A group of 11 students and staff went to the PeaceJam conference at the University of Winchester for the first time last weekend. We were bowled over by the energy of the student organisers straight away. We were able to hear Rigoberta Menchú Tum, the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate speak. Two of our students bravely asked Rigoberta questions about spiritual guidance in times of need and freedom. Students also undertook service projects in the community on the Saturday afternoon and attended peace-building workshops. In the evening, we discovered the Spoken Word artist Potent Whisper and we are very much hoping to welcome him here at our first Festival of Peace in June. On the Sunday we shared a Ceremony of Inspiration and again one of our students shared her story with the Laureate on stage. We then heard different schools and organisations present their peace projects as part of One Billion Acts of Peace campaign. We made connections and friends with our sister Quaker School The Mount and hope to gain much from our link with them (particularly as they received a PeaceJam School of excellence award!) We even had the chance for a group photo with Rigoberta. We left in high spirit and full of inspiration.
For more information on PeaceJam, click here
Students' comments :
"This was the best weekend I’ve had since I came to Sidcot. The conference and activities at PeaceJam were really inspiring and they made me understand how much power we hold in our hands, we can change lots of little things” - Carolina (Lower Sixth Student)
“It was one of the best weekends in my life. It made me realise how important our world, our society, being kind and making a change are. The programme was very well structured and all the activities were extremely useful and engaging. I was very lucky to have had such an amazing opportunity to find out a bit more about myself and the world”- Polina (Lower Sixth Student)
“We found our weekend at the PeaceJam conference very stimulating and thought provoking. The speech by Rigoberta Menchú Tum was really impressive, as well as the evening entertainment we went to which was provided by the artist Potent Whisper. Both of these events were moving and made us feel understood. Overall it was a life-changing weekend and we spent lots of nice time together. We also wanted to thank the great teachers and staff for taking us there and giving us pizza and chocolate!” - Anne-Marie and Anahid (Lower Sixth Students)
“This was a really inspiring weekend and Rigoberta Menchú really showed us a different side to life. We used this time to bond as a group of people and I hope we go to the PeaceJam conference again, perhaps with double the number we were!” – Tamara (Upper Fifth student)
Joint IB CAS coordinator