Author: Susie

Home learning resources – Human Rights

From lockdown, our fabulous volunteer Janna König is researching and sharing some home learning tips and resources on global issues

Primary School

Would you like to learn about Children’s Rights?

  • Here you can see how other people explain Children’s Rights.
  • Are you interested in how people live around the world, and what their dreams are? Have a look at Dollar Street to find stories about many people living on this planet.
  • Try to find similarities between your home and the home of someone out there, with an adult and share your findings around you. Ask a friend to do the same and compare your findings on the phone or video call or by writing him or her a letter.
  • Create some artwork (drawing, story with images, poem, or any ideas you have) to show your view on Human Rights and what they mean to you.

Secondary school and College

There are some free online courses on several Human Right topics. Maybe take a course along with a friend or someone from your home would want to do it as well? No need to be in the same house or even country!

As you learn, think about what you can do with your new knowledge – from learning more and sharing your knowledge to doing a project or bringing awareness to your school or college.

These courses are made for three to seven weeks with one to six hours a week.

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Some staff on ‘furlough’ during COVID19 outbreak

The Covid-19 outbreak is an unprecedented global challenge. At the WCIA as a result of Covid-19, we have had to stop most of our activity including school activities, public events and venue hire. Therefore, we have decided to furlough many of the team until the current situation passes, initially until 1 June 2020. A skeleton team will remain in post to run some online activities and communications, run ongoing projects, look after our current international exchange volunteers, and to take care of the organisation and its finances.

For our furloughed staff, we intend to ‘top up’ their salaries for as long as we can so they do not receive a pay cut at this difficult time.

We’ll also keep on gathering and sharing global perspectives about this pandemic. Chief Executive, Susie Ventris-Field, will be the main point of contact during this time (centre@wcia.org.uk).

Susie said: “We are facing a huge challenge locally, nationally and globally and we are determined to keep sharing perspectives and impacts from around the world to encourage people to come together, and show global solidarity and support.
“I’d like to give a huge thank you to the team for being incredibly supportive, flexible and resilient during this time.
“I welcome anyone to get in touch if they have any concerns or questions, although I ask for a little patience regarding responses as I join many of the population in balancing work with homeschool.”
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Sudan Protests

The world had been firstly encouraged by the sign of peaceful protesters in Khartoum calling for the end of the dictatorial regime of Omar Al-Bashir in Sudan which resulted in the president’s resignation and a Transitional Military Council taking control. The iconic image of the revolution was a woman, dressed in white to signify peace, standing on a car roof addressing the crowds. The unleashing of excessive violence on peaceful protestors on 3 June by so called Janjaweed militia (Rapid Support Forces), resulting in an estimated 200 deaths and many more injured, has caused outrage and the African Union has suspended Sudan. The political situation in Sudan is further complicated by Middle East tensions and the fact that Saudi Arabia wants to keep Sudanese troops fighting in the war in Yemen (Africa Confidential 14 June).

Peaceful protests against the 30 year dictatorship have often met with violence. Since Dec 2018 protesters have occupied parts of central Khartoum calling for a return to civilian rule. The medical profession has been particularly targeted by authorities because they report the injuries and the types of weapon used. Medical staff have been beaten in hospitals, dragged out and detained, even killed. Recently hospitals have reported the use of rape as a weapon. There are also reports of bodies of protesters being dumped in the Nile to disguise the true number of deaths. The use of the dreaded Janjaweed, infamous for the atrocities they committed on civilians in Darfur Province, is a tactic to spread terror and traumatise the protesters.

Fergal Keane reported for the BBC on the aftermath of the attacks on protestors. He writes “Sudan has been driven backwards by the conspiracy of a military elite whose priority is the survival of their power and privilege.” Freedom of expression has also been curtailed by the closing down of the internet in Sudan since 3 June. Despite this, reports have reached outside Sudan and inside people continue to mobilise. Young people in Cardiff staged a dramatic protest in Queen Street, walking while covered in fake blood. The Sudanese community in Wales called for solidarity with a global protest on 30 June against the silence surrounding the events in Sudan. 30 June is the 30th anniversary of Omar al-Bashir seizing power.

