Rotaractor Luke Addison has launched a new Peacejam community hub at Winchester University with the help of local Rotarians, dedicated to spreading peace and goodwill around the world. He got the idea after meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu at an international peace conference in June, organised by PeaceJam.
An exclusive screening of a film about the life story of Archbishop Tutu was shown at the launch, which was held on Sunday to coincide with the International Day of Peace.
Luke is well on the way to raising £40,000 towards the cost of funding the project, which will host regular conferences aimed at young people in Hampshire and host visits from leading human rights specialists. It is hoped that the hub will operate at least four days a week for a three year trial period.
Luke is leader of the Rotaract club at Winchester University, which has underwritten £15,000 to support the first conference and the venture has also been supported with funds from Winchester Rotary Club and other Rotary clubs in the area.
Luke, 21, said: “I will be working with both PeaceJam and the University to promote the conference to people living in the area who wish to help support peace and international fellowship.”
The centre is non political with no religious leanings and Luke is urging local businesses, organisations and community groups to get involved in fundraising and offering their experience and expertise to the project.
Mike Jackson, who leads Rotary clubs in the area said: “Peace and conflict resolution is a central focus of Rotary International which operates six international peace centres worldwide. At a time when there is so much conflict in the world, we are pleased that Luke has chosen to set up a new peace centre in Winchester which will help spread goodwill and understanding.”