Eirwen sends news of Peace Child activities. Her daughter Rosey and son-in-law David Woolcombe founded this organisation which works to “empower young people to be the change they want to see in the world”.
Many good people are working for a more peaceful world , yet we see an escalation of killing. However, I think this work, paralleled by Zerbanoo and the Asha Centre, is the most hopeful approach. The FT reports that a new opinion poll on Friday by Gallup demonstrated a big generational gap in views about Israel. Among Americans aged 65 and over, 55% said they supported Israel’s actions in the current conflict.
Encouragingly, among the 18-29 group 51% said Israel’s behaviour was unjustified and only 23% supported Israel’s actions.
In September last year Eirwen attended a new production of the original “Peace Child'” musical at UN HQ in Geneva. Green Cross international had asked Peace Child to do this as part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of its creation by Mikhail Gorbachev. Eirwen relates:
“The story begins with the catastrophic explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear plant which financially beggared the old Soviet Union. The cost of seeking advice from world experts on how to render it safe had left a huge hole in the Soviet military budget. National – and global – security had suddenly assumed a new environmental priority. It proved the political undoing of Gorbachev. Sacked, he was left to ponder where the essence of global security actually lay. Green Cross International was the result.
“The show was called “2050 – The Future We Want”. Whereas back in 1981, the story of ” Peace Child” had focused on how young people had made friends with the young of Soviet Russia, supporting disarmament as the road to world peace, 32 years on the spotlight was now on environmental security.
“It was not hard to edit the words of the original songs. “The Military Industrial Complex” easily became “The Petroleum Industrial Complex”. There were additional songs from Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) who was delighted to be there with his wife. The Geneva City community choir were joined by singers from 3 former Soviet satellites – Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus – and 19 other countries. Brilliant dancers were trained by a UK choreographer; 11 younger children from families in Geneva gathered round Rosey, playing the Story Teller, (and looking absolutely beautiful!). A few of the cast below – all may be seen here: http://www.gcint.org/musical-2050-future-we-want-cast
“On screen a poignant film about Chernobyl’s demise showed the stricken countryside where nothing can now thrive, as though people had just left in a hurry, leaving food on the tables, children’s toys and shoes strewn around and an eerie silence everywhere. Much individual rehearsing had naturally already been going on in various locations but this jigsaw of a production had now to be assembled by David, lighting and sound technicians, others responsible for scene setup, changing props &c – and all within a bare fortnight!”
(Please see www.peacechild.org for instructions on viewing the show)
Peace Child then hosted the first international “Jobs Creation Summit” at a Westminster location provided by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills:
“The keynote speaker was Andries Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, followed by Lord Young, Prime Minister Cameron’s Enterprise Adviser. Half the 165 delegates were young people, the remainder being representatives of NGOs, business, academics and a single MP – Jeremy Lefroy (Con)- who organised a later follow-up meeting in the House of Commons. Basically all this was the culmination of a series of 6 smaller meetings over the past year within a EU network that seeks to identify best innovative practices already running for 18-20 year olds. Peace Child’s partners have been Multiple Learning Solutions and InspirEngage International.
“One particular individual stood out for me from the array of innovative leadership on the platform that day – Larry Sullivan, the Australian Founder/CEO of COINS-Global.com. Look him up, if you will, and see how many start-up enterprises he has created.
“The new Youth Training Programme of EU Partnership for Enterprise has a challenging task ahead, does it not? But I have confidence that they will make their mark!”