Organization shares message at China Grove Middle School

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
CHINA GROVE — What can travel to 48 states in four months and cover more than 10,000 miles? Runners with World Harmony Run.
Volunteers from the New York-based nonprofit spoke to a group of sixth-grade students Tuesday at China Grove Middle school.
Founded 24 years ago by Sri Chinmoy, the organization — formerly the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run — seeks to spread positivity, peace and understanding. It is also the world’s longest and largest relay run.
Runners not only travel throughout the United States, but by the end of their trek they will cover a total of 140 countries on seven continents and will have run more than 35,000 miles.
Not all of the runners will run the entire trip, but they will run in increments and others will join in the run along the way.
The group that visited China Grove Middle was made up of runners from the United States as well as Germany, Ukraine and the Czech Republic.
Runners performed skits and the World Harmony Run theme song. Each student was also allowed to touch the torch and “make a wish” before heading back to class.
Kara Steele, an 11-year-old student, said she enjoyed the presentation and thought it was very helpful.
“It teaches people that harmony is good and makes the world a better place,” she said.
Matthew Sloop, also 11, was excited he got to meet someone from the Czech Republic, a country he’s studying in class.
“I love it,” Sloop said.
Aesha Wallace, 11, also liked the program and said she learned about “having peace in your heart.”
“We hope they get some inspiration and be a positive force in the world,” said participant Erik Amrhien.
The group, which is made up of about a dozen participants, began Tuesday’s trip in Raleigh and was to end the day in Charlotte.
The complete U.S. portion of the trip began April 12 in New York and will end August 15 back in New York.
World Harmony Run participants stop in churches, visit historical sites along the way and speak to school children.
“Quite often the best audience is children,” Amrhien said.
World Harmony Run advocates for world peace and inner peace, which Amrhien said “is a means to outer peace,” Amrhien said.
“It’s something we can feel deep within us that can transcend the face of the world,” he said.
World Harmony Run doesn’t seek to raise money or single out any particular cause, Amrhien said, but instead aims to create understanding among people of all nations.
For more information about World Harmony Run, visit .
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.