Children’s Voices for Peace
Thursday 26th April 2018
Conference Chairman: Dr Prem Sharma OBE
Keynote address: Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Home Secretary
The conference message was clear: if we want world peace, we need to empower young people to engage and speak out. This came with impact from children, young people and women who have seen the effects of conflict and called on us to respond.
“As a young person I demand that you tap the power of youth, putting us at the forefront of global change.”
The young speakers (8 years old and upwards) showed the power of youth as they spoke with passion and clarity to the audience of MPS and Lords, community leaders, business people, diplomats, educators and schoolchildren from eight schools around the country,
You can view the conference report and pictures, with a summary of the outcomes and practical proposals, here.
7/7 and beyond: is anybody listening?
The group of sixth formers from City of Leeds and Primrose Schools were taking part in a video conference link to a group of MPs and peers, faith community leaders and charity representatives meeting in Westminster on 24th January 2008.
The meeting was part of a series of conferences organised by South Asian Development Partnership on the theme ‘7/7 and Beyond: Peace for our Communities’.
Dr Prem Sharma, Patron of SADP, realised after the first conference in London that the response needed was a long-term, committed campaign for peace. Further conferences were held in Reading, Birmingham, Leeds and London again. They brought together politicians, community leaders, police, and representatives of local government and business - along with young people. Their distinctive feature was a special workshop for teenagers from schools and colleges, who then presented their views to the larger group.
The way ahead: models for the future
Saturday 19th November 2016, 09.30 to 15.30
"We must go on working until the power of love is greater than the love of power." Sana (16 years old).
In the face of fear, suspicion and lack of opportunity, who is going to ask the real questions? In the face of the politics of fear rather than hope, who is going to act?
The country as a whole faces issues that divide communities, such as the threat of extremism, the pressure of immigration, and the refugee crisis. If we want to build bridges of understanding and work towards a genuinely inclusive society we need to give people the opportunity to voice their opinions as well as hear the perspectives of others. Talking openly, rather than ignoring the issues, is vital.
There are many examples of this open communication in Bradford, and we can engage with them in order to build bridges more widely. The "Real Lives" conference is another opportunity for this. It follows the Real Lives, Building Bridges conference in March 2016.
Young people will take the lead in sharing stories and raising key questions with a direct bearing on future community relations. We will debate them in workshop groups.
Bishop Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford, will be the keynote speaker, together with young speakers and responses from community and political leaders.
The conference is organised by St Johns Great Horton, along with South Asian Development Partnership (SADP), Faithful Neighbours, Kala Sangam, The Feast, the chaplains at Bradford University and other local organisations.
There will be information and displays of local resources and networks you can work with to follow up the action points.
You can register to attend here. You will receive further details and the full programme for the day. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. There is no charge for this event, but places are limited.
Further information from
INTERNATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE LED BY CHILDREN
One girl summed it up in these words:
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