Najlaa, humanitarian worker in Jordan – Global Perspectives during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share both the positive and negative stories emerging from the situation. 

Click here to view our Global Perspectives map 

 

Paul Cronin is a former British military officer who spent 20 years leading expeditionary operations in Africa, the Balkans, Middle East and Pacific before resigning his commission and moving into the humanitarian sector in 2012. He reached out to Najlaa who has worked in the humanitarian sector for years to support the unparalleled numbers of Iranian, Palestinian and most recently Syrian refugees who have sought refuge within the Kingdom of Jordan.

Here is Najlaa’s story:

“On the 17th March this year, the government of Jordan declared a state of national emergency through the activation of national defense laws, which was followed on the 20th of March by the setting of a country wide curfew.

Picture by Thomas Siems

“The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have reached absolutely everyone in Jordan, from local communities to the large Palestinian and Syrian refugee populations living in various camps such as Azraq and Zaatari.  The guidance from the government is similar to that in Europe and the result is closure of all but the most essential services, the banning of mass gatherings, in particular all religious services under the guidance of the both the Fatwa Council and the Council of Churches as a preventive measure.

A significant rise in issues such domestic violence, GBV and depression is a huge cause for concern”

“For everyone, staying at home 24/7 is challenging and frustrating, however here a significant rise in issues such domestic violence, GBV and depression is a huge cause for concern and is exacerbated by the widespread lack of essential supplies:  “Those who can, are looking after themselves,” said Ahmad, who fled from the Syrian city of Hama and now lives in Mafraq. “For the many that don’t have enough food, there is very little that can be done.” He added his own household had enough bread for three days, no vegetables but enough sundries to last a month.

“At this point there are no confirmed cases from any of the refugee camps (Azraq, Zaatari, EJC), however the camp populations have undoubtedly been affected by the as a significant number of humanitarian workers have been unable to access the settings since the pandemic was announced, which has resulted in a range of essential activities and services such as protection, GBV, SRHR and education being stopped indefinitely.

“For the many that don’t have enough food, there is very little that can be done”

“To their credit certain organisation are attempting to adapt methodology in order to implement activities remotely, however as these are strictly controlled by the authorities the effects are limited.”




The 1935 Peace Ballot in Wales

By Rob Laker, History Masters Researcher, Swansea University (student placement with WCIA’s ‘Peace Heritage’ programme).

Download Printable PDF Booklet

The 1935 Peace Ballot was a UK wide poll of Britain’s electorate designed to measure the public’s opinions regarding the key debates in international relations at the time. Despite lacking government sponsorship, the Ballot received extraordinary attention across the United Kingdom – nowhere was engagement higher, however, than in Wales, which quickly came to be recognised as a leading light in the cause of internationalism.

1,025,040 people in Wales voted in the Peace Ballot of 1935… 62.3% of eligible registered voters”

Between the wars, a new form of outward-looking patriotism had become an important part of Welsh national identity, as ordinary people worked actively to create a Wales which existed at the centre of the international community. Local branches of the Welsh League of Nations Union were active in every corner of Wales, running cultural events such as ‘Daffodil Days’ – the since forgotten annual custom of selling daffodils in aid of the League – and coordinating networks of local activists. This pride in their nation’s role in the quest for international harmony manifested itself in Welsh responses to the Peace Ballot, producing an overwhelming endorsement for the cause of internationalism.

The UK Ballot

By the end of 1933 it seemed that the international order was unravelling: the World Disarmament Conference had failed to produce results, Germany had withdrawn from the League of Nations, and the organisation had proved itself unable to resolve the Manchuria Crisis.

Internationalists in Britain, however, were anxious that the government remain committed to the League, and so the League of Nations Union set about organising the Peace Ballot in order to demonstrate the British people’s unwavering commitment to internationalism. Between the end of 1934 and the middle of 1935, half a million volunteers canvassed door to door, collecting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses on five key questions:

1)    Should Great Britain remain a member of the League of Nations?

2)    Are you in favour of all-round reduction of armaments by international agreement?

3)    Are you in favour of an all-round abolition of national military and naval aircraft by international agreement?

4)    Should the manufacture and sale of armaments for private profit be prohibited by international agreement?

5)     Do you consider that, if a nation insists on attacking another, the other nations should combine to compel it to stop –

       a) by economic and non-military measures?

       b) if necessary, military measures?

Credit – Northern Friends’ Peace Board, c/o Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) 

Despite being independently conducted, the Ballot – which received 11.6 million responses nationwide – has been described as Britain’s first referendum, and was highly effective in stimulating engagement with the key issues dominating international politics. The poll did not disappoint its organisers, for the result was an emphatic endorsement of internationalist policies from the British public.

  • An astonishing ninety-seven percent of voters felt that Britain should remain in the League
  • while ninety-four percent believed that it should outlaw the arms trade
Read more

WLNU Postbox in the Temple of Peace today.

The Welsh Case

In Wales, the organisation of the Ballot fell solely on the shoulders of the Welsh League of Nations Union (WLNU), a challenge which it took up with great enthusiasm. Vast reserves of internationalist sentiment, which permeated every corner of Welsh society, were an important part of interwar society. To believe in Wales was, in this period of salient hope, to actively pursue the cause of peace, thereby locating the Welsh as a ‘force for good’ at the crux of global anxieties.

Google Map of Communities who organised Daffodil Days between 1925-39, collated by Rob Laker for his feature article on Daffodil Days of the WLNU . Zoom, or click on pins, to find individual communities. Further info on local activism can be gleaned from Welsh League of Nations Union reports (digitised by WCIA on People’s Collection Wales).

Lord David Davies of Llandinam  (painted by Sam Morse Brown:  National Museum of Wales collections)  

As a result, Lord David Davies (who co-founded the Welsh League of Nations Union with Rev Gwilym Davies) was determined that Wales should produce a spectacular result in the Ballot which he viewed as the very ‘essence of democracy’.

Drawing upon a committed network of volunteers across Wales, supplemented by an army of canvassers (paid at the personal expense of Lord Davies), WLNU representatives went door to door in nearly every Welsh town and village collecting responses.

The responses proved to be an affirmation of Wales’ internationalist credentials, as over one million adults voted in the Ballot – which at the time, represented 62.3 percent of the Welsh electorate (24 percent higher than the average across Britain as a whole).

As of 6th June 1935, the top twelve constituencies in Great Britain with the highest percentage turnout were all in Wales, in some of which over eighty percent of the total electorate responded to the ballot (RH).

In a few cases, turnout was particularly spectacular. In Llanerfyl (Montgomeryshire), for instance, all 304 of its adult inhabitants responded to the poll, likely a testament to the zeal of local activists.

Turnout was in fact much higher in villages than in large towns across the board, and despite hosting the headquarters of the Welsh League of Nations Union, Cardiff produced some of the lowest turnouts of the poll.

We can interpret this as evidence that the success of the Ballot in Wales rested not just in the League’s popularity, but in the strength of Welsh community activism. It is highly likely that organisers in villages such as Llanerfyl (Montgomery) and Nantlle (Gwynedd) were able to achieve a 100 percent response rate because they operated in a tight-knit community, allowing them to rally support face-to-face, one neighbour at a time, in a way which proved more difficult in larger cities.

