23 Nov 2009
The 4th Peace Mala International Youth Awards were presented earlier this year at a ceremony held in the United Nations Association Temple of Peace in Cardiff.
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The 4th Peace Mala International Youth Awards were presented earlier this year at a ceremony held in the United Nations Association Temple of Peace in Cardiff. Singer Bonnie Tyler distributed prizes to schools and youth groups from across the UK, which are actively promoting peace and celebrating diversity.
Guest speaker Helen Mary Jones, the Deputy Leader of Plaid Cymru, praised the foundation of Peace Mala’s work. ‘Hate and prejudice are learnt but love, justice and tolerance are in the hearts of young people naturally,’ she stated.
The first prize in the Junior category was allocated equally between two schools. The accomplishments of Hafod Primary School in Swansea, included the creation of a Global Faith Garden on the school’s roof, which the judges praised as being a multicultural haven’. Sharing the first place was St Helen’s Primary School, also in Swansea, who impressed with their fully integrated principles of diversity and inclusiveness.’ Positive Youth News was excited to learn about the children’s efforts to connect pupils by creating their own newspaper.
Councillor Alan Lloyd, Lord Mayor of Swansea, was delighted with the many achievements of his city and county’s young people. ‘Swansea is becoming an increasingly multicultural society, so it is vital that our children grow up to become global citizens, who have respect and tolerance for all faiths and customs,’ he commented.
In the Senior category, the top award went to Sandfield and Aberavon Youth Inclusion Programme from Port Talbot. In conjunction with a community artist and Cultural Fusion Wales, young people produced a film, creatively expressing the Peace Mala ethics.
Noting the enthusiasm and commitment behind the programme, the judges found it an ingenious and technically accomplished’ result. ‘There was clear evidence of the huge positive effect that the Peace Mala project has had on these young people, who are some of the most disadvantaged in the area,’ they said.
From 2010, an updated form of the Peace Mala Award will replace the current system. The new prize, which comes with a flag, was piloted this year. It will be given to schools that meet criteria for promoting peace in their daily running.
‘Through our work, we have supported some incredible initiatives in schools,’ Pam Evans, the organisation’s founder announced. ‘We hope that by awarding the flags, more schools, youth groups and communities can join the Peace Mala global family.’
Contact: Peace Mala, 122 Clydach Road,
Morriston, Swansea, SA6 6QB
Tel: +44 (0)1792 774225
Pupils from St Helen’s Primary School,
Swansea, in their Peace Garden
Photo: © Dalleen Jones
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