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Aphrael’s volunteer experience

Skills building with WCIA

Volunteer Aphrael with Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language shaking a bucket for Cyclone Idai

From the 8th February to the 7th May, I carried out work experience as a website editor for the WCIA. Initially I believed this work experience would only consist of adding new posts to their website (something I was already looking forward to as I was very excited to learn how to do this) and perhaps I would write some blog pieces of my own. I did indeed do both of these activities (you can see a blog post I wrote here), however, there was so much more to this placement that really sparked my interest.

On my first day, Susie (the Chief Executive) asked me what aspects of international affairs I might be interested in, in hopes of tailoring my work experience to suit me. I explained how I was interested in policy work and she took it on board really well. I carried out work such as reading Welsh Government documents; I once did this to help Susie create a policy piece on a ‘Globally responsible Wales’. I also got to visit the Welsh Assembly to sit in a Human Rights cross party group, and I listened in on a meeting which focused on how the new Welsh curriculum could help created better global citizens. All of these experiences have allowed me to enhance my experience in the political and social policy area. This is something that is very useful as I wish to go into the political sphere as a career, this work experience has given me so much that I know will be useful in helping me achieve this goal.

I also helped out at events during my time doing work experience which was such a brilliant opportunity. As someone who finds it difficult putting herself out there, this was a huge confidence boost (especially when you get the opportunity to talk to Welsh Ministers which I was very lucky to do.) One such event I helped out at was ‘Wales in a Post-Brexit World’. At the start of the event I marked everyone in to ensure those who had a ticket received a seat (the event was quite popular!). During the event I wrote notes so that an article could be created the next day on what people had said and what was discussed. At the end of the evening I helped collect donations for Mozambique who suffered massively due to Cyclone Idai by standing with a fundraising bucket at the door as people were leaving to go home. This was all a first for me as I have never felt comfortable helping out at events, however, everyone at the WCIA were great at making the event fun rather than stressful as I always feared events would be!

I always felt like I could ask for help if I was uncertain about a task as no-one looked down at you for being unsure. They would instantly explain what was required which made the whole work experience process much more enjoyable as I felt like I was constantly progressing and gaining new skills.
I feel like I have gained so many skills from this work experience. From website editing to communicating with others, the list was endless. I think one of the skills I will take away with me as the most useful however, was learning how to effectively problem solve. As much as I knew people were around to help me, sometimes solving the problem through experimenting was more useful as it helped me to not only think outside the box a bit and it also meant that I gained better awareness of what each part of the website was useful for.

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Is Universal Health Care Sustainable?

“It depends what you want,” responded Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners representing over 50,000 GPs, when speaking at the Temple of Peace on 9 April at an event sponsored by WCIA and the Learned Society of Wales as part of a series of lectures celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Professor Stokes-Lampard advocated the value for money in building capacity at primary health care level when it comes to reducing mortality. She used the illustration of a three-legged stool: primary, secondary and social care have to be in balance. Any stress or lack in one part affects the whole system.

The “inverse Care Law,” first coined in 1970s, holds for today: the need for health care is inversely proportionate to the quality provided. That is, poor people need good health care but in general poor quality is provided. Adding market forces to health care provision makes this worse. Prof Stokes Lampard also used illustrations of the type of funding mixes used by different countries because none, not even the NHS, uses public funding alone – all use some kind of top up in the form of fees. The greatest inequalities are in private insurance health care which lead to the denial of health care provision to the most vulnerable.
Linnet Mesuoh, Year 2 medial students described the lecture as “Very interesting and insightful.”

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Fierce final in Schools Debating Championship

Debating

The exciting range of debates at the Wales Schools Debating Championships included feminism, genetically modified babies, the role of social deprivation in causing crime, banning child performers and charging people for treatment for health issues caused by lifestyle choices. Talented students from five schools competed for the individual speaker and the team Championships.

The team competition was won by Dagmawi Yosief and Restam Ehmo Agha from Howells Schools with Sophia Wallo and Gethin Jones from Coleg Menai as runners up. Both teams came through very tough semi- finals in the morning when teams form Cardiff Sixth Form College and Ysgol Dyffyn Aman put up very strong performances.

Arianne Banks, who won the individual speaker competition said, “I have really enjoyed speaking in the Council Chamber at the Temple of Peace. Debating has given me life skills which will be valuable in the future.”