It is worth noting, however, that despite the strategy of going door-to-door in their local communities, activists were still able to obtain phenomenal results from many larger towns. In Port Talbot, for example, 82.8 percent of the town’s 27,000 adults voted.

Viewed in this light, the results of the Ballot are a testament to the strength and scale of the local networks upon which the Welsh League of Nations relied upon for support.

The way in which Welsh people voted also reflects the strength of their commitment to internationalism. In fact, just 1.7 percent of voters in Wales wanted to leave the League – around half the national average – while Welsh voters were consistently more often in favour of disarmament.

Wales had proved itself a ‘special case’. As historians such as Helen McCarthy have noted, the League of Nations Union was the largest ‘League themed’ society of any in Europe and easily enjoyed the most popular support. It is not unreasonable then, in light of the disparity between Wales and the rest of Britain in Ballot responses, to conclude that…

“in 1935 the Welsh ‘were the most ardently internationalist nation in Europe’.”

 

Digitised Wales Peace Ballot Records

This collection draws together leaflets, voting forms, campaigner bulletins, articles and analysis by the Welsh League of Nations Union for the 1935 Peace Ballot - a national canvass of public opinion on Peace in the context of the then-escalating European Arms Race. Although the Peace Ballot was an initiative by the UK League of Nations Union, Wales set out explicitly to 'lead the way' and 'top the polls,' to demonstrate the strength of feeling in favour of peace, 16 years after the end of WW1.

The bulletins gave a detailed breakdown of progress on the Ballot, returns from each county of Wales (with comparisons to England), and analysis / encouragement from key figures in Wales' Peace movements. The bulletins carried motivational 'Opinion Pieces' from leaders of Wales Peace movements, such as Gwilym Davies and David Davies; and in depth analysis of the returns received from constituencies all over Wales

Later bulletins and introduction of 'YMLAEN / ONWARD' newsletter, explore implications of the results for Wales' peace building movements, and impact upon domestic and international political affairs - in particular, the meeting of the 1936 League of Nations in Geneva, which was regarded as a failure on the part of national governments. A poster graphic illustrates the UK-wide results, and Wales' leading place within the polls - with 5 of the top 10 constituency returns being Anglesey, Aberdare, Swansea East, Rhondda West and Merthyr Tydfil.
1935 Peace Ballot – Briefing for Households 1935 Peace Ballot – Canvassers’ Briefing ‘Peace Calls for Plain Answers to Simple Questions’ – 1935 Media Article Bulletin 2, Jan 22 1935 Bulletin 3, Feb 6 1935
Bulletin 4, Mar 9 1935 Bulletin 5, Apr 9 1935 Bulletin 6, June 7 1935 Bulletin 7, Oct 1935: ONWARD YMLAEN / ONWARD Bulletin, May 1936

Outcomes for Britain

The will of the people was unequivocal – Wales and Britain wanted to remain in international circles – what this meant, however, remained open to interpretation.

The organisers of the Ballot presented the result to the prime minister and his cabinet, but it quickly became clear that, due to the binary nature of responses, that the format of the Ballot was a poor vehicle for dictating policy.

‘Remain may have meant remain’, and ‘disarm may have meant disarm’… but the Ballot gave no sense of the scale or manner of which these aims should be pursued.

This left little room for nuance, and instead general opinion was measured without details of its practical implementation. The failure of Ballot organisers to frame the poll’s questions within the myriad complexities of Britain’s international position, made integration of the Ballot’s result into policy making both confusing and impractical – and so the consequences of the Ballot in Britain’s foreign policy are hard to identify.

The Ballot may have failed to significantly influence policy, but the strength of the poll lay in its ability to measure popular opinion. It demonstrated that an overwhelming majority of the population supported Britain’s active involvement in the League of Nations, even if there was no uniform vision of what that involvement should look like.

Across Britain, League of Nations Union branches enjoyed a surge in membership and enthusiasm for the League which, despite the Abyssinia Crisis and the aggression of Hitler, was maintained right up until the outbreak of the Second World War.

UK wide returns against the 5 questions posed by the Peace Ballot.

 

Outcomes for Wales

WLNU Organiser Rev Gwilym Davies

The Welsh League of Nations Union had a very clear idea of what the result should mean for Wales. For Gwilym Davies (Organiser of the WLNU) the result of the Ballot was ‘the vindication of the democratic right of a free people’ and a demonstration of the ‘notable achievements’ of Wales in the cause for world peace.

In a bulletin on the subject of ‘facing the future’, Davies called for the ‘Welsh million’ to be converted into one hundred thousand new members across Wales. While this roughly eight-fold increase failed to materialise itself,

the WLoNU organisation more than doubled in size, reaching 27,545 paid members by 1937 – the highest at any point in the interwar period.

 

For Wales, Gwilym Davies published a Constituency by Constituency Analysis of the 1935 Peace Ballot voting returns – which can be viewed on People’s Collection Wales at: www.peoplescollection.wales/items/1247091

Clearly then, far from being a fleeting spike of interest, the Peace Ballot was the source of revitalisation of Wales’ identity as an international nation.

Furthermore, the setbacks suffered by the League of Nations in the mid and late 1930s – instead of leading to disenchantment – only made people in Wales more determined that the principles they had committed to in the Peace Ballot should be upheld. This wave of enthusiasm for peace through internationalism was carried right through to the outbreak of war in 1939 and beyond, later providing the support structures and the much of the personnel for the creation of the United Nations.

One such example is Gwilym Davies himself, Director and co-founder of the WLNU, who not only became president of the Welsh National Council of the United Nations Association, but is considered to be a key architect in the creation of world education & scientific body UNESCO.

Temple of Peace: Headquarters befitting a ‘Booming’ Movement

One of the most striking and longstanding results of the Peace Ballot in Wales is the Temple of Peace and Health, which was opened in Cardiff in 1938.

Envisioned by Lord Davies as ‘a memorial to those gallant men from all nations who gave their lives in the war that was to end war’, construction of the building was started in 1937 at a time when the organisation was rapidly expanding.

'A New Mecca'

Account from the Opening Ceremony, ‘A New Mecca’, from the Temple of Peace Archives

It was felt that, in light of the precarious international situation, it was more important than ever for Welsh internationalism to have a headquarters which suitably reflected its growing influence. Thus rose the Temple – a bastion of peace, intended to make good the sacrifice of those who fell in the ‘war that was to end war’.

Today the Temple of Peace still stands – an enduring legacy of the Ballot’s success. The organisations it now houses continue to work in the spirit of the Ballot’s organisers, inheriting the desire that Wales should be at the centre of the international community.

The WCIA – Welsh Centre for International Affairs, founded in 1973, is the modern iteration (the ‘grand daughter’, via UNA Wales) of the Welsh League of Nations Union. WCIA continue the work and vision of WLNU, and the million Welsh people who voted in the 1935 Peace Ballot, to build a better, more peaceful world.

WCIA, like their predecessors, believe that Wales is a nation which can create real and lasting change in the wider world. It is for this proud tradition – driven by the dedication and commitment of local people across Wales – that the galvanising effects of the Peace Ballot should be remembered today.

