Ms. Rita Payne is a freelance journalist, media adviser and Chair of the UK branch of the Commonwealth Journalists Association whose main mission is to promote media freedom and the protection of journalists. She is regularly invited to write, address, moderate or organise debates and discussions on topical issues for the CJA and outside organisations. Until her retirement in 2008, she spent nearly thirty years with the BBC. Her last position was Asia Editor, BBC World News (TV) with responsibility for three news programmes a day. Before moving to TV she was a news editor/producer/presenter at BBC World Service radio. She has been invited to moderate two sessions at the UN World Urban Forum in March, 2010. She was shortlisted for the BBC Global Reith Awards 2009.
Her speech celebrating the International Day of Women, 'Women and Success: Is Hard Work Enough?' can be read here.
Mrs. Ella Marks, the current President of the League of Jewish Women (LJW), was trained as a social worker, and worked in local government with children and families, and later became a lecturer on Social Work. Since retiring she has done many voluntary jobs with the League of Jewish Women especially reading for blind and partially sighted people.
Seja Majeed is a twenty-three year old British Iraqi living in North London. She is a Law graduate from Brunel University and also has a diploma in screenwriting from the London Academy of Radio, Film and TV. She is currently undertaking her Legal Practice Course and Masters in International Law at City University.
In 2007, Seja collaborated with the Rainbow Collective Film Company and journeyed to Iraq with the intention to deliver humanitarian supplies and record her accounts. Over the four weeks of her trip, Seja visited dangerous provinces and gathered relaxed and informal interviews with those trying to lead a normal life in the aftermath of a war.
The film, “Baghdad Holiday” is currently within postproduction and has attracted attention from prominent broadcasters, such as More4, Guardian Films and Al-Arabia Network. The film has also been praised and supported by T.V. presenter Jon Snow, foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller from Channel Four News, and the Secretary General of Amnesty International. It will be screened by Amnesty International in January 2010. Video link
Mr Hari Bivor Karki was nominated for the Ambassador for Peace award for his contribution to society. He is the first ex gurkha soldier to have settled in this country. He has served the Nepalese community for 25 years and has been instrumental in bridging relationships with different communities. He is a well known and respected member of the Nepalese community in Rushmoor.
He is also the first gurkha nepalese to start a nepalese restaurant business in UK and was a role model for nepalese restaurateurs for many years. He is the founder member of the Non Resident Nepalese organisation in UK which is now an established forum for Nepalese to link with other groups in UK. He has been a committee member of the Britain Nepal Society which has helped to build good relationships between Nepal and UK. He has organised many interfaith events and this has build community cohesion in Rushmoor and Surrey.
An event at which two new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed included a presentation about the Universal Peace Federation by Ron German and a performance on a traditional Japanese musical instrument known as a koto played by Hiroko Sue. A video that outlined the Universal Peace Federation’s work in Israel through its Middle East Peace Initiative was also shown in which footage was seen of Jews, Christians, and Muslims not only sharing the same platform but also embracing each other. The two nominated Ambassadors of Peace were then appointed. Firstly Madge Thomas, the founder of an organization called Mentoring for All or ‘MenFa’, which gives support primarily to students who feel disadvantaged irrespective of their race, creed, gender, age or social status. Secondly Lorraine Harris a coordinator for ROKPA which is a Tibetan Buddhist society that helps the hungry, the sick, the orphaned and the poor of Tibet and Nepal.