President Gurmninder Singh with Caroline Millman of PeaceJam UK
This week we welcomed Caroline Millman, President of the Rotary Club of Ringwood (Hampshire) and past District Governor of Rotary Wessex D1110. Her enthusiasm had not been dampened by the seven-hour journey it had taken to reach Leeds and we were very grateful that she was able to be with us!
Caroline Millman chairman of PeaceJam UK
Caroline is also the chairman of PeaceJam UK, part of the international PeaceJam Foundation and the reason why she came all the way to the Rotary Club of Roundhay, Leeds. PeaceJam was established in 1996 in Denver, Colorado, US and is a non-profit organisation with United Nations NGO status.
Often the world can be perceived as a dangerous place especially to young people; with the explosion of social media use and online activity and messaging Apps cyberbullying is on the increase and suicide is the leading cause of young deaths in the UK.
What is PeaceJam?
Caroline told us the essential elements of the PeaceJam scheme were to facilitate 13 Nobel Peace Laureates mentoring young people to change the world. The educational curriculum-based programme is devised for students from five to eighteen years of age and beyond. The schemes support and empower the development of confident young leaders who are able to think for themselves.
Of particular interest to us as a Leeds based Rotary Club is the plan for the next PeaceJam to be held at Leeds Trininty University 25-26 November 2017. The Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan (Founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement) will address the conference and there will be lots of other activities including small group discussions facilitated by students. Feedback from previous conferences has been fantastic and Caroline commented that ‘each young person who attends will leave as a changed person’, the approach is not to teach but to facilitate young people to make a ‘positive change in themselves, their communities and the world’
It costs £60 per person to attend the PeaceJam and there are up to 250 young people at the conference, there are other needs for funds too, ‘the organisation runs on a shoestring’. The Rotary Club of Roundhay have previously made a donation to Peace Together enabling fifteen young people from Chapeltown to attend a Peace Jam at Bradford University; where the first seven conferences were held.
Carol Jordan gave the vote of thanks after the ‘inspiring talk’ and commented 'we Roundhay Rotarians will be pleased to make a contribution to ensure its continued success especially as the conference has returned to Yorkshire!'