Once again this year we received many outstanding entries for the Peace Day contest.  We chose the following winners and runner ups.  These four au pairs have all won an Amazon gift card.

Art – Winner

German au pair Lena S. in Marcene Sherilla’s New York cluster.

Runner Up

Runner Up: Michelle L. from Germany in Jan Peedin’s Maryland cluster.


Essay – Winner

This year French au pair Emmanuelle G. in Virginia Costigan’s Chicago cluster was the winner with her essay:

Where Peace is Found

On a morning of tense stillness,
As every day has to be won,
Gazing at dawn, small and clueless,
Humans wondered where Peace had gone.

Like a story, never yet heard,
Echos of hope still to be found,
They seeked the calmness of this word
From upper space to underground.

But why was Peace, oh, why was Peace so hard to spot ?

Peace is never found in ink,
Men in a suit shed on a page,
Far from the sounds of ships that sink,
Of careless bombs that roar and rage.

Peace isn’t there when a wall falls,
And neither when another’s built,
Nor when a man answers the calls
In the name of freedom, without guilt.

They tried and searched in a country,
Where everyone slept safe and sound,
Blind to their neighbors’ agony,
Whose land is but a battleground.

But why was Peace, oh, why was Peace so hard to reach ?

Peace does start when a child feels love,
When they are heard instead of tamed.
Peace starts with ”you’re one I’m proud of ”!
Respected, seen, but never blamed.

So maybe one day, it will cease,
Those children able to take part,
No more warriors fighting for Peace,
but healers of the human heart.


Essay – Runner Up

Camila M. from El Salvador  in Marcene Sherilla’s New York cluster was chosen as the runner up with her peace poem:

What Remains in the Ashes of the Past?

I was afraid the other night
It came to my mind, with no reason, tons of things
Some of them were things that already had happened,
Others, things that were happening
And others even worse, were things that probably could happen…

And then, the outside commentaries about those events
– “There is nothing to worry about” people say
– “From now on you will always be safe” they say
– “You are surrounded by good people” they claim

I don’t want to judge; I won’t be the judge!
But a war hit me… So, how can I trust them?

They have told me that the war is like a strong bomb
That we don’t want to talk about
Or being nearby
They told me that it hits, destroys and left behind just dust and ashes

That’s why I can just imagine the war as the worst scenario;
After that, my family appears in the picture
My friends,
My neighborhood,
My country,
My world!
Everything was there when bad things knocked at the door
And enter, without permission

Some of them are still here others are not,
But at the end of the worse, the ones that were left, reborn
They grabbed the dust, the ashes and the remaining rubbles
And they built again.

They built something big enough to not be broken easily
Something that is bonded, with the stickiest glue
And every bond makes it stronger
Something powerful.

Sometimes they lose faith again, when the things seem wrong
And they even say that the new generations are lost
That the events in the past will remain in the future, but

YES! I was hit by the war
And I can tell that it was bad,
But I’m still alive and I have reasons to live
I have lost things that still hurt me when I think too much about them
But I found light inside the thunders

I wanted to be the change,
Since the moment I heard about the war, indeed
I AM! … I am the big, strong and powerful thing that others built from the ashes
And I will make the change
Inside me is the anger and the loss
But also, in me is the strength to feel happy and love
The last has more value

I was afraid that night …
And my mind…my mind was as always tricking me,
making me think about everything and nothing
Then, my mom knocked my door and said “Good night, peace”
And the fear became dream and the dream became love