Storytelling for Wales for Peace: Ann Pettitt

By Vivian Mayo

Welsh men and women from all backgrounds have gone on to achieve great things. Many of these people became famous by their activities in the First and Second World War; whereas others made a name for themselves in sport, music and architecture, which can be seen in so many buildings around the country. The names of these individuals have been immortalised through engravings in walls and buildings, their stories can be retrieved on the internet or heard in school, colleges and universities.

There is one fascinating story in the history of Wales which hit some headlines in the early 1980s. The Greenham Common camp and the champion of this campaign was a woman called Ann Pettitt. The interesting thing about this story, is how it started and who was behind idea and how that sharing made a difference. A young woman by then, she inspired other young women in her surroundings and turned her ideas to be a massive protest which spread nationally.

The saga of this campaign began with the news in 1979 which suggested that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) decided to base cruise missiles at Greenham and missiles were to arrive in Britain from the United States. Ann was inspired by a march which had taken place in Copenhagen and decided to embark on a 120 mile walk from Cardiff to Berkshire airbase with a group of women. Her sharing just sparked and became the exodus of that protest.

Ann Pettitt

The scale of Greenham campaign attracted support and groups merged from around the country and letters were written to prisons where women were imprisoned for trespass or other surrealist crimes such as breaching the peace. Letters linked with women’s peace groups and sister camps set up in the wake of Greenham, in Britain and internationally, including the missile ‘defence’ base in in some part of Britain. It is suggested that the letter writing was a symbolic too, from the open letters to base commanders and local townspeople to the handwritten newsletters and the personal networking that started from Greenham.

Ann Pettitt can be remembered as an inspirational leader, who influenced friends and women around her, as well as energising and creating a sense of direction and purpose. The idea attracted a group of forty women and from there, this women campaign group was organised successfully. Their voices were raised against the arrival of a cruise with missiles in 1981 and that action will never be forgotten in the history of Wales and Britain. The impressive thing of this story is the strength of the protest became and the resilience from this group of women. The march was long and lots of things happened on the way: they were harassed by police, received some abusive threats from members of the public and were called by all sort of names. However the group remained unwavered, determined to finish their course. And the most inspiring thing about this, is the leadership quality and the vision of Ann, a young woman. Truly real tells us that a vision can be persuaded from anywhere around our social spaces. But how sad it is that in so many cases see a vision just sit on it.

I am convinced that if Ann didn’t have the courage to share that idea, this historic event could have never be done or taken place. By then Ann Pettitt was 19 years old and a mother to a young baby, but that didn’t stop her from taking an action against something that she didn’t like. She found the idea of nuclear arms coming to the country very disturbing and together with other women thought of made their concern known to the society. And that led women of all ages to this historical campaign. Ann now runs a tile business from her home in West Wales and doesn’t oppose nuclear power outright but suggest that she’d do it all again if something make her angry enough.  Unfortunately there is no image of Ann on her own in that event.

 

An interview with an activist: Hanif Bhamjee

Michael Beya recounts his meeting with Hanif Bhamjee, founder of the Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement.

Upon my arrival at the Temple of Peace where the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) is based, I began researching the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Wales.

In the early 1960s people globally were becoming much more aware of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (often shortened to ‘AAM’). By this time apartheid was reaching its peak.

AAM campaigners were grabbing opportunities to abolish apartheid using all means possible, including the involvement of schools, churches, political groups, local communities and sports organisations.

I was interested in what I understood was the Welsh Rugby Union’s (WRU) involvement in the campaign of boycotting all activities related to South Africa and urging South Africa to be banned from international sporting events.

This is how I became aware of a man who was a prominent AAM activist living here in Cardiff – Hanif Bhamjee. I met with Mr Bhamjee and asked him about his role and activities within the movement and also about the WRU’s contribution to the AAM.

What Mr Bhamjee told me contradicted my understanding of what happened.

thumbnail_Michael and Hanef

During our interview he told me about protests he was involved in when rugby teams from South Africa played in Wales.  He said they picketed games, and in some cases smoke-bombed pitches.  He told me that the teams began including 3 or 4 black players, to give what he says was the impression of being multi-racial.  But he said the movement knew that generally these players were going back to South Africa to play in black teams, not the national team.

Mr Bhamjee told me about discussions that took place between the WRU and the AAM, how in 1982 the WRU had decided it would no longer tour South Africa as an international team, but that rugby connections would continue between the two countries for a few years to come.

