THE Rotary Club of Dunfermline is assisting two Dunfermline students to follow in the footsteps of their home city’s greatest benefactor, Andrew Carnegie…

…and to pursue the peace-building mission he embodied in his iconic foundation in The Hague, the Netherlands city of international peace and justice.

The great Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist founded the Peace Palace in 1913 as the fulcrum of his pursuit of world peace.

Now Jenna Yeates and Lewis Steer will represent Carnegie’s birthplace and add to Scotland’s youth voice in the first edition of the Carnegie Peace-Building Conversations, an international dialogue being convened in the Peace Palace from 24th to 27th September…”to generate fresh perspectives on peace-building and conflict resolution”.

Jenna and Lewis - whose participation is being sponsored by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and Dunfermline Rotarians- are both former pupils of Dunfermline High School. Jenna has just completed her third year at Aberdeen University, where she is pursuing an MA degree in educational studies, while ex-head boy Lewis is a third-year student at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh.

Jenna is “honoured and excited” to have been asked to represent the youth of Scotland at The Hague. “Hopefully, the conference will allow Lewis and I the opportunity to meet youths from other cultures and to discuss their experiences and exchange views on peace-building projects,” she said. “There are to be many inspirational speakers at the event and I am already thinking about how I can use this experience in my teaching career.”

Lewis added, “I’m thrilled to have been given the chance to represent Andrew Carnegie’s birth town and the opportunity to contribute to these important and topical discussions. Growing up in Dunfermline has given me the privilege to experience and enjoy Andrew Carnegie’s legacy, and I am excited to be able to play some part in the continuation of this legacy on a global scale.”

Project director and Carnegie International Fellow Angus Hogg, himself a past-president of Dunfermline Rotary Club, said, “By connecting more than 300 leading stakeholders from various backgrounds and generations, as well as under-represented players, around conflict-related themes, the conversations aim to generate unexpected insights and routes for progress in promoting world peace.” 

The conversations are an initiative of the Carnegie institutions worldwide and the Carnegie Foundation which owns the Peace Palace. The outcomes will be captured in a publication which will be shared with organisations and individuals committed to “more inclusive, just and peaceful societies”

Jenna, who has already completed an HNC in early education and childcare at Carnegie College, is also a qualified teacher of Latin American dance.  She says, “Although I enjoy teaching all children in my classes, I can visualise myself working in my future career with children who have specific needs.”

Lewis who has already gained an intercalated BSc in zoology, is president of a university society and organises youth events for his local RSPB group. As head boy, he organised community-facing projects and charity events and completed a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award trek in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

“I am a driven individual who is keen to make a lasting impact on the places that I have worked and studied,” he says. “I have a passion for learning and teaching others.”

* In Carnegie’s footsteps…Jenna and Lewis are pictured with project director Angus Hogg (back right), an honorary member of Dunfermline Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow, and Ian Wilson, chairman of the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust.

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