 

Blog article and research by WCIA Research Intern Rob Laker, on placement with Wales for Peace from Swansea University History Dept over Summer 2019 with ongoing research through 2020. Drawing on materials from the National Library of Wales and Temple of Peace Archives; and Annual Reports of the Welsh League of Nations Union 1922-45 on People’s Collection Wales, digitised by WCIA (with support of Swansea doctoral student Stuart Booker) for open access research. Final edit by Craig Owen, Wales for Peace.

Rob Laker, WCIA Archives Intern




Hope, humanitarian expert in Kenya – Global Perspectives during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share both the positive and negative stories emerging from the situation. 

Click here to view our Global Perspectives map 

 

Paul Cronin is a former British military officer who spent 20 years leading expeditionary operations in Africa, the Balkans, Middle East and Pacific before resigning his commission and moving into the humanitarian sector in 2012. He reached out to Hope, a humanitarian  monitoring and evaluation expert who has worked in some of the most difficult countries in Africa on a range of emergency responses. She is currently in Kenya.

As of April 1st, there are a total of 50 confirmed new cases and 1 death reported from Kenya.

This is Hope’s story:

“As in other parts of Africa, Covid-19 is having a huge impact on the lives of Kenyan people.  As the 29th most populated country in the world with a population of 47.6 million people, the potential for the virus to spread is daunting.  Bordered by Somalia, Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenya’s 580,000 square kilometres are divided into 48 semi-autonomous self-governing regions, all of which are dealing with the outbreak in differing ways.

“The main issues so far are a lack of credible information/guidance, and a large huge deficit of essential supplies such as soap and hand sanitizer that are critical to minimise the spread within large rural areas of the country.

“The potential for the virus to spread is daunting”

“Not surprisingly, on the 20th of March the Kenyan Ministry of Health identified community mitumba, vegetable and bazaar markets as potential vectors for the disease.  The advice was for country governments to ensure all such venues were ‘cleaned up and provided with soap and water’, however at this point little has action has been taken other than token efforts to disinfect certain areas which appear designed to appease, rather than stop the spread of Covid-19.

“A recent article in the newspaper ‘Nation’ showcased Ms Monica Mugure, a mitumba seller who said her revenue had gone down drastically. In the article, she said:

‘Usually, by such noon, I would have broken even, but now I barely get half the amount, but we have to persevere because we depend on what we earn here to cater for our daily needs. We must work in order to eat.  I can’t begin to think of a situation where I am forced to close the business because I have many expenses, such as fending for my family, and paying rent and school fees for my children. If we close, I don’t know what will happen, unless the government provides us with food’.

“We depend on what we earn here to cater for our daily needs. We must work in order to eat”

“As the situation worsens, those who are able have begun practising social distancing, however it is almost impossible to self-isolate given that there is so far no financial assistance package for individuals or businesses from the Kenyan government.”

 

 

 

 

Would you like to share your story of the situation/ challenges facing your country?

We are asking anyone willing to share to answer the following questions and send to – centre@wcia.org.uk 

  • What is the situation like in your country?
  • What are some of the main challenges for people?
  • Are there any positive stories coming out of this situation that can be inspiration for others?  



Simon, humanitarian worker in Myanamr – Global Perspectives during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share both the positive and negative stories emerging from the situation. 

Click here to view our Global Perspectives map 

 

Paul Cronin is a former British military officer who spent 20 years leading expeditionary operations in Africa, the Balkans, Middle East and Pacific before resigning his commission and moving into the humanitarian sector in 2012. He reached out to Simonhumanitarian worker who has chosen to remain in country during the pandemic.

Here’s his story:

Water festival Thingyan, Yangon, Myanmar Pic by juls78

“Generally, life has not yet changed dramatically in Myanmar.  As of March 31st, there are 10 official confirmed cases of Covid-19. The government are issuing advice regarding mass gatherings, however among the general public there seems to be a collective delusion over the virus: I have heard a number of widely believed theories as to why the Myanmar believe they are “immune” and how the climate renders the disease defunct – none of these are based on fact and are causing the public to generally ignore warnings.

“There seems to be a collective delusion over the virus”

 

The Buddhist national holiday of ‘Thingyan’  a Water festival (pictured right) which would normally see hundreds of thousands of citizens lining the streets in April has in theory been cancelled, however it is widely accepted that there is no will or way to enforce the decision and this is the greatest concern for a widespread outbreak.

“We have stocked the office with roughly 2-months’ worth of food and water, as we prepare for the worst-case scenario”

“Supply chains here as always are difficult at best, but we have stocked the office with roughly 2-months’ worth of food and water, as we prepare for the worst-case scenario where an outbreak will inevitably lead to a military enforced curfew and potential violence against international workers whom the government are blaming for the virus.

“The window for evacuating is closing fast, and even when flights are available it is almost impossible to prove to airlines that you are clear which leaves many of us with little choice but to ride this out as best we can and hope for the best.”

 




Clara, Australia – Global Perspectives during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share both the positive and negative stories emerging from the situation. 

 

Paul Cronin is a former British military officer who spent 20 years leading expeditionary operations in Africa, the Balkans, Middle East and Pacific before resigning his commission and moving into the humanitarian sector in 2012. He reached out to Clara who lives in Australia as a personal trainer and runs her own fitness company.

Clara says:

“Last December and January this year, brought swathes of fires that destroyed 800,000 hectares of native habitat and more than a billion animals, with smoke that was so thick it made Canberra the most polluted city on earth. February saw hail stones the size of golf balls wrecking cars and homes, and now along with the rest of the world – Australia is stricken with coronavirus.

“I can’t speak for all Australians but the effects of the coronavirus so far, for myself, have been both grounding and profoundly unsettling. Grounding because, as a self-professed workaholic, the virus has carved out a little desperately needed peace amongst the hustle.

“How long will this last? What is the new normal ?”

“Unsettling because, aside from painfully bringing to light the inequities in Australian society (remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities will be among the hardest hit when the health care system inevitably becomes stretched to breaking point), the virus has left us all in a state of existential limbo – what is around the corner? How long will this last? What is the ‘new normal’?”

“At this early stage of the pandemic, Australians are facing the same day to day hardships as the rest of the ‘developed’ world: shops that are out of basic essentials like toilet paper, soap and hand sanitiser; figuring out how to balance working from home, with the stress of keeping young children occupied and educated; finding ways to stay connected with extended family and community as we strive to socially distance ourselves.

“We are not on full lock down yet but expect it any day”

“We are, about a week behind the UK, both in terms of the spread of the disease (at the moment the Australian Capital Territory only has 71 confirmed cases), and in terms of the messages we are receiving about how to protect ourselves. We are not on full lock down yet but expect it any day.

“We can still go to the supermarket to get groceries (in fact this is the only way to get groceries as all home deliveries have been cancelled), and we are still encouraged to exercise outdoors and can congregate in groups of no more than 10.

Personally, I’m trying to balance an appreciation of this brand new quiet in my life”

“This morning some friends and I stood 2-metres apart in a car park and did burpies – a sparse fitness flash mob. Personally, I’m trying to balance an appreciation of this brand new quiet in my life with worrying about family, getting work done and trying not to despair that things may not return to normal. But then, I’m not really sure I want them to completely return to normal, as 2020’s catastrophes seem like the much-needed wake-up call that the life we were living was neither desirable nor sustainable.”




Jelly, Thailand – Global Perspectives during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share both the positive and negative stories emerging from the situation. 

