I am sorry for the long absence. Between pushing ahead with the program I am working on and travels of my own, I have barely had time to catch my breath! I'll start by telling you about my recent trip to Paris with my girlfriend, Caitlin.
Prior to moving to DC, I lived in New York for 2 years and I didn't think anything could compare to it. Well, that all changed when we arrived in Paris. The views and architecture alone had me hooked, but what really closed the deal was the chocolate croissants <3<3<3. By the end of our trip I didn't want to leave! Unfortunately, we didn't a chance to do the Eiffel Tower because security around the area was high due to a big European soccer tournament taking place in France at the time. While exploring the city was an awesome experience, what I really enjoyed was having the chance to meet and stay with the family that Caitlin lived with while she worked in Paris for a year. The food they prepared for us was out of this world! I think it's safe to say that I packed on a few pounds in the short amount of time that I was there. On my flight back to Belfast I realized that the unveiling of the project that I have put so much time and effort into was only a few days away!
(While in Paris)
I don't believe that I provided you with much background on the project that I have been involved with while I have been in Belfast. Here is a blurb that gives you a better idea of the event:
On the 21st September 2016, ‘Amazing the Space’, a youth-led peace-building initiative, will bring together over 3,500 pupils at the Eikon Exhibition Centre located at the Maze Long Kesh to Celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace. On the same day an additional 2,000 pupils will have the opportunity to participate in local events at a series of satellite venues throughout Northern Ireland. The Education Authority is keen to encourage all schools to participate in this initiative.
To date, a total of 400 schools have become involved by writing twenty-five word peace pledges. Each school's pledge articulates precisely young people’s vision and commitment towards a more peaceful future.
Pupils from across Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to attend the event at the Eikon Exhibition centre on 21st September 2016, which celebrates young people’s role within peacebuilding. This event will also have a series of global contributions through the involvement of organisations such as the United Nations, Generation Global and the Global Peace Foundation.
In short, "Amazing the Space" is an event that looks to show that young people play a crucial role in the peacebuilding process. It also is an opportunity to encourage the young people to more actively engage in their community to do what they can to contribute to furthering peacebuilding efforts across Northern Ireland and across the world. While I am excited for how the "Amazing the Space" initiative could positively impact peacebuilding efforts across Northern Ireland, I am curious to see how the United Kingdom's referendum could effect peace efforts. (The picture on the left is from the Amazing the Space launch event)
Well, that's it for now. July is right around the corner and I am sure in two weeks time I will have many more experiences to share with you.
Bye bye for now!
P.S. Here is a link to the Amazing the space web page to find out more if interested in learning more about it! http://www.cooperationireland.org/programmes/youth-education-programmes/amazing-the-space/