All the participants enjoy the competitive element to this style of debating, although member of the winning team Dag said, “It is stressful and I often think after a competition, that’s my last, and then I come back for more.”

WCIA , with long standing funding support from the Hodge Foundation, has run the competition for many years. The aim is to make these opportunities available to as many schools as possible. Next year’s debating training and competition dates will be available soon.

You can watch the debating final video here

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The Strong Bond of friendship between Wales and Italy will survive Brexit

By WCIA Volunteer Morgane Dirion

Highlighting the “long friendship” and “strong bond” between Wales and Italy, Deputy Presiding Officer Ann Jones introduced Raffaele Trombetta, Italian ambassador to the UK. the event, on 11th February 2019 at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, was hosted by the Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University.

Initially, addressing Brexit and Italy, Trombetta said “it is time and it is important that people know more” about Italy, such as the thousands of innovative start-ups flourishing there or its competitive machinery industry.

After explaining what a “significant contribution to Welsh life” the Italian community had brought, he moved to the main point of his speech. He explained that the negotiation phase of Brexit, so far, had had no effect on the bilateral trade between the two countries. He said it was important to respect the decision made in June 2016 but that, however, he was and would always be a “committed member” of a united Europe and that anything that potentially has a negative effect on trade would be of concern. He clearly said that the worst scenario we could be faced with today was a no-deal Brexit.

Trombetta also answered dozens of questions from his audience – a mix of concerned UK and Italian citizens and Politics students. Questions included: his perception of Wales; the meaning of a no-deal Brexit for Italy; concerns about dual citizenship or the benefits of the European Union for disadvantaged people.

He made sure to emphasize once again the importance of Italian projects in Wales and the need to find new ways to keep building the relationship between the two countries.
Trombetta said that he wished there was no talk about a post-Brexit Europe but as it was something that, in today’s political climate, cannot be avoided, he stressed the importance of the Union as an architect of peace. The next European elections will be decisive, he admitted. These elections will not be some kind of test of national governments but a true chance to focus on the structure of Europe, to allow a constructive debate about the very nature of the Union and to try to take a position on deeper integration or a looser union.

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You are welcome!

By WCIA Volunteer, Teresa Morandini

“You are all welcome,” said Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, at the Holocaust Memorial event, “Torn from Home” at the Temple of Peace Cardiff on 28 January 2019.
The event, organised by the Josef Herman Foundation and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, reflected on the loss of a safe place due to persecution and genocide, and the need for a place of refuge.

Eluned Morgan added: “People generally want to stay at home. If they have fled from somewhere it will be a for a good reason.” To feel welcome everyone needs to be helped to integrate.
Celebrating the artist, Josef Herman is important because of both the welcome he found and the contribution he made in sharing Welsh life with the world though his art: “Only someone from the outside could help us to understand who we are”.

Josef Herman was born in 1911 into a Jewish family in Warsaw, where he attended the School of Art. However, after 1938, Josef was forced to abandon Poland to escape anti-Semitism. In 1942 Herman was working in Glasgow when he learned through the Red Cross that his entire family had perished in the Warsaw Ghetto. In 1944, while he was travelling in Wales, Herman’s art was influenced by a visit to Ystradgynlais, a South Wales mining town, which turned into an 11-year stay. In a short time, he turned to a familiar face in the community who gave him the affectionate nickname of “Joe Bach”. He found “home far from home”.

Since Herman’s time, Ystradgynlais has been a place of sanctuary. It was one of the first places to accept Syrian refugees. The evening saw the screening of three short films supported by the Josef Herman Foundation , to link the past and the present. The animations were made though a collaboration between local schools in Ystradgynlais, Syrian a refugee family, the actor, Michael Sheen, The Welfare, Ystradgynlais, Ffilm Cymru and the Cardiff based animation company Winding Snake. The audience also heard personal stories from refugees, who are now living in Wales.

Joseff, an asylum seeker and now Welsh speaker from Côte d’Ivoire, said: “Learning Welsh has been helpful to feel part of the community, to meet other people and, most importantly, to feel welcomed”. His entire speech was in Welsh, which earned him a huge round of applause. Joseff, who is in his 40s, encouraged other refugees look at Wales as a new home, a new start free from violence and persecution. Gareth Morgan, spoke enthusiastically about how a local Cardiff football team in Tongwynlais has found, not only success on the field, but also new, life-enhancing friendships since inviting a group of asylum seekers to join their team. Other asylum seekers and refugees also shared their stories of difficulties with the asylum system, of discrimination at times, but also of welcome as they settled in Wales. Finally, cellist, Rosie Biss, played a moving Bach solo as the audience reflected on the stories told and how Wales is working towards becoming a Nation of Sanctuary.