 

Paul Cronin is a former British military officer who spent 20 years leading expeditionary operations in Africa, the Balkans, Middle East and Pacific before resigning his commission and moving into the humanitarian sector in 2012.

Since then he has worked with a number of International not for profit and UN agencies throughout Asia, West & Central Africa and the Middle East as a Country Director, Director of Programmes & Operations and Head of Region to implement complex humanitarian responses and international development programmes.

 

Paul reached out to Jelly, a Philippine national who has worked in the humanitarian sector in Thailand for many years.

Here’s her story:

“Despite Thailand and particularly Bangkok being widely perceived as a wealthy country with a thriving capital and a business hub with one of the strongest economies in S.E Asia, there is a huge wealth divide that perpetuates a large working-class section of society that exist on criminally low wages.

“There are tens of thousands of Myanmar refugees residing in detainment camps”

“These are the people who are now suffering the worst effects of covid-19 as despite best intentions, they generally live in cramped overcrowded communities which make it impossible to self-isolate or to afford protective equipment such as masks which leads to an increased spread of the virus.

“A further pressing issue for the humanitarian system in Thailand is the tens of thousands of Myanmar refugees residing within the 9 detainment camps along the Thai/Myanmar border.

” It will be incredibly difficult to halt the spread through the camp”

“The camps are situated within dense jungle and despite benefiting from limited medical clinics provided by international organisations, sanitation is poor and when rather than if the virus reaches the population it will be incredibly difficult to halt the spread through the camp, into the local community and through the incredibly porous border into rural Myanmar (Kayin State).

“Prior to the pandemic the government were in the process of closing the camps, however this has stopped, and very little information is being released by the authorities.”

 

 

 

 

Would you like to share your story of the situation/ challenges facing your country?

We are asking anyone willing to share to answer the following questions and send to – bethanmarsh@wcia.org.uk 

  • What is the situation like in your country?
  • What are some of the main challenges for people?
  • Are there any positive stories coming out of this situation that can be inspiration for others?  



Cate and Nico, Italy – Global Perspectives: Stories of Solidarity during COVID-19

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases.We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.

 

Click here to view the Map of our Global Perspectives: solidarity stories 

 

Cate and Nico have lived in the UK and Italy and both run small business in the city. They are currently in Turin, Italy.

“Our daily lives have been turned upside down almost overnight. As a self-employed osteopath, I had to make the difficult decision to close all my practices in order to preserve my health and that of my patient’s health and their families.

“It was not an easy decision given that I have no other source of income and my monthly outgoings have not been affected at all by the virus! My partner and I have therefore confirmed with government advice and isolated ourselves at home.

“We can perceive a strong sense of community among the few people that we encounter”

“I think the best way to deal with this difficult, strange and paradoxical period in our lives is to take time for ourselves, which can never usually do because of our stressful routines, and take advantage of this situation to indulge in those activities that we had been putting off due to a lack of time.

“We see people regularly going the extra mile to be patient and kind to one another”

“Here in Italy, or at least in Turin, on those rare occasions we leave the house to go grocery shopping, we can perceive a strong sense of community among the few people that we encounter.

“There has been an incredible transformation in our behaviour as a collective which has unified the country and now, we see people regularly going the extra mile to be patient and kind to one another.

“In the end, we are all in the same boat, fighting the same battle and we all hope to be able to return a version of normality that many of us took for granted until a few weeks ago.”

 

 

 

Would you like to share your story of the situation/ challenges facing your country?

We are asking anyone willing to share to answer the following questions and send to – susieventrisfield@wcia.org.uk 

  • What is the situation like in your country?
  • What are some of the main challenges for people?
  • Are there any positive stories coming out of this situation that can be inspiration for others?  

 




Aelodau staff ar ‘wedi cael caniatad i fod yn absennol’ yn ystod COVID19 achosion

Mae argyfwng Covid-19 yn her fyd-eang annisgwyl. Yn y Ganolfan Materion Rhyngwladol Cymru, o ganlyniad i Cofid-19, rydym wedi gorfod atal y rhan fwyaf o’n gweithgareddau gan gynnwys gweithgareddau ysgol, digwyddiadau cyhoeddus a llogi lleoliad.

Felly, yn y WCIA, rydym wedi penderfynu gweithredu ‘ gweithwyr sydd wedi cael caniatâd i fod yn absennol, ‘ i’r rhan fwyaf o aelodau staff nes bod y sefyllfa bresennol yn pasio, i ddechrau tan 1 Mehefin 2020.

Bydd nifer fach o aelodau’r tîm yn parhau yn ei swydd i gynnal rhai gweithgareddau a chyfathrebiadau ar-lein, gofalu am ein gwirfoddolwyr cyfnewid rhyngwladol presennol, a gofalu am y sefydliad a’i gyllid.

I’n staff sydd wedi cael caniatâd i fod yn absennol, rydym yn bwriadu ychwanegu at eu cyflogau fel nad ydynt yn cael toriad cyflog yn ystod y cyfnod anodd hwn.

Y prif gysylltiad yn ystod y cyfnod hwn bydd Prif Weithredwr Susie Ventris-Field  (centre@wcia.org.uk) Byddwn yn parhau i gasglu safbwyntiau a straeon byd –eang.

Dywedodd Susie: “Rydym yn wynebu her enfawr yn lleol, yn genedlaethol ac yn fyd-eang ac rydym yn benderfynol o barhau i rannu safbwyntiau ac effeithiau o bob cwr o’r byd, er mwyn annog pobl i ddangos undod a chefnogaeth fyd-eang.
“Hoffwn i ddiolch i’r tîm am fod yn wydn, yn hyblyg ac yn hynod gefnogol i’n gilydd yn ystod y cyfnod hwn.”
“Rwy’n croesawu unrhyw un i gysylltu os oes ganddynt unrhyw bryderon neu gwestiynau, er fy mod yn gofyn am ychydig o amynedd ynglyn â’r ymatebion gan fy mod yn ymuno â llawer o’r boblogaeth wrth gydbwyso gwaith ag addysg yn y cartref.”



Stori Llyfr y Cofio Cymru o’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf

Lawrlwythwch PDF i'w Brintio

Adeiladwyd Teml Heddwch ac Iechyd Cymru, sef cartref Canolfan Materion Rhyngwladol Cymru a’r prosiect ‘ Cymru dros Heddwch ‘ a ariannir gan CDL fel cofeb y genedl i’r rheiny a fu farw yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf– cofeb a fyddai’n ysbrydoli cenedlaethau’r dyfodol i ddysgu o wrthdaro’r gorffennol, i siartio rôl Cymru yn y byd, ac i weithio tuag at heddwch.

100 mlynedd yn ôl i’r penwythnos hwn, dywedodd y byd ‘ Byth Eto ‘ i wrthdaro, wrth i Glychau’r Cadoediad ganu ar 4 blynedd a oedd wedi dileu cenhedlaeth. Cenedl mewn poen a galar sy’n ymbaratoi i ailadeiladu, ac adeiladu byd gwell.

