The last 17th of November, WCIA organised the annual Peace Schools Conference. This year, once again, from an online dimension. With more than 50 schools gathered in a Zoom call, the conference aimed for students to meet and discuss a topic of increasing importance, climate justice.
The morning session started with Ize Adava, member from the North Wales African Society, presenting the topic of climate justice and the impacts that it had on the world’s most vulnerable communities. Later, Tomos Owen, as a refugee integration caseworker in Oasis, joined the discussion, sharing his knowledge and experience on how climate change has impacted the most vulnerable people and become a cause for displacement. Finalising with this introductory session, John Stacey, former country advisor for Amnesty International, made a brief review on the impact that climate change has on human rights.
Later in the day, schools had the option to chose between four different workshops. All ideated with the intention for students and professors to increase their knowledge on each specific given subject dealt in the workshop. These were:
- Ellis Brooks, from Quaker Peace and Social Witness, and Phil Gittins, member of World beyond War, shared some ideas on how young people can influence climate justice.
- Balwinder Sandhu, member of the Wales delegation for Schools of Sanctuary, taught schools how to become a School of Sanctuary and initiated a discussion on best technics to take action, either as an individual or group.
- Dr Sue Lye, educationalist and activist with XR, lead the discussion on how to get our voices heard.
- Kevin, from Size of Wales, talked about his experience in COP26 and gave a short overview on which are the next steeps and upcoming challenges for us to act.
Back in the general room, and after a brief summary on what had been talked in each workshop, the morning session concluded.
In the afternoon, Jane Harries, host of the event, jointly with Sallie Slade gave the honorific award to seven different schools for having reached levels 1, 2, and 3 respectively in the peace schools scheme. Before receiving the award though, each school had the chance to briefly explain their projects and actions as a“Peace school”.
Finally, the conference ended later in the afternoon with some last remarks from the host, thanking schools for their attendance and their work conducted in the interest of peace, human rights and climate justice.