I spent an hour with Mr Bhamjee, and he didn’t just talk about rugby.  I was impressed by his own experiences in Wales as an anti-apartheid campaigner; experiences that had nothing to do with rugby.

He told me that his early history in South Africa was important.  He had been involved in the movement for a long time, and had met Nelson Mandela and others in the movement when he was 10 years old.

Mr Bhamjee had then moved to Birmingham, UK, and became involved in the AAM there.  He moved to Wales and was surprised that the movement only really existed in Cardiff; there were small groups in Swansea and Newport, but no Welsh organisation.  He said it was painstaking work.

“There was a lot of racism”, and that this was all over the UK.  “There were signs in the windows” he said, saying, “no Blacks…no Irish. Room to let.  But if a black man or an Asian guy went for it, it was suddenly gone.”  He said that he and his colleagues had tested this theory with some white friends.

He told me how the AAM in Wales grew, developing groups in Merthyr, Wrexham and Denbigh.  By about 1989 they had 22 branches in 22 cities and towns.

With this momentum, the movement demonstrated not only about rugby, but started boycotting products, like South African fruit and vegetables.  “You’d be amazed at the kind of stuff that was coming in here” he said, “from tools – like spades – and knives and forks.”

During the interview with Mr Bhamjee it emerged that a rebellious spirit grew in him; he viewed the AAM as something that left him out of the circle; he felt forgotten, which left him very disappointed.

He felt that his efforts, time and dedication that he had offered were left unrewarded. He couldn’t afford to go back to South Africa to find a job in the country of his origin, which he had fought for, for more than half a century.

I was also interested to know how Mr Bhamjee viewed the movement now, as active or passive.  He told me that it was over, and that the movement was almost discontinued.

I asked him about how he felt when Nelson Mandela walked out of prison with his fist in the air, if their expectations were too high?  He told me that when Mandela and others were released from Robben Island they were saying the right things, but that as time went Bhamjee began to have reservations about progress being made.

“When he came out in 1990, him and the leadership – all of whom were released from Robben Island – were all saying the right things, but as time progressed – 1991, 92…96 – you could see a dramatic shift in their views, and people don’t like to hear this…And then he retired early and nobody could understand why.  Some people said it was due to illness, but as soon as he retired the situation got even worse.”

Mr Bhamjee went on to refer to another senior member of the Party and his unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the direction he took.

I went on to ask him – as a key anti-Apartheid campaigner – if he had ever thought of going back to South Africa.  Here’s what he told me:

“I applied for jobs. I applied for jobs in the legal field, the diplomatic field because I was a lawyer…I didn’t get any interviews.  Then there was – years later – they were forming a legal aid board in South Africa so I applied for a job there.  And the woman in charge said you’ll get it because you’ve worked with legal aid firms…she phoned me up a few days before the interview and said sorry, higher authorities have decided we couldn’t shortlist you.…I wanted to go back.”

I asked him: did you feel forgotten, after all you’ve done for the AAM, all the links you had with the ANC (African National Congress, a political party)?  Now you go back home looking for a job, you couldn’t find one.  Were you disappointed?

Mr Bhamjee said “Yes, I was. I was extremely disappointed.  And I still am.”

It was an interesting meeting and interview with Mr Bhamjee. I am happy I met with him, learning about his experiences and thoughts about the AAM, past and present.

These are Mr Bhamjee’s opinions and his perspective on events as he witnessed them.

As I reflected on my time spent with Mr Bhamjee – and how I had my preconceived ideas corrected – I understood that there was much more discussion, research and debate to be held. Perhaps someone reading this will be among those who contribute. Any readers who have ideas or information not discussed here are welcome to contribute to further debate on the AAM.

For more information on the work of Hanif Bhamjee and Action for Southern Africa Cymru (the successor to the Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement) click here

For more on the history of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in UK, including Wales click here

No vote? Don’t sweat!