CaernarfonPoppies4-1200x900 Red White WfP Poppies

100 mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, mae pabïau coch y cofio milwrol –yn ogystal â’r pabïau gwyn dros heddwch, y pabïau du dros gymunedau BME, a’r pabiau porffor dros anifeiliaid a gollwyd mewn rhyfel –i gyd yn nodi’r funud o dawelwch am 11am ar 11.11, pabïau i bobl o bob persbectif.

Ond ar #WW100, mae ein pabïau o bob lliw yn cofio’r rheiny sydd wedi marw a chael eu gadael ar ôl hefyd gan ganrif o wrthdaro ers hynny – yr Ail Ryfel Byd, Sbaen, Korea, y Rhyfeloedd Trefedigaethol, y Rhyfel Oer, Fietnam, Falklands, Gwlff, Balcanau, Rhyfel ar Derfysgaeth, Affganistan, Irac, Libya, Syria … Beth mae’r byd wedi’i ddysgu mewn gwirionedd o Gofio? I ogoneddu rhyfel … neu i’w atal?

Davies Family of Llandinam

Y Teulu Davies o Landinam

Nid yw agweddau gwahanol tuag at wynebu gwrthdaro yn newydd. Drwy’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, byddai’r teulu Davies o Landinam ym Mhowys wedi cael dadleuon wrth y bwrdd cinio a oedd yn cynrychioli’r trawsdoriad o gymdeithas. Wyrion y diwydiannwr o Gymro, David Davies:

  • Roedd David Davies (Jnr) (yr Arglwydd Davies o Landinam yn ddiweddarach) yn filwr yn y Ffiwsilwyr Brenhinol Cymreig, ac yn Ysgrifennydd Seneddol preifat i’r arweinydd rhyfel, David Lloyd George. Ond cafodd ei arswydo gan y gyflafan a welodd ar y Ffrynt, ac fe neilltuodd ei fywyd i fynd ar drywydd heddwch –gan gynnwys sefydlu’r Adran Cysylltiadau Rhyngwladol gyntaf yn y byd yn Aberystwyth (dathlu eu canmlwyddiant yn 2019), a Theml Heddwch ac Iechyd Cymru (dathlu #Teml80, ein 80fed pen-blwydd, yn Tach 2018).
  • Ymunodd ei gefnder Edward Lloyd Jones yn gyndyn â rhyfel a ystyriai’n anghyfiawn; ond cafodd ei ladd yn Gallipoli, yn ddim ond 27 mlwydd oed.
  • Roedd y cefnder George M Ll Davies yn Wrthwynebydd Cydwybodol, a gafodd ei garcharu yn Wormwood Scrubs am wrthod meddu arfau– ond ar ôl y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, fe’i etholwyd yn Aelod Seneddol dros Brifysgol Cymru, a daeth yn un o adeiladwyr heddwch enwocaf Cymru – oedd yn cael ei adnabod fel ‘Pererin Heddwch’.
  • O gael eu brawychu gan y rhyfel, ymunodd Gwendoline a Margaret (Daisy) Davies, â’r Iwmoniaeth Nyrsio Cymorth Cyntaf i redeg ffreutur yn Troyes, Ffrainc, lle cefnogon nhw filwyr oedd yn mynd i Flaen y Gad ac oddi yno. Ar ôl cael eu distrywio gan farwolaeth eu cefnder, cefnogasant George fel Gwrthwynebydd Cydwybodol. Ar ôl y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, fe wnaethon nhw sefydlu Gwasg Gregynog, cefnogi’r gwaith o greu Llyfr y Cofio, a helpu i sefydlu WEAC (Pwyllgor Cynghori Cymru ar Addysg) a gynhyrchodd y Cwricwlwm Addysg Heddwch cyntaf yn y byd, a ddaeth yn lasbrint i UNESCO.

Book of Remembrance Cover

Creu Llyfr y Cofio

Ar ddechrau’r 1920au, wrth i deuluoedd ymgeledd gyda sgîl-effeithiau’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf a’u colled, codwyd cofebau ar draws Cymru. Cynigiwyd adeiladu Cofeb Ryfel Genedlaethol Cymru ar gyfer gerddi Alexandra ym Mharc Cathays.  Roedd y 35-40,000 o’r Cymry a fu farw i’w hysgythru mewn Llyfr hardd – Llyfr y Cofio’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf yng Nghymru –a fyddai’n dod yn waith celf, yn drysor cenedlaethol, ac yn fan pererin.

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Mae’r llyfr yn waith y caligraffwr byd-enwog Graily Hewitt, sy’n gweithio’n agos yn ol pob son gyda’r chwiorydd Davies a’u hartistiaid Gwasg Gregynog. Gwnaed ymdrech genedlaethol fawr i gasglu enwau’r rheiny a fu farw; ac fe weithiodd tîm o ferched ym Midhurst, Sussex dros sawl blwyddyn i gwblhau’r llyfr.

Cafodd y chwiorydd Davies a Gwasg Gregynog genhadaeth i greu llyfrau o gelfyddyd uchel a phrydferthwch. Cawsant eu rhwymo mewn Lledr o Foroco, gydag Inc Indiaidd a Deilen Aur ar dudalennau o Femrwn. Roedd y technegau addurno cain yn adfywiad o sgiliau Canoloesol.

Edrychwch ar yr Albwm Flickr o Lyfr y Cofio yn y Deml Heddwch

Screenshot 2018-11-10 at 18.11.30 1917 Caernarfon RfP Book of Remembrance Hedd Wyn - Ellis Evans closeup 1

“this Book of Souls, reposed upon a stone of French Marble, encased in Belgian Bronze, illuminated individually, painstakingly by hand in Indian Ink and the finest Gold Leaf upon handcrafted Vellum… bound in a volume of Moroccan Leather, entombed in a sanctuary of Portland Stone and Greek collonades. It seemed as if the whole Empire were as one in the creation of this memorial to those whose loss must live forever.” 

1928_Welsh_National_War_Memorial Screenshot 2018-11-10 at 18.16.05

Cwblhawyd y 1,205 tudalen o 35,000 o enwau ym mis Mawrth 1928; a llofnodwyd y Llyfr, ar 12 Mehefin 1928, gan Edward Tywysog Cymru – y Brenin Edward VIII yn y dyfodol – ar dudalen farchnata gydag ‘ Er Cof ‘ – In Memory’ arni.  Cafodd ei ddadorchuddio’n ffurfiol i’r cyhoedd ar 11.11, 1928 – sef 10fed pen-blwydd y Cadoediad – wrth agor Cofeb Ryfel Genedlaethol Cymru yng Ngerddi Alexandra, Caerdydd. Am y ddegawd gyntaf, cadwyd y llyfr yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru. Ond roedd ei greu wedi ysbrydoli cenhadaeth ehangach.

Roedd mudiadau adeiladu heddwch Cymru wedi bod yn arbennig o weithgar drwy’r 1920au ar y llwyfan rhyngwladol. Roedd gan yr Arglwydd David Davies weledigaeth y dylai Cymru arwain y byd wrth wireddu heddwch, wedi’i wreiddio mewn brics a morter drwy adeiladu’r ‘Deml Heddwch’ gyntaf, gyda’r gobaith o arwain at gyfres o ‘Demlau Heddwch’ ar draws y byd.

