by Jane Harries
The 2015 Urdd Eisteddfod in Caerphilly saw the offcial launch of the ‘Wales for Peace’ project. Between now and 2018 this exciting Heritage Lottery Funded project, managed by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, will ask the central question: “In the 100 years since the First World War, how has Wales contributed to the search for peace?” And this is no office-based project. The aim is to involve 100,000 people in discovering and exploring Wales’ peace heritage, including uncovering and sharing hidden histories of men and women who have worked for peace. The project will capture people’s views on current day conflicts and achieving peace, and build a vision for the role that future generations want to see Wales playing in the world over the next 100 years.
A key area of activity for the Urdd will be to uncover the history of the Urdd’s Message of Peace and Goodwill – delivered from the young people of Wales to the young people of the world every year since 1922. During the official launch Urdd Chief Executive Efa Gruffudd Jones commented, “This is a tremendously exciting project, and we look forward to tracing the story of the Urdd’s Message of Peace and Goodwill over the last 90 years, and to involving young people in Wales in discussions about what it means to be a peacemaker today as we move towards our own centenary.”
The ‘Wales for Peace’ voyage of discovery got underway during Urdd Eisteddfod week, involving young people in a series of peace-related activities. In Pentre Mistar Urdd young people wrote their own personal messages of peace and goodwill on white poppies – for their school, communities, Wales and the world. Artist Laura Sorvala involved children and young people in discussions on war and peace and translated their comments into a live ‘Wales for Peace’ mural in the Pabell Croeso. At a massive 3m x 1.5m this mural is a representation of the attitudes, developments and dilemmas which mark Wales’ peace heritage – past, present and future. On completion, the mural was displayed in the Pabell Croeso alongside young people’s personal messages of peace and goodwill.
Peace – in home, school and community – is important to young people. During the next 4 years the ‘Wales for Peace’ will enable them to get their voice heard on this issue and support them in getting involved as young peacemakers.
You can find out more about the ‘Wales for Peace’ project on this website, or get involved as a volunteer, supporter or local partner organisation by emailing email@example.com.