By Olivia Richards and Rhiannon Jones 

As the recent turnout of the general election increased by 9.3% compared to 2001, there has also been an increase among individuals who are under 18 and want their say in future elections. Here are some ways to get involved and make sure that everyone has a right to contribute politically:

  • Form a debating group – Each of you can represent a different party and talk about global issues. You might even see another side to the argument and change your mind on certain topics.
  •  Volunteer for charities such as health charities that want to make changes to laws and policies. This is a great opportunity to meet other people who are passionate about the same things as you!
  •  Host a mock election in school – This is beneficial for the whole school, as it lets everyone contribute and form opinions. Having your own polling station will prepare you for the process of voting when you turn 18.
  •  Sign online petitions – There are petitions to change all kind of policies, for example: legislation regarding animal testing. If there are 10,000 signatures to the petition, the government will respond. You could help make up these numbers if there are issues you are passionate on any of these topics.
  •  Campaigning – You could create posters and post on social media to raise awareness of issues that are important to you.petition

There are many benefits towards younger individuals taking part in such activities. One of which is having the ability to develop your own opinion. This ensures that more people will engage in political decision making and vote, as more and more will have a better understanding of how democracy works. Imagine the confidence you will develop by practicing the election process. Creative thinking is also an essential skill for everyday challenges therefore, representing different parties is a good way to come up with various ideas on how to improve the future of others.

Even though you might not be old enough to vote, campaigning is a great way to contribute and make your opinion heard. You never know who you might persuade or influence.

Whatever your age, there are opportunities for everyone. Currently, ‘Youth Parliament for Wales’ are planning to form a youth parliament where younger individuals can express their opinions on various topics that concern us all.

Interested in volunteering for the WCIA like Olivia and Rhiannon? Read about their experiences here.

Volunteer Voices

This month’s WCIA volunteers are Olivia Richards and Rhiannon Jones. Read their stories below. 

Olivia Richards

I am a Year 12 student, who is currently studying A-levels at an all Welsh school. After considering various courses, I have come to the conclusion that I would like to study Law at university therefore, work experience is necessary to help me develop numerous skills. One of my teachers recommended that I contact the WCIA for work experience. I am so glad I did as it has given me an insight of the life as a employee.

Outside of school, I enjoy performing. I attend a drama club every Tuesday where we prepare for showcases. Currently, I am preparing to play the role of Velma in Hairspray.

There are many things I have learnt during my time with the WCIA. One of which would be how to research certain topics and condense the information to make it suitable for blogs and social media posts, by following certain guidelines. I have also learnt how to use a certain online software which helped me create a timeline for the Urdd’s goodwill messages.

During my time of creating the timeline, I had to overcome a few struggles, such as learning how to use the software correctly. One of my favourite things to do was create a poster to represent the theme of ‘Hidden Histories’. I chose to base mine on refugees such as Michael Marks who was one of the two co-founders of Marks & Spencer. Another activity I had to do was analyse data from surveys that had been filled in, by using the software ‘Excel’. Fortunately, I study ICT as an A-level therefore this wasn’t much of a struggle.

The staff were very friendly and they all welcomed me with open arms.

Rhiannon Jones

Currently, I am in my first year of Sixth Form at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd. There, I am studying Welsh, Art and Psychology. I am hoping to study Welsh at university because I’m very interested in the language and our culture and am aiming to become a translator. I approached the WCIA for a week’s work experience as I am interested in issues such as women’s rights and peace and wanted to know how I could make a difference.

During the week, I contributed to the WCIA Voices blog as well as creating an interactive timeline of the Urdd Messages of Peace and Goodwill broadcasted over the years. This was very relevant to me as I have been a member of the Urdd since I was young and was fascinated to see how the members have been spreading these messages and how they’ve changed over the years.

I improved my analytical skills whilst handling questionnaire data. Personally, the hardest part of the week was raising awareness of global issues through creating social media posts. Creating informative and concise posts was challenging but I also learnt a lot about different issues whilst researching.

I was most surprised by the hidden history project and Olivia and I decided to make our own that looks on refugees. We focused on Joseph Mailin, who brought fish and chips to Britain and Michael Marks, one half of Marks & Spencer – people who I would not have thought to be refugees!

I’m very glad that I decided to come to WCIA for a week because I learnt a lot about the world and how everyone has something to contribute. The staff were friendly and I felt very welcomed.

If you are interested in volunteering with the WCIA- you can find out more here.   