1930 Temple proposed cross-sections

Allan o Ryfel – Teml Heddwch

Gwahoddwyd penseiri blaenllaw i ddylunio adeilad a fyddai’n cadw Llyfr y Cofio, ac yn ysbrydoli cenedlaethau’r dyfodol-ac ym 1929, comisiynwyd y pensaer o Gaerdydd, Percy Thomas, i ddylunio Teml Heddwch Cymru, ar dir a roddwyd gan Gorfforaeth Caerdydd. Ar ôl dechrau araf yn ystod y Dirwasgiad Mawr, ym 1934, rhoddodd yr Arglwydd Davies £60,000 o’i arian ei hun i gychwyn y prosiect.

1937 Foundation stone ceremony 1938 Temple from Cathays Park.jpg

Ym mis Ebrill 1937, gosodwyd y garreg sylfaen mewn seremoni fawr ym Mharc Cathays, Caerdydd, gan yr Arglwydd Halifax – un o brif ‘ wleidyddion heddwch ‘ y cyfnod.  Ond roedd diwedd y 1930au yn gyfnod cythryblus; roedd y ‘gwaith adfer heddwch ar ôl y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf a lesteiriodd yr Almaen, wedi arwian at Hitler yn dod i bŵer– a byddai’r Arglwydd Halifax, a oedd wedi gweithio’n galed i osgoi rhyfel ar bob cost, yn mynd lawr mewn hanes fel ‘dyhuddwr’ (er mai barn annheg a syml yw hon efallai, ar ei ymdrechion i adeiladu heddwch).  Ond hyd yn oed wrth i’r Deml gael ei hadeiladu, roedd bagiau tywod a llochesi bomiau yn cael eu hadeiladu ar nail ochr y strydoedd.

“A New Mecca – the Opening of Wales’ Temple of Peace and Health” – Blog gan Dr. Emma West ar gyfer yr Ŵyl ‘Being Human’.

Screenshot 2018-11-10 at 18.54.14 1938 Crowds for Opening of Temple of Peace

Ym mis Tach 1938, agorwyd y Deml Heddwch gan ‘ Mam Cymru ‘ Minnie James o Ddowlais, Merthyr Tudful, oedd wedi colli 3 mab yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf – yn cynrychioli mamau Cymru oedd wedi profi profedigaeth.  Cafodd gwmni cynrychiolwyr mamau o bob rhan o Brydain a’r Ymerodraeth, a ddynodwyd drwy’r Lleng Brydeinig ac ymgyrchoedd yn y Wasg leol. Roedd y Deml yn ceisio hyrwyddo cydraddoldeb o’r cychwyn cyntaf – er bod y seremoni agoriadol yn nodweddiadol iawn ‘o’i chyfnod’, gan nad oedd y menywod yn gallu ysgrifennu eu hareithiau eu hunain.

Roedd tywydd garw’r diwrnod agoriadol, ac ymbarelau’r torfeydd enfawr a ymgynullodd i wylio, yn atgof ingol bod cymylau stormydd yn dod i’r golwg dros Ewrop.  Misoedd yn ddiweddarach, dechreuodd yr Ail Ryfel Byd.

Edrychwch ar Fideo o Ddarnau o’r Wasg, o ddigwyddiad agor y Deml Heddwch ym 1938. 

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Mae “We will Remember Them” gan newyddiadurwr y BBC, Huw Edwards, Tach 2018, yn cynnwys 3 munud ar y Deml Heddwch ac ar Lyfr y Cofio (o 38.30)

Man Pererindod

Er gwaethaf cychwyn y rhyfel, daeth y Deml Heddwch yn fan pererindod i bobl o bob cwr o Gymru. Mewn oes pan oedd teithio i Ffrainc, Gwlad Belg neu hyd yn oed ymhellach i ffwrdd y tu hwnt i gyrraedd y rhan fwyaf o bobl sy’n gweithio, byddai grwpiau cymunedol ac ysgolion ledled Cymru yn trefnu ‘pererindodau’ i ymweld â Llyfr y Cofio. Roedd yr ymweliadau hyn yn aml yn cael eu hyrwyddo’n helaeth mewn papurau newydd lleol.

Screenshot 2018-11-10 at 19.50.03.png Y Gell yn 1938

Am 11am bob bore, fe fyddai tudalen o’r llyfr yn cael ei throi – gyda’r enwau yn cael eu cyhoeddi yn y wasg yn ystod yr wythnos flaenorol, fel y gallai perthnasau ddod i weld y seremoni wrth i’w hanwyliaid gael y sylw wedi’i roi arnynt. Byddai ymwelwyr yn cymryd rhan mewn Gwasanaeth Cofio hyfryd, dwys ond blaengar, oedd wedi’i drefnu gan y Chwiorydd Davies o Gregynog– ac yn arwyddo llyfr ymwelwyr yn addo mynd ar drywydd heddwch.

Ar ôl yr Ail Ryfel Byd, roedd cenhedlaeth arall o ddynion a menywod o Gymru wedi marw; a chomisiynwyd Llyfr y Cofio’r Ail Ryfel Byd, a mynediad i archifau Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru. Mor ddiweddar â 1993, lluniwyd cynlluniau pensaernïol i addasu neuadd y Deml Heddwch i arddangos y ddau lyfr ochr yn ochr. Ond hyd yn hyn, nid ydynt erioed wedi cael eu huno, ac mae hyn yn parhau i fod yn ddyhead gan Ganolfan Materion Rhyngwladol Cymru (WCIA) hyd heddiw.

Wrth i oroeswyr cenhedlaeth y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf dyfu’n hŷn – ac wrth i deithio dramor ddod yn haws – tyfodd ymwelwyr i Lyfr y Cofio yn llai dros y blynyddoedd. Mae’r llyfr, a’r Deml, wedi cael ymweliad gan y fath enwogion â Peres De Cuellar, Ysgrifennydd Cyffredinol y Cenhedloedd Unedig, ym 1984; a Desmond Tutu yn 2012. Ond erbyn 2014, roedd yn ymddangos bod Llyfr y Cofio wedi’i  … anghofio i raddau helaeth?

Wales for Peace Exhibition Title Panel A1 Landscape

Cofio dros Heddwch – 2014-18

Yn 2014, datblygodd WCIA, ynghyd â 10 partner cenedlaethol, brosiect ‘ Cymru dros Heddwch ‘, wedi’i ariannu gan CDL a’i gefnogi gan Cymru’n Cofio/Wales Remembers, gyda’r nod o nodi canmlwyddiant y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf drwy archwilio un cwestiwn mawr:

“Yn y 100 mlynedd ers y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, sut mae Cymru wedi cyfrannu at geisio heddwch?”

Fel gwarcheidwaid y Deml Heddwch, dechreuodd prosiect WCIA gyda gwneud Llyfr y Cofio yn hygyrch unwaith eto i’r cyhoedd. Y nod oedd creu arddangosfa deithiol – ac uno’r Llyfr am y tro cyntaf gyda’r cymunedau ar draws Cymru y deilliodd ei 35,000 o enwau ohonynt; ac i ddigideiddio’r llyfr, fel y gallai fod yn hygyrch ar-lein i genedlaethau’r dyfodol.

