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December-January 2020 | News

Jamming for peace

Jamming for peace

Winchester Rotarian, Luke Addison, is the European Youth Team Co-ordinator for PeaceJam. Here, he writes how youngsters are at the forefront of championing change.

Peacejam is an international education programme for schools and youth groups, and is the only educational programme working directly with Nobel Peace Laureates.

PeaceJam has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize nine times. Our aims are to teach and inspire a new generation to be active citizens and agents for change.

To coincide with the International Day of Peace in September, PeaceJam Europe launched a ‘Campaign for an Inclusive Europe’ to mobilise young people and address the most pressing issues facing our communities.

From Black Lives Matter to climate change, young people are at the forefront of championing change and we want to amplify these efforts through our ‘Laureate of the Future Programme’, alongside running a Pan-European conference.

PeaceJam has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize nine times. Their aims are to teach and inspire a new generation to be active citizens and agents for change.

Thanks to support from Winchester Rotary, PeaceJam Europe’s Youth Team has created the ‘Laureate of the Future Programme’. This offers young people aged between 14 and 26-years-old the opportunity to apply for a micro-grant up to the value of €200, to support their social action ideas and projects.

Over the last three years, with support from the Erasmus+ programme through the European Union, PeaceJam has expanded its programming across Europe, strengthening the ideals of peace, non-violence, inclusion and cohesion.

As part of the project, an online Pan-European conference was organised for the first time in November by the European Youth Team with support from PeaceJam in Belgium, Greece, Romania, Luxembourg, Netherlands and UK.

From Black Lives Matter to climate change, young people are at the forefront of championing change and we want to amplify these efforts through our ‘Laureate of the Future Programme’, alongside running a Pan-European conference.”

Featuring the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, the online conference comprised predominantly youth-led Q&A sessions, panel discussions, interactive workshops and small group discussions which focused on education, environment, equality, health and migration.

Young people spent time brainstorming ideas to advance inclusion and promote peace in Europe.

And these ideas will be presented to the European Parliament as part of the project’s final report.

In addition to learning from Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, young people heard from other inspirational change-makers, including the KidsRights International Children’s Peace Prize winner, Stuart Lawrence and prominent youth activists from across Europe.

Sara Belhay, PeaceJam UK Project Manager, said: “Many of the challenges facing young people have intensified during the pandemic, but we have an opportunity to bring young people together and show them that they can make a difference.

“Engaging the European Youth Team in the organisation of the Pan-European conference, has played an important part in placing youth voices at the centre of what we do.

“We are excited to launch the ‘Campaign for an Inclusive Europe’ and ‘Laureate of the Future Programme’ on International Day of Peace, as part of our commitment to empower young people to become active citizens and agents of change.”

For more information visit PeaceJam website.

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