From campaigners against child soldiers in Africa to those who were battling gang violence on the streets of London or environment clean up service projects, the common theme of the Youth Achievement Awards event in the House of Lords Committee Room on Wednesday 14th of July was exemplary young people who, as Tom Brake MP commented, had ‘got off their butts and in some cases had put their life on the line to make a difference’
Lord King of West Bromwich, who as a Patron of the Universal Peace Federation was hosting the event, added that this was one of the most enjoyable and meaningful afternoons he had spent in the House of Lords listening to the testimonies of young future leaders speak about their activities.
Following on from the initial project meeting held on 20 March, a second youth project development workshop was held at the Peace Embassy, Thornton Heath, on 1 May. Working under the title "Reaching Youth through Group Mentoring", 15 participants convened to plan a project launch event and receive practical guidance through facilitated role-play exercises. Various suggestions were put forward for the launch event, such as a talent show, or a debate concerning the future of our communities following the upcoming general election. The location (indoor or outdoor), youth recruitment, and style of event were discussed and the UPF project committee will evaluate the alternatives in the coming weeks. The second part of the program gave us the opportunity to experience realistic scenarios to enable participants to learn about the challenges of connecting with disaffected youth and how young people can become disengaged from society. The role plays were expertly facilitated by Mr Sheridan Mangal of the SFM Foundation, who brought his experience of real-life mentoring exchanges into the exercises. Finally, an Ambassador for Peace award was presented to Mr Mangal in recognition of his selfless commitment to working with youth and his innovative projects such as "A Talent for the City" which have encouraged young people to fulfil their potential.
From the 22nd of June to the 1st of July, twenty four participants, ages ranging from 17 to 29, from eight nations engaged in different service activities in Israel and Palestine, (Beer Sheva, Bethany, Tel Aviv and Julis) as well as engaging in dialogue with local university students. Several local participants joined for short periods of time.
19-26 June 2008 - A joint venture by Service for Peace International and the Special Task Force Europe Volunteer Programme to rehabilitate a primary school in Amanvi, Tanda located in the Ivory Coast proved to be an enormous success. Volunteers gained invaluble experiences while contributing to the small community of the Ivory Coast nation.