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Lansiwyd trawsgrifiad o’r Llyfr ar Ddydd y Cofio 2015,  gyda digwyddiad yn y Senedd, Bae Caerdydd, lle gwahoddwyd Aelodau’r Cynulliad i weld y llyfr a thrawsgrifio’r enwau cyntaf.  Lansiwyd galwad cenedlaethol am wirfoddolwyr, ysgolion a grwpiau cymuned i gymryd rhan mewn ‘Gweithred Ddigidol o Gofio’.

Galluogodd gweithdai lleol, o Eryri i Abertawe, bobl i fod yn rhan o ‘greu hanes ‘. Datblygodd ysgolion brosiectau ‘ hanesion cudd ‘ a oedd yn darganfod y straeon y tu ôl i’r enwau, a brofodd yn hynod o deimladwy i lawer, wrth iddynt gysylltu â phobl oedd wedi mynd i angof ers amser maith.

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Taith o’r Arddangosfa

Lansiwyd yr Arddangosfa Cofio dros Heddwch yn Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru yn Aberystwyth ym mis Ionawr 2016. Mae wedi teithio ymlaen i’r lleoliadau canlynol:

  • Castell Bodelwyddan, Sir Ddinbych yn cynnwys digwyddiad gyda Cofebion Rhyfel Sir y Fflint
  • Y Deml Heddwch, Caerdydd ar gyfer #Somme100
  • Castell Caernarfon, Gwynedd – ochr yn ochr â Pabis: Weeping Window, a Llwybr Heddwch Caernarfon
  • Amgueddfa Arberth, Sir Benfro
  • Oriel Môn, Ynys Môn
  • Senedd, Bae Caerdydd – ochr yn ochr â Pabis; Weeping Window a Menywod, Rhyfel a Heddwch
  • Amgueddfa Abertawe, fel rhan o’r digwyddiad ‘Nawr yr Arwr’
  • Eglwys Gadeiriol Llandaf, Gwasanaeth Coffa Cenedlaethol ‘Cymru’ ar gyfer Canmlwyddiant WW100
  • Teml Heddwch, Caerdydd ar gyfer #Temple80

Ym mhob lleoliad arddangos, mae partneriaid lleol wedi gweithio gyda grwpiau cymunedol i dynnu sylw at straeon lleol amrywiol, felly mae pob arddangosfa wedi bod yn wahanol. Mae Pecyn Cwricwlwm i Ysgolion, ‘ Cofio dros Heddwch ‘ ar gael ar Hwb, ac mae Canllaw Hanesion Cudd ar gyfer Grwpiau Gwirfoddolwyr wedi cael ei ddefnyddio’n helaeth y tu hwnt i brosiect Cymru dros Heddwch.

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Llyfr y Cofio Ar-lein

Ar gyfer Dydd y Cofio 2017, roedd yn bleser gan WCIA a Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru ddadorchuddio Llyfr y Cofio digidol, a’r swyddogaeth chwilio ar-lein ar wefan www.BookofRemembrance.Wales / www.LlyfryCofio.cymru.

Mae hyn nid yn unig yn weithred symbolaidd iawn o goffadwriaeth ynddo’i hun, ond yn glod mawr i dros 350 o wirfoddolwyr a gyfrannodd tuag at drawsgrifio’r Llyfr i’w wneud yn hygyrch i genedlaethau’r dyfodol. Cydnabuwyd eu cyfraniad eithriadol pan gyflwynwyd Wobr Gwirfoddoli’r Archifau mawreddog i’r Llyfrgell Genedlaethol ar gyfer 2016.

Darganfyddiad rhyfedd o’r broses ddigideiddio fu’r cwestiwn ‘ faint o bobl fu farw ‘? Mae’r rhan fwyaf o gyfeiriadau hanes – yn cynnwys am greu Llyfr y Cofio – yn dyfynnu 35,000 fel y nifer o ddynion a menywod o Gymru a fu farw yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf. Ond roedd ychydig o dan 40,000 o enwau (39,917) yn deillio o’r data trawsgrifio – sy’n awgrymu y gallai colledion Cymru fod wedi bod hyd yn oed yn fwy na’r hyn a ystyriwyd yn flaenorol.

Straeon Milwyr

Grym diamheuol Llyfr y Cofio yw y tu ôl i bob enw wedi’i addurno a’i euro, mae stori bywyd – o’r enwog, i’r gwreiddiol, i’r cymharol anhysbys.

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Hedd Wyn (Ellis Humphrey Evans), Bardd ac eicon heddwch Cymraeg, a fu farw yn Passchendaele, dim ond dyddiau cyn ennill coron yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol. Mae ei wobr, a adwaenir am byth fel y ‘ Gadair Ddu ‘ a’i fferm enedigol, yr Ysgwrn, bellach yn fan pererindod yn Eryri ar gyfer pobl sy’n dysgu am y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, diwylliant Cymru ac adeiladu heddwch.  Mae ei nai, Gerald Williams, wedi cadw’r drysau ar agor a chof Hedd Wyn yn fyw, a phlannodd y pabi olaf yng Nghastell Caernarfon ar gyfer agoriad gwaith celf 14-18NOW Weeping Window ym mis Hydref 2016.

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Roedd Alfred Thomas o Dyddewi yn gwasanaethu yn y Llynges Fasnachol pan gafodd ei long, yr S S Memnon, ei tharo gan dorpido. 100 mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, roedd ei wyres, Gwenno Watkin, yn un o’r gwirfoddolwyr Llyfrgell Genedlaethol a oedd yn trawsgrifio Llyfr y Cofio pan ddaeth hi’n sydyn wyneb yn wyneb â’i enw – a mynd ymlaen i ddarganfod mwy am ei golled yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf.

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Roedd Jean Roberts, Eva Davies, Margaret Evans a Jennie Williams i gyd yn nyrsys gyda Queen Mary’s Auxiliary Corps, a fu farw yn gwasanaethu yn ysbytai caeau Ffrainc a Gwlad Belg. Yn draddodiadol, mae stori menywod, rhyfel a heddwch ymhlith rhengoedd milwyr gwrywaidd wedi cael ei hanwybyddu– ond ysbrydolodd eu straeon greadigaeth yr arddangosfa Menywod, Rhyfel a Heddwch, a phrosiect ‘ Menywod yng Nghymru yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf’, Archif Menywod Cymru.

Beddau Beersheba. Mae Eli Lichtenstein yn wirfoddolwr yng Ngogledd Cymru a fagwyd yn Israel. Fe’i syfrdanwyd i sylweddoli ei fod yn cydnabod llawer o enwau yn Llyfr y Cofio o dyfu i fyny yn blentyn, a darganfuodd bod llawer o’r dynion a fu farw ym Mrwydr Beersheba, yn yr hen Balesteina Brydeinig, yn Ffiwsilwyr Cymreig Brenhinol o ardal Bangor, Llandudno. Darllenwch Stori Blog Eli.

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Gwasanaethodd David Louis Clemetson gyda Iomaniaeth Penfro, ac mae’n un o’r nifer o Bobl Dduon ac Asiaidd a Lleiafrifoedd Ethnig (BAME) Cymru, yn ogystal â’r rheiny ar draws ymerodraeth Prydain gynt, a gollodd eu bywydau yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf.  Yn 2018, ar gyfer WW100, trefnodd y Deml Heddwch Wasanaeth Cofio BME, lle y cydnabuodd Llywodraeth Cymru am y tro cyntaf, aberthau a cholledion cymunedau BME Cymru mewn rhyfeloedd Prydeinig olynol.

