By Stephanie Harel, volunteer with Greenpeace Africa

In addition to the hallmark colour of Greenpeace, 2 additional hues accompanied the Green movement today – a Blue sky and Yellow volunteers. En route to paint our message, I was reminded that colours have significance.

In a world beyond ours, the eternal place where we come from and will return to, knowledge, forgiveness and revelation are attributed to Blue. Yellow has protection, strength and courage as its attributes. Green is the colour of healing, nurturing and compassion.

We trekked to Kempton Park heavily armed with protective, strong and courageous spirits, to represent a healing, nurturing and compassionate movement, under a knowledgeable, forgiving and revealing sky. Armed to the teeth, we painted December 4th 2010 with passionate African strokes of Yellow, Green and Blue.    

As we glided alongside the city, I realised that my thoughts and behaviour are essential ingredients in the recipe for healing the planet – if I am to make any positive contribution to the battle, self-transformation must be my primary commitment. Physically fixing our environment is futile if our minds remain polluted. Treating every human being with dignity is key to spreading the Greenpeace message. Receiving the understanding and increased support of people, which is so necessary for the sustainability of Greenpeace and the planet alike, requires psychological recruitment. Once the mind is engaged, impossible is nothing. Creating a green climate that is conducive to healing, nurturing and compassion is a magnet for the human mind.

Greenpeace faces a tough challenge in Africa – on a continent where the attention of governments remains focused on housing and feeding millions of human beings, where preoccupation is on redressing the wrongs of the past fast, it is unfortunate, yet a fact, that climate change and animal rights occupy a low rung on the priority ladder.

But we chose a democracy, we have chosen to take charge. We have chosen not to leave the power for change solely in the hands of those we elected to run our country. Greenpeace must use its colour as a WMD – a Weapon of Mass Devotion – not only to create climate awareness, but also to attract the human psyche to drive its message across the masses – the masses of human beings without whom the environment remains voiceless.