Hello ! We are Helene and Loeiza, French volunteers at UNA Exchange for this year 2019/2020 thanks to the European Solidarity Corps scheme. On Wednesday 6th November we attended the annual Peace Schools Conference organized by the WCIA -the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.
First things first – What is a Peace School ?
The Peace Schools scheme for Wales promotes action for peace within Welsh primary and secondary schools.
The word “peace” evokes fairness, justice, economic stability, human rights, freedom from fear and all forms of discrimination and inequalities and is of course opposed to violence and war. Introducing children and teenagers to these concepts is extremely beneficial – not only will they learn about peace history and influential peace makers, but they will also learn how to be exemplary citizens and students.
“Peace is always the answer” – Student
“We can all build global solidarity.” – Craig Owen, Head of Wales for Peace at WCIA
As they are given the opportunity to create artworks and reflect on concepts of peace, these change-makers will have a positive influence on their peers and their environment in general.
The goal of the annual Peace Schools Conference is to showcase all the projects the schools taking part in the Peace scheme have implemented, as well as to offering peace workshops led by educators and speakers from various backgrounds and finally award certificates for the schools who completed their level 1 or 2 Peace School status. This year Ysgol Bro Myrddin received the 2019 Wales For Peace Peace School Award !
“Peacemakers are ordinary people who make an extraordinary stance.” – Craig Owen, Head of Wales for Peace at WCIA
As this year’s theme was “Building Peace in Wales and the World”, the three different workshops focused on global issues, such as climate change or inclusive communities and refugees. All the students had then the opportunity to visit the Senedd and ask questions to three Assembly Members (AMs) -John Griffiths AM, Mark Isherwood AM, and Delyth Jewell AM- in relation to the issues they had raised during the workshops. The event was sponsored and supported by the Office of the Presiding Officer, Elin Jones AM, and the Cabinet Secretary for Education in Wales, Kirsty Williams AM, gave an inspirational speech.
“Children are born learners.” – Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education in Wales
All in all, we had a great day learning about all the fantastic peace initiatives led by students, teachers, and educators, and listening to inspirational speeches by peacemakers of all ages and various backgrounds !
You can find more photographs and videos of the day here and here. For more information on the Peace Schools scheme, click here to be redirected to the dedicated page on WCIA’s website !