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Mae gan bawb stori bersonol; a chafodd Pennaeth Cymru dros Heddwch,  Craig Owen,  ei daro o ddarganfod stori ei hen daid ei hun, Ally Price, ac yn dilyn ymweliad â’i gofeb yn Tyne Cot, Gwlad Belg, creodd ffilm fer ar gyfer ei deulu, wrth iddo ddarganfod mwy am y ‘dyn tu ôl i’r enw ‘ o Faesyfed, Tredegar a swydd Henffordd.

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Gwasanaethodd David James o Ferthyr Tudful, a fu’n gweithio yn y swyddfa arlunio ym Mhwll Glo Dowlais, gyda’r Gwarchodlu Cymreig nes iddo gael ei ladd ar waith ym mis Hydref 1916. Bu farw ei ddau frawd hefyd o anafiadau yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, a dwy chwaer o golera. Dewiswyd eu mam, Minnie James, i agor Teml Heddwch ac Iechyd Cymru yng Nghaerdydd ym 1938 er cof amdanynt.

Fideo – Minnie James yn agor y Deml Heddwch ym 1938.

Ar gyfer penwythnos Cadoediad WW100, mae’r Deml Heddwch yn cofio pawb a fu farw yn ‘y rhyfel a fyddai’n rhoi terfyn ar ryfel ‘ – a’r holl rai hynny a oroesodd, ac a roddodd bopeth i adeiladu heddwch yn y blynyddoedd a ddilynodd.  Mae eu cenhadaeth yn parhau i fod mor berthnasol heddiw ag erioed.

Gwrandewch ar fwy:

  • Audio on Soundcloud – ‘Thoughts in the Crypt’ gan E. R. Eaton – recordiad air am air o atodiad y Western Mail ar 23 Tach 1938, a ddarllenwyd gan Craig Owen.
  • ‘Peace Podcast’ ar Soundcloud – Recordiad o ddarlith Teml80 WCIA ‘The Story of the Book of Remembrance’ o 9 Tachwedd 2018, gyda Craig Owen, Cymru dros Heddwch; Dafydd Tudur, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru; a Jon Berry, Artist Preswyl y Deml Heddwch.

Archwiliwch Lyfr y Cofio drosoch eich hun:

Book of Remembrance Flyer Cover.png  Book of Remembrance Online




Global Perspectives on COVID Pandemic: Solidarity, Community and Cooperation

Published on 25th March, in a fast changing international situation.

As the COVID Pandemic of 2020 has reached ‘lockdown’ for the UK and many other nations, the need for our communities – and community of nations – to work together has never been greater. Wales and the World are inextricably linked through global health: pandemics know no borders – and information is international. In an age of social media we are intertwined, and interdependent; we are Humankind.
Kindness, compassion and clarity will help us to face this world crisis, and support the most vulnerable, through cooperation and humanity – from the local to the global. Over coming weeks, WCIA will be sharing (via WCIA’s website, Twitter and Facebook feeds) ‘stories of solidarity’, links to reliable information / updates, and examples of inspiring civil society, individuals and community leadership from around the world.

View WCIA’s ‘Global Perspectives’ Blogs

 

Wales amidst a Global Health Crisis

Wales and Welsh communities must do all we can within a crisis of global proportions – and requiring global solutions. Summarised below are quick links to key sources of information and updates from around the world; ways that people can take action in local to global solidarity; learning from our heritage; and stories of solidarity from individuals around the world.

Quick References and Information Sources

UK & Welsh Government, NHS and Voluntary Sector

Global Health Bodies & Cooperation

Reference Resources and Useful Articles

temple of peaceWCIA and the Temple of Peace & Health

As with all venues and workplaces, the Temple of Peace is closed throughout the shutdown period and WCIA staff have been working from home since Monday 16th March (though as with many in this challenging time, our capacity is limited).

  • Venue bookings, and all WCIA events, have been postponed until the COVID situation becomes safer.
  • WCIA are sharing Stories of Solidarity (see below) from around the world; and useful resources (such as home learning and means to take action) via WCIA’s Twitter and Facebook social media feeds.
  • WCIA are supporting international volunteers on placements through UNA Exchange to self-isolate if in UK, and to find passages to their home countries where possible / appropriate.
  • Hub Cymru Africa and the Wales Africa Health Links Network are offering guidance to local linking organisations and charities supporting or whose work is affected by COVID.

Internationalism in Action: Taking a Global Stand

How are internationally-minded individuals in Wales able to contribute to understanding and combating the COVID crisis in any way… on top of looking after themselves and their loved ones in a lockdown? WCIA will be gathering and sharing actions and ideas of people Wales and world-wide via our social media channels, and here:

Community Action

Gemma from Hong Kong shares her experiences of COVID in WCIA’s Global Perspectives blog.

Global Learning

Global Action

Global Partnerships

Global Perspectives: Stories of Solidarity

Campaigner Glenda Fryer with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose leadership has been praised worldwide, shared her feelings as Kiwis entered a month long lock-down.

At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 is difficult for so many people across the world. In uncertain times like these, it is heartwarming to see communities uniting in solidarity, and even song in some cases. We are reaching out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We want to identify and share the positive stories emerging from the situation as a source of inspiration for people in these challenging times.

Personal ‘Stories of Solidarity’ from across the world, mapped.

Learning from the Past: Heritage of Cooperation

Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire – Canadian War Graves from 1918-19 Spanish Flu Epidemic (Geograph)

Not since the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic of 1918-1920, has the world experienced something of the scale the world is facing today in COVID19. Affecting as many lives globally as World War 1 itself, “Spanish flu” (so called, ironically, as Spain was the only WW1 nation that allowed uncensored reporting on it to save lives), ended up infecting 500 million – of whom 17-100 million died, making it the world’s worst epidemic since the ‘Black Death’ Plague of 1331-1353. In Wales, between 8,700 and 11,400 people are thought to have died.

Alongside Tuberculosis, the combined impact of World War One and Spanish Flu inspired the creation of Wales’ Temple of Peace and Health – home to WCIA today, and opened in 1938 as a beacon for the nation’s efforts to end the scourge of tuberculosis, and secure sustainable peace through global cooperation – initally through the work of the WNMA (Wales National Memorial Association for Eradication of Tuberculosis) and WLNU (Welsh League of Nations Union).

After World War 2, these movements evolved to support creation of the NHS (National Health Service) and the United Nations – two of humanity’s greatest achievements in facilitating cooperation for the common good. In the words of the Temple’s founder, David Davies:

“A ‘Temple of Peace’ is not of bricks and mortar: It is the spirit of man. It is the compact between every man, woman and child, to build a better world.”  

Has a generation taken our grandparents’ inheritance for granted? Over recent decades, support for and resourcing of these ‘institutions of humankind’ has fallen, health services and social care have suffered strident Austerity cuts, and many nations – the UK and US in particular – have turned inwards and away from the very bodies that enable international cooperation in times of crisis.

The COVID Pandemic will seriously test – and potentially reverse – many of these policy approaches. Working in global cooperation and solidarity with others, we will owe it to a generation who lose their lives, to come through this crisis to build a better world.

 

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford addresses the nation on 23 March.