On 23rd February 2012 Figueira da Foz - the city where I live - will play host to the opening ceremony for the European leg of the World Harmony Run, the world's largest torch relay for peace and international friendship. The international team of the World Harmony Run and local schoolchildren will start the Run, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, at 9 am at Cabo Mondego in Figueira da Foz after releasing white doves and proceed to the official opening ceremony at Centro de Artes e Espectáculos, which begins at 10 am. During the opening ceremony 400 children from 13 schools will perform and an exhibition of paintings for peace from children will be launched.From Figueira da Foz an international team of runners will carry a flaming torch as a symbol of harmony, passing it from hand to hand and heart to heart, eastwards through Coimbra, Viseu, Fornos de Algodes, Pinhel and Almeida. The World Harmony Runners will leave Portugal on February 27th and travel on a 24,000 km journey through 45 European countries to finish in Vienna on 8 October.The run is a non-profit event organized and financed entirely by volunteers inspired by Sri Chinmoy's initiative, which simply strives to encourage goodwill among peoples of all nations. Everyone can participate: athletes and non-athletes, young and old alike. Carry the Torch a few steps, a few blocks or a few miles or just come out and cheer the runners as they pass.
To find out more about the World Harmony Run and the progress of the running teams, visit “Live from the road” at www.worldharmonyrun.org