Members of the audience agreed that the short films presented should be played to the wider public, to encourage the knowledge about the asylum seekers’ situation and Josef Herman’s story.
Ffion, journalism student at the Cardiff University, said the event was very inspiring. “I learnt new perspectives and personal stories. Now I am wondering about what I can do in the future”.

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#Temple80 – A month celebrating Wales’ Peacemakers and movements

Through November 2018, the Welsh Centre for International Affairs organised an ambitious programme of events to mark the 80th Anniversary of the opening of Wales’ Temple of Peace on Nov 23rd 1938, as well as #WW100 – the centenary of the Armistice of 11th Nov 1918, and beginning of the post-WW1 “Peace Process” that shaped global relations over the century since.

WCIA delivered over 43 events with a wide range of partners, each exploring an area of Wales’ ‘Peace Heritage’, and the work of Temple organisations past, present and future – as well as showcasing through the Wales for Peace Exhibition the work of volunteers and communities who have contributed to the Wales for Peace programme between 2014-18. This blog aims to draw together links and resources from all these activities, as they become available.

Voices of 1938 – Clippings Projection

Voices of Temple80 – Film

Temple80 November Programme of Events (scroll down for recordings / outputs)

View full programme of events – English; Welsh; Eventbrite

View Temple80 Exhibition Guide – English; Welsh

Listen to ‘Assemble’, composed for Temple80 / WW100 by Iffy Iwobi and Jon Berry

Temple80 Anniversary Evening

Centrepiece of Temple80 was the Gala evening on 23rd November, attended by about 230 people and including:

Self-Guided Tours of the Temple of Peace, and Temple80 / Wales for Peace exhibition.

‘A New Mecca’ Performance in partnership with Dr. Emma West, Uni of Birmingham and British Academy; Being Human Festival; Gentle Radical Arts Collective; and 50 volunteers and participants from diverse community groups. View ‘A New Mecca for today’ Being Human Festival blog by Dr Emma West.

– Communal Rededication of the Hall of Nations (back to its original 1938 title, as discovered from the archives)

– Food, Drink and Fireworks

– Launch of ‘Voices of Temple80’ Documentary Film by Tracy Pallant / Amy Peckham / Valley & Vale Community Arts

– WCIA VIPs Reception and alumni reunion, with Cutting of a ‘Rainbow Cake’

Peace Garden 30th Anniversary

On Saturday 24th, this was followed by a #PeaceGarden30 Rededication and Family Fun Day, in which WCIA brought together UNA Exchange international volunteers and alumni and Garden of Peace Founder Robert Davies, with children from Roath Park Primary School

Together they unveiled 2 new colourful mosaics (created by international volunteers) on a new archway entrance in the Peace Garden; buried a Time Capsule in the Garden, to be opened in 50 years time; and unveiled a plaque on one of WCIA’s meeting rooms in honour of Robert Davies, and all international youth volunteers inspired by him from 1973 to today.

#Temple80 ‘Wales for Peace’ Exhibition

The Exhibition accompanying Temple80 sought to draw together the story of the Temple, with Wales’ peace heritage of the last 100 years – including hidden histories gathered by community groups and volunteers 2014-18 – along with responses from young people, schools and artists.

View Temple80 Exhibition Guide – English; Welsh

Artists in Residence showcased a range of responses for visitors to delve deeper into the Temple’s stories:

  • Jon Berry, Temple80 Artist in Residence composed a series of musical installations responding to the Temple spaces & heritage; and also collaborated with musician Iffy Iwobi to produce and perform ‘Assemble’, a 8 minute musical tribute for the BME Remembrance Service.
  • Ness Owen, collection of 5 poems responding to heritage materials in exhibition;
  • Will Salter, ‘Guiding Hand’ alternative tour of the Temple encouraging deeper spatial appreciation;
  • Hazel Elstone, crafted multicoloured wreath of red, white, black and purple Remembrance poppies
  • Lee Karen Stow, with her ‘Women War & Peace’ photography display;
  • Tracy Pallant & Amy Peckham, with their community films including Temple80 Rap by BME artist Jon Chase.