Dysgu Trawsgrifio: Darlith yn Rhyl ynglŷn a ffoaduriaid o Wlad Belg

Gan: Mared Erin Roberts

Y ail ddarn gwnes i drawsgrifio, oedd darlith Saesneg gan ddau siaradwr mewn neuadd yn Rhyl. Roedd cynnwys y ddarlith yn ddiddorol, ac fel y darn blaenorol, roeddwn gydag ychydig o wybodaeth am y pwnc. Mae’n yn ymddangos fel rhywbeth llawer fwy ffurfiol na’r darn blaenorol, ac yn gyffredinol roeddwn yn medru ei ddilyn yn well gan ei fod ychydig mwy naratif. Pwrpas y ddarlith oedd, i siarad am broject a oedd gwneud gyda’r canran uchel o ffoaduriaid o Wlad Belg, a oedd wedi dod i Rhyl i ddianc dinistr ei gwlad yn ystod y ail ryfel byd.

Roedd rhan enfawr o’r ddarlith yn cyflwyno lluniau i gyd-fynd gyda hynny a oedd yn cael ei ddweud gan y darlithwyr. Roedd y darlithwyr ar adegau yn rhoi disgrifiad o’r lluniau, ond yn anaml iawn mae’n nhw yn gwneud hyn mewn unrhyw fanylder, felly i unrhyw un sydd ond yn gwrando neu ddarllen y darn – yn enwau, gall teimlo ychydig ar goll. Wrth ysgrifennu am y lluniau yma, roeddwn yn teimlo fel bod trawsgrifio beth oedd yn cael ei ddweud braidd yn ddibwynt mewn gwirionedd. Nid oeddwn i na unrhyw berson a bysa’n digwydd darllen y trawsgrifiad, yn cael darlun clir o beth oedd yn cael ei ddweud. Ar ôl gorffen y trawsgrifiad, ceisiais wella hyn. Chofiais fod y gwaith a yrrwyd i mi ar Dropbox (sef y safle roedd Fiona yn defnyddio i yrru’r gwaith) yn cynnwys amrywiaeth o luniau. Pan welais y lluniau yma i ddechrau, nid oeddwn yn siŵr os oedd angen i mi wneud unrhyw beth gyda nhw, ond am nad oedd Fiona wedi pwyntio nhw allan gwnes i ddewis i’w anwybyddu. Gyda’r trawsgrifiad yma, roeddwn yn teimlo efalle fy mod yn gwybod beth oedd ei phwrpas. Felly penderfynais chwilota trwy ‘r holl luniau oedd ar y Dropbox, gan feddwl yn siawns fod rhai o’r lluniau yn berthnasol i’r ddarlith yma. Roeddwn yn gobeithio ffeindio rhai o’r lluniau roedd y darlithwyr yn ei ddisgrifio. Roedd rhan helaeth o’r lluniau a oedd yn cael ei ddisgrifio yn lluniau o deuluoedd Belgaidd o’r 1940’au. Felly, roedd gennyf syniad go lew o beth roeddwn yn chwilio am, ac unwaith baswn i yn ei ffeindio, buaswn yn gosod y llun wrth ochr y disgrifiad, fel bod y gwaith yn gwneud fwy o synnwyr. Gwariais tuag awr yn chwilio am unrhyw luniau a oedd yn berthnasol i’r darn yma. Llwyddais i ddarganfod lluniau a sawl fideo o’r digwyddiad. Er hynny, mae nhw i gyd yn lluniau o’r darlithwyr yn hytrach na’r ffoaduriaid. Roeddwn yn eithaf siomedig am hynny, oherwydd hyn oedd yr unig adeg ble roeddwn yn teimlo bysa’r lluniau wedi bod yn ddefnyddiol i fy nhasg. Tebyg i’r darn blaenorol, roedd rhaid stopio tua bob 5 eiliad er mwyn ysgrifennu beth oedd yn cael ei ddweud.

Dechreuais sylweddoli fod hyn yn rhywbeth cyffredinol roedd rhaid gwneud wrth drawsgrifio, ac nid oedd yn berthnasol i’r darn blaenorol yn unig. Roedd y darlithydd cyntaf yn Felgaidd ei hun a gydag acen eithaf cryf, felly roedd yna amseroedd ble roeddwn fethu deall beth oedd yn cael ei ddweud. Bodd bynnag, nid oeddwn yn ffeindio hyn yn broblem enfawr, gan fy mod yn medru deall rhan helaeth o hynny a oedd yn cael ei ddweud. Yn gyffredinol roedd yn fwy dealladwy na’r darn blaenorol. Bodd bynnag, gwnaeth o dal gymryd hirach i’w drawsgrifio na’r darn blaenorol, gan fod y recordiad cyfan yn barau tuag awr. Roeddwn yn gweld hynny braidd yn frawychus i ddechrau. Roeddwn yn gwybod yn syth fy mod ddim am gwblhau’r darn mewn un diwrnod, gan fy mod gyda llawer o aseiniadau eraill i wneud ar wythnos yna. Yn gyfan gwbl, wnes i lwyddo i’w gwblhau mewn tua thri diwrnod, a gymerodd o tua 12 awr i’w wneud.

