Welcome to my first newsletter! After what I know is a long time since the last one, from now on we will be sending them out every two months with our and related news. So please encourage your friends and colleagues to subscribe on our website. Of course, if you don’t want to receive it, there is an UNsubscribe link and the bottom.
“Last weekend was the 35th anniversary of the Brighton Bomb that changed my life. I was 27 when the bomb went off and vowed to bring something positive out of the atrocity. That never ends, and I renew my commitment to be bolder in my peace-work for Building Bridges for Peace, be more courageous in challenging judgements and hatred, to let go more of righteousness and blaming which stops me hearing your story and seeing you in your full humanity. Sadly it seems there is more division, hatred, violence and suffering in the world, yet I believe in a world where we can all make a positive difference and our capacity to be compassionate can grow when we empathise with our ‘other’. Non violence is the way, for every time we hurt another human being, we are all affected. It is time that we care for everyone around the world, we are a global family and we all matter.
My thanks to everyone who has given me such incredible support over the last 35 years, including my amazing family and friends. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have had and still have to make a difference in the world.”
On the 12th October anniversary, I recorded a video with my reflections. You can view the video here:
The next two months are busy for me. I have some funding to work in schools in the East End of London with under 16’s. They will become peace ambassadors for our charity and I will be working with them to create projects related to topics they are interested in such as knife crime, poverty and climate change. This will also include looking at inner resilience, self esteem, and skills such as listening and how to challenge others in a positive way. In December I will share the result of the work on the web site.
Although Jo is receiving invitations from schools around the country including from Bradford, Coventry, Dorset and other parts of London, sadly they do not have any budget to be able to support her to go there. So we are putting out an appeal for help to fund this work in schools. The cost for each school project varies but typically is about £500. This covers basic travel and accommodation costs, plus of course Jo’s time. If courses can be run back to back in one area then costs are less.
We would like to raise enough funds by the end of 2019 to fund 7 school projects in the first quarter of 2020.
- If you know of any funding organisations who might fund
- Any amount that you can contribute makes a difference.
And as a charity, if you are a UK tax payer we can receive Gift Aid on top.
Please donate here
Towards a Stronger Britain Project Report
It is very gratifying to see that the results of the work in schools seems to be very impactful. Earlier this year Jo Berry ran a schools project in Tower Hamlets. With funding from the Building a Stronger Britain Together programme, 1,800 young people were positively impacted. Topics ranged from the many challenges they feel as young people, such as bullying, knife crime, climate change and family challenges. Other topics covered included body shaming, cyber bulling, developing resilience, role models of young women who talk about mental health and inner beauty. A glowing testimonial was received from one of the schools involved noting that “there was a definite shift in students’ feelings on these issues”. The testimonial went on to say that “this is by far the most impactful thing we have done in the 5 years I have been working in the sixth form.”
Read Jo’s report on the success of the project here:
It’s always an honour to be invited to participate in international events and make a difference.
In December I will be speaking in South Korea at an international peace conference. Although I am still working on the message that I will share, the lessons I have learnt from my personal experience are the same all around the world. We need to be building bridges, listening and challenging without blaming or demonising. We need to work together so that all in the world win. The old way of winning/losing, I am right/you are wrong, and creating an ‘other’ do not bring us the peace and well-being we all deserve. We cannot resolve the huge challenges we have without all working together. We’ll have a report on the event in the next newsletter.
Ubuntu Academy in Portugal
In September Jo Berry and Patrick Magee were asked back by the Academy of Ubuntu leaders for the second time to speak with the young people from 11 countries. Jo reports on the trip:
More news here: