• World Harmony Run

    World's Largest Torch Relay
    World Harmony Run

  • 1,000,000 Participants

    Across 6 Continents
    1,000,000 Participants

  • Dreaming of a more harmonious world

    100 countries
    Dreaming of Harmony

  • Schools And Kids

    Make a Wish for Peace
    Schools And Kids

  • Sri Chinmoy: World Harmony Run Founder

    World Harmony Run Founder
    Sri Chinmoy

  • Carl Lewis: World Harmony Run Spokesman

    World Harmony Run Spokesman
    Carl Lewis

  • New York, USA

    New York

  • London, Great Britain

    Great Britain

  • Shakhovskaya, Russia


  • Around Australia

    15,000 kms, 100 days
    Around Australia

  • Around Ireland

    14 Days, 1500km
    Around Ireland

  • Wanaka, New Zealand

    New Zealand

  • Arjang, Norway


  • Rekjavik, Iceland


  • Beijing, China


  • Prague, Czech Republic

    Czech Republic

  • Belgrade, Serbia


  • Lake Biwa, Japan

    Lake Biwa

  • Kapsait, Ethiopia


  • Pangkor Island, Malaysia

    Pangkor Island

  • Bali, Indonesia


  • The All Blacks, New Zealand

    The All Blacks
    New Zealand

South Africa 22 October: Soweto - Johannesburg

The day begins as usual with the jangle of alarms at 4.15. A bowl of porridge on the balcony looking out over the tree-covered hills of Johannesburg helps to start the morning.

The sun casts a yellow haze over the Jacaranda trees as the Harmony Run Team heads off in the ever-reliable VW van for the first school of the day.

Team members seem sleepy – but the first lighting of the harmony torch, the fluttering of flags, the sound of running shoes on tarmac will fire them up.

Mouyisa Makhala Primary

One of the great symbolic landmarks of Soweto is the Hector Pieterson Memorial – a memorial to the school child killed on this spot in demonstrations in the 1970s. And across the road – Mouyisa Makhala Primary.

Here the students wait for us, seated in neat rows, in the shade of several trees.

We all admire the teachers here –their obvious concern for and dedication to their pupils, and their enthusiastic support of the World Harmony Run.

All the children touch the torch and make a wish for peace and world harmony. Girls recite poems, Desmond from Zimbabwe reads us his poem on friendship.

We run out of the school onto the dusty, rubble-strewn streets of Soweto buoyed up with hope for a harmonious future growing here with these children and their teachers.

There is a chant, with rhythmic clapping, that we hear at this school, and again as the day progresses from hundreds of children’s voices:

“Thank you (clap clap clap clap)
Very much (clap clap clap clap)
Well done (clap clap clap clap)
Keep it up (clap clap clap clap)

So they encourage us. So we feel in the depths of our hearts for them.

Shomang Primary School

The ceremony at this school begins with a long prayer that all five or six hundred pupils recite, eyes closed, standing in the dusty area between the rows of simple brick classrooms. Ondrej from the Czech Republic leads the Harmony Run presentation.

The team, despite the expert leadership of Chris from New Zealand, is diffident about its singing ability. Shomang Primary however is enthusiastic about the team’s singing of the World Harmony Song – “Let’s give them a ten and a half!” cries the teacher followed by 10 rousing claps from the entire school. We discover from a student afterwards that ten and a half is the highest possible rate of approval!

After a photo of the staff with the harmony torch, which the head teacher insists upon being taken, he sends the team on its way – “Keep running, keep running! Close the gap!”

And so we run on out of Soweto.

Note: The Day of the African Child is celebrated on June 16 in recognition of the day when, in 1976, thousands of black school children in Soweto, South Africa, took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot; and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than 100 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured.  (http://www.unicef.org/media/media_40005.html)

Mayfair Convent School

At Mayfair Convent the Harmony Run team is enlarged by the arrival of two girls from the Johannesburg Sri Chinmoy Centre – Vimla and Alice.

The team are happy to offer the message of harmony and the large number of students and teachers are happy to receive it. As the torch is past from hand to hand the whole school joins in singing exuberant and boisterous Christian songs.

Unfortunately the team must press on to the next school and must decline the headmistress’s offer of morning tea, though they are happy to accept some cold drinks to take with them – the day is turning hot beneath the African sun.


Bophelo Impilo School

By the time we arrive at the school the team is running late and some hitch in organisation sees the children on a break when we arrive. Somehow everyone seems to gather and Ondrej leads us through an abbreviated and spontaneous ceremony that seems to capture the essence of what the run is about. The headmaster in particular in his brief words shows a fine appreciation and understanding of the Harmony Run.


Fordsburg Primary

Is it possible that the fine organisation of the South African World Harmony Run backed with the best satellite technology could still leave the team lost in the back streets of Johanesburg travelling in random circles in an attempt to make it to the next school? Surely not!

Eventually the team made it to Fordsburg Primary.

Here Chris and Adhirata lead our ceremony before a large crowd of children who enthusiastically joined with their headmaster at the conclusion in loudly asserting to their Harmony Run ‘comrades’ – “We support the Harmony Run”.


E P Baumann School

One enthusiastic student told us after the ceremony at this school that E P Baumann School is the best school in South Africa. Perhaps he is right. Certainly the school received the Harmony Run enthusiastically with song and afterwards in running on the school field.

Day three of the Southern Africa World Harmony Run - a day of sun and smiles. A day of Harmony.

– Barney

Distance: 20 km

Team Members:
Alice Martin (South Africa), Vimla Moonsamy (South Africa), Balarka Robinson (South Africa), Ondrej Vesely (Czech Republic), John Marshall (New Zealand), Barney McBryde (New Zealand), Chris Daly (New Zealand), Richard Pedley (UK), Steve Polykarpou (RSA/Cyprus), Shree Chirkoot (RSA / India), Leon Subramoney (South Africa), Robert Senovsky (Czech Republic)

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