 

The violence paradox

It is a fact that the world is less and less violent. So why do we have the feeling that the world is more and more violent, when it is more and more secure?

By Mailys

I. The decline of violence

A. The decline of homicides

The common method to measure violence is to look at the homicide rate- war, murder etc. If you look at the homicide rate over a very, very long period of time, there is a clear trend: a steady decline. This is the observation reached by the economist Max Roser who, in studying the evidence of homicides on the skeletons of 26 archaeological sites, calculated the following rates:

violence paradox

Let’s take the United States and Europe from 1900 to 1960 — during the period of the two World Wars, which together accounted for several tens of millions of deaths. Will this be higher or lower on the graph?

violence paradox graph

Despite their weapons of mass destruction and their world wars, when compared to prehistoric societies, Americans and Europeans of the 20th century seem almost like pacifists…

In tribal societies, where the state was almost non-existent, revenge and self-defence was enacted through  violence.  Gradually, as societies evolved, states built their authority by assuming what is called the monopoly of legitimate violence. It meant that only the state has the right to resort to physical violence .

In his book The Civilization of Morals (“La civilisation des moeurs” in French), sociologist Norbert Elias shows how this control of violence has been gradually internalised by
humans. This is what he called the pacification of manners. In the Middle Ages a knight could kill without remorse or even sometimes without being punished. Little by little, however, this violence has become less socially and legally acceptable. And it is a phenomenon that translates in the figures, as shown by Steven Pinker in his bestseller The Better Angels of our Nature:Better of our nature

If we zoom into the 20th century, the rate of homicides linked to wars is also rapidly declining. Since the end of the Second World War, there has been an unprecedented period of peace, when no great power has entered the war with another great power.

‘In 2016, one is 500 times less likely to die from a homicide than during prehistoric times.’

B. The decline of other violence

 

Delinquency (excluding homicides) is quite difficult to measure. This is because complaints or convictions are not very reliable indicators. For two reasons:

– Today, people complain more easily for facts that they would previously haven’t even talk about.
– The policy of governments changes according to the time (increase or decrease of the
forces of the order, tightening or softening judicial processes, etc.), which impacts the
number of complaints recorded.

Then to measure this evolution more reliably, we must turn to another tool: victimization surveys. The idea is to interview each year a representative sample of the population on the violence they have suffered in the past year.

The United States (National Crime Victimization Survey) and the United Kingdom (England and Wales Crime Survey) were the first to use these surveys. What we are seeing is that after an increase in violence in the 1970s and 1980s, violence has drastically fallen since the 1990s…

The fact that delinquency is going down has been studied extensively in the United States but not every scientist will totally agrees. There are a lot of factors that come into account such as:
– Increase in Police and Prison Population
– Ageing of the population
– Securing our property
– Development of contraception and legalization of abortion (thesis advanced in the bestseller Freakonomics; the legalization of abortion in the 1970s avoided the birth of unwanted children, who would have been raised in more family difficulties context and therefore potentially more likely to become criminals).

II. Why do we feel that the world is more and more dangerous?

A. Reduced tolerance to violence

When Alexis de Tocqueville, one of the precursors of sociology, visited the United States at the beginning of the 19th century, there was something he did not quite understand. Indeed, at the time, Americans lived in a much more egalitarian and democratic society than Europe.

And yet: they are all very worried about the future. Why?
Here is his analysis:

“In a society, the lower the inequalities, the more intolerable the
remaining inequalities become”

What is the link with violence? Because a lot of sociologists (like Laurent Mucchielli for
instance) say that it is the same with violence. In a global context of pacification and where violence declines, this decline of violence is accompanied by a decrease in tolerance towards violence …

In other words, paradoxically, the more violence is diminished, the more sensitive one is to residual forms of violence… and the less one feels safe. Today, we are much less victims of physical violence but we are much more exposed to violence than in the past (through the news, TV,…). The systematic emphasis of sensitives and violent subjects distorts our perception of the world.

