The YMCA Peace Medal, a core component of Peace Week, is an annual award that celebrates acts of peace by individuals and groups in communities across Canada. Nominate a peacemaker today! Nominations are open until Monday, October 30. To help you get inspired, here are the inspiring stories of a few of our past Peace Medal winners.
Muriam is making the network of schools in north Toronto aware of the particular obstructions that Indigenous youth face in their daily lives. Her impact has been undeniable, both in the areas of teaching and learning from others. When she heard that Indigenous students often lack very rudimentary school supplies, she conceived and implemented a fundraising plan for those in need at Big Trout Lake. On her website, she also invites her electronic visitors to contribute to Indigenous causes.
In North Bay, she spearheaded a clothing drive to highlight the lack of proper winter clothing for families about to experience the harsh climate of northern Ontario. In all ways, she has emphasized the need to address the challenges of others. On a global level, her continued leadership in her high school chapter of Amnesty International is illustrated by recent campaigning just before her second annual letter-writing blitz. In addition, she set up the Shoes for Change in early 2014 to gather gently used shoes for African adults seeking work.
New Beginnings: The Young Canadians’ Peace Dialogue on China and Tibet
The Steering Committee for the initiative “New Beginnings: The Young Canadians’ Peace Dialogue on China and Tibet” is comprised of a dynamic group of young Canadian adults, half of ethnic Tibetan background and half of Han Chinese background, was formed. The group (guided by the Mosaic Institute) was strongly involved in the design and implementation of dialogue programming for their communities in Toronto and Calgary starting in April 2012. They continue to engage in dialogue through CanEngage, the legacy project of the Dialogue which is working to provide educational opportunities to rural youth in Tibetan areas of China.
New Beginnings sought to build trust between two communities whose young leaders are often strangers to one another, and brought together young Canadians who self-identify as members of either the Han Chinese or ethnic Tibetan diasporas in a program that combined respectful, peace-focused dialogue with a collaborative service project demonstrating the participants’ strong Canadian commitment to global citizenship.
Mahika has put herself in the shoes of others and thinking beyond her own world, and has inspired others in her Durham community to join her in taking a stand on an important global issue, access to the basics of life. When she created The Basic Life Project (BLP), Mahika was inspired by two women who she met when travelling as a child to Sri Lanka, the birthplace of her parents.
With a focus on raising awareness and money to support packages of food to be sent monthly, Mahika was able to use social media to create a network of people who helped her gather contributions and support. She is continuing to branch out and network with other community groups and her school to encourage their involvement.