PeaceJam 2016 UK Conference

240 young people join Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Mench Tum to learn about how they can effect Change for the Good in their lives.

Saturday March 12th saw 240 young people descend on the campus of Winchester University to join Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum to explore the PeaceJam Foundation conference theme of "How you overcome oppression and build communities".

At an opening ceremony all heard briefly from Kate Cumbo, Director of Programs at the Foundation and from Graham Golding Director of PeaceJam UK's Curriculum Design, Training and School Support on the aims and objectives of the Foindation before being energised for the day's business by two mentor "Conference Emcees" Luke Addison and Sara Belhay.

Finally Rigoberta arrived to a thunderous reception and spent 90 minutes explaining to her audience the source of her inspiration to help the Mayan indigenous people of Guatemala for which she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 33 in 1992.  She was the first indigenous person to win the award.

The young people are split up into groups, known as Families, and work together  and report back on various projects during the conference. On the first afternoon 6 of these projects took place and involved work on: Tools for Self Reliance (Eliminating Extreme Poverty), Roll out the Barrel (Water Safety and Access), Street Reach (Education and Community Development), Cool Rivers (Environmental Sustainability), Godfrey's House (Education and Community Development) and Kos Kindness (Human Rights for All).  More news on their work here after tomorrow's activities.

Day 2 starts with the ceremony of Inspiration when anyone present can make a personal statement to the whole conference. Many were very personal and moving but the very act of talking about their experience will help them move on to better times.

This was followed by presentations from many of the organisations attending. Beaulieu explained the details of their Romania Project to the conference and the Jersey College for Girls team took part in a conference wide presentation.

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