharing the message online.
Since 1955, the Urdd has been responsible for sharing a new Message of Peace and Goodwill written by the young people of Wales. The message is shared yearly on the 18th of May, which was the date of the first peace conference in the Hague in 1899.
How have the messages changed over time?
Over the years, the Message of Peace and Goodwill has changed based on what young people of Wales feel are important. Previous messages have included the atomic bomb, refugees, poverty, war, violence and global warming.
Today, the Peace and Goodwill message is translated into multiple languages and widely shared across the world, thanks to the help of the internet. It is meant to inspire children and young people to create a world they would love to grow up in.
The 2022 message
2022 is the centenary of the Peace and Goodwill Message, meaning it started 100 years ago!
This year, the message focuses on the theme of the climate emergency. It was created in partnership with Urdd and a group of students from Aberystwyth University.
The message is a call to action by the children and young people of Wales to all other young people across the world, to use their voices to urge governments and large corporations to take urgent action to save our planet.
You can also use the #Heddwch100 on social media to share the Message of Peace and Goodwill and join in the conversation.
Check out some historic images relating to messages of Peace and Goodwill.
Want to do more to help with the climate crisis? Visit TheSprout’s Environment information page.