For example, look at these images and ask yourself what do you think is most likely to kill you this year?

stats

B. Terrorism

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked at home on their territory for the first time in their history.
Where terrorism is scary, it is also that it changes the nature of violence. Before, the violence was perpetrated according to what an individual possessed or did. Terrorism, on the other hand, targets identities: it aims at what one is … and as it is random, one has the impression that it could all touch us.

And yet —
In the UK, over the last 10 years there’s been 1.4 deaths due to terrorism – which, means
you’re more likely to be killed by dog, hot water (100 deaths per year) or using your
phone while driving (2,920 deaths per year).

Indeed, speaking outside Downing Street, Theresa May condemned the London’s attack-
when a group of three terrorists used a van and knives to kill seven and leave dozens more injured – stating that “enough is enough”. But despite this latest attack, relatively few people have been killed by terrorist attacks in the UK in recent years.

terrorism.png

In fact, there can be even more dangerous than terrorism: our reaction to the terrorist attacks.

 

“Terrorism makes relatively few casualties, does not damage the
enemy’s infrastructure, and yet it has maximum impact.” Noah Harari, La Stratégie de la mouche (The Fly Strategy) 

Because in fact, terrorism is like a fly attacking an elephant in a porcelain store. Its means are a little derisory but, if it does well, it can provoke a catastrophic reaction …
In fact, its impact depends less on the damage inflicted objectively than on the way in which people are reacting to it.

C. But why do the media talk so much about violence?

A journalist will never talk about trains arriving on time. They
want a story to tell.

And with our smartphones, we are increasingly exposed to medias, fake news and bad news. According to Mediametrie’s Media in Life study, with the appearance of smartphones, we are 30% more exposed to the media than 10 years ago, with more than 44 contact points per day.

D.Why this feeling of insecurity is dangerous

Because it is a risk of making the world really more violent. Indeed, by believing that our world is more and more violent, one could end up making it really more violent. I don’t known if you have realized, but after the last elections, these are the main leaders of the UN Security Council.hard line

Volunteering with the WCIA

By Mailys

Being a masters student in international relations and geopolitics and having spent one year studying in North Wales in 2016, the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) was the perfect place to do my internship. For three months, I have been given many projects to work on such as:

  • Global Steps project — a project in collaboration with Erasmus + which aims at providing evidence of the skills and competencies developed through volunteering experience in order to facilitate access to quality employment using those skills.
  • Wales for Peace school workshops —I visited Welsh schools in order to run creative workshops and helping pupils to cover their Hidden History.

I also had the chance to attend several events such as Wales as a Nation of Sanctuary conference and Africa Day. Nation of Sanctuary conference was a coalition of charities, debating what and how to improve the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in Wales. The idea being pushed forward was to make Wales as a Nation of Sanctuary status, with an emphasis on creating a welcoming safe space for all. Such things as ‘welcoming’ or improving living conditions etc may seem small but a change in attitude and perceptions can create huge differences.

I am so glad for my experience at the WCIA. As a student, I have always been told how international institutions are important for national and international cooperation, to maintain peace. However, when at university, it seems like we are only taught about the United Nations, the OECD and other famous and massive institutions. But no-one seems to be emphasising smaller organisations that have an actual impact on these issues at a local level — like the WCIA. This is why my involvement in the WCIA has been a significant experience for me as it taught me a lot about how charities work and about the impact they can make on social, political and global issues and the extent that Wales is contributing to a greater global community and a fairer nation. To me, creating a change seems difficult by only working at an international level. However, by changing the focus to smaller everyday activities of interactions, at a local level first is what matters and what can work on the long run.

In the WCIA offices, the friendliness of everyone has been amazing. It was  also interesting to see how passionate people are on local and international subjects, on politics… Besides, I figured out there are always new ideas, skills, projects and events to be learnt, to work on and improve.

I am currently applying for my second year of masters emphasising on ‘peace studies’ and I think the internship will be an asset for my upcoming year and my future, especially when I consider the idea and objectives of the WCIA that everyone contributing to a fair and peaceful world.

After this three month internship, I have acquired several skills which improved my way of working, thinking and interacting with other. I also feel more confident about how to implement change, have an impact, talk about global issue and taking initiative than I was before the internship. The knowledge and skills I gained during my time volunteering are extremely useful and the range of opportunities I was offered in the WCIA was great.

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities with the WCIA, click here.