Recordings / Outputs from Temple80 Events

Event Photo(s) Video(s) Audio(s)
Exhibition – throughout November Flickr Album;

Building the Exhibition

Self-Guided Tour with Craig Owen
Exhibition Launch and ‘Temple of Memories’ Round Table Flickr Album FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – ‘Temple of Memories’
BAME Remembrance Service, 2nd Nov Flickr Album ASSEMBLE – by Iffy Iwobi & Jon Berry
International Development, 5th Nov
Schools Conference, 6TH Nov Flickr Album
War, Peace & the Environment, 6th Nov Article
Temple Tours Exhibition Walkthrough
Turning the Pages – every day through Nov Soldiers Stories FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – Turning of the Pages Thoughts from the Crypt
Story of the Book of Remembrance, 9th Nov Flickr Album FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – Story of the Book 1 and 2 Story of the Book of Remembrance
Armistice Day Services, 11th Nov Flickr Album
Campaigning for Change, 13th Nov FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – CAMPAIGNING FOR CHANGE Campaigning for Change
Refugees & Sanctuary, 16th Nov FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – REFUGEES & SANCTUARY
Peace Education, 20th Nov FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCAST – PEACE EDUCATION
Legacy of WW100, 21st Nov Flickr Album Legacy of WW100 Audio
Women War & Peace, 22nd Nov FACEBOOK LIVE – LEE STOW WOMEN WAR & PEACE

FACEBOOK LIVE – WELSH WOMEN & PEACE

FACEBOOK LIVE – 1980S ANTI NUCLEAR CAMPAIGNERS

Women War & Peace x 6
Peace Garden Rededication & Family Fun Day, 24th Nov Flickr Album Peace Garden Rededication + Robert Davies

Media Coverage

A New Mecca for Today? Being Human Festival Blog by Dr. Emma West, British Academy

‘We Will Remember Them’ – BBC Documentary by Huw Edwards (Temple of Peace features in about 5 minutes of content, with Dr Emma West and Dr Alison Fell)

How Wales’ most Tragic Mother spread Peace and Hope – Western Mail / Wales Online

Cardiff’s Temple of Peace opens its doors to celebrate 80th birthday – University of Birmingham article

War Mothers as Peace Builders – University of Birmingham

Remembrance Weekend at Temple of Peace – The Cardiffian

Temple of Peace turns 80 – The Cardiffian

Social Media Archives

Twitter Feed & Media: https://twitter.com/walesforpeace?lang=en

Youtube Videos Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0G2l7QV_yPDU4RHB8hEEPg?view_as=subscriber

Soundcloud Event Recordings: https://soundcloud.com/walesforpeace

Flickr Photo Albums: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129767871@N03/albums

People’s Collection Wales archive collections: https://www.peoplescollection.wales/user/8498/author/8498/content_type/collection/sort/date

Facebook Community Page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/walesforpeace/posts

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The WCIA pays tribute to former Chair Gareth Price

gareth price

Former Chair of the WCIA, Gareth Price, has died aged 78. Gareth was Chair of the WCIA from 2008-2012 and, prior to that, a trustee for many years.Gareth Price

Current Vice-Chair of the WCIA, Daniel Davies, said: “Gareth was a tremendous Chair of the WCIA. He steered the organisation through a difficult period with his characteristic calm authority, and helped to bring about some important changes, the fruits of which we are seeing today. Gareth brought his passion for internationalism to the WCIA, developed through his work at the Thomson Foundation helping to train journalists around the world. He was immensely liked and respected by Trustees and staff alike.”

Gareth Price was educated in Aberaeron, Ceredigion, and at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, before becoming an assistant lecturer at Queen’s University. He joined the BBC in 1964, going on to become the BBC Wales Controller. He left the BBC in 1990 to become the Director of the Thompson Foundation, an organisation that raises the standards of journalism and communication around the world.

Current Chief Executive of the WCIA, Susie Ventris-Field, said: “The WCIA’s strong position today is in part a legacy of Gareth’s leadership. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this difficult time.”

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