Swansea kids win peace prizes

Hundreds of Swansea children have been praised for their contribution to promoting peace and tolerance at the annual Peace Mala Awards in Cardiff.

Clase Primary School, St Joseph’s Cathedral Infants School, Hafod Primary School, St Helen’s Primary School and the Step Ahead Education Centre in Cockett all received recognition for their work on global citizenship through the promotion of respect, friendship, tolerance and peace between all communities and faiths.

Swansea pop star Bonnie Tyler, a loyal supporter of Peace Mala for many years, presented the awards which have been endorsed by the Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Desmond Tutu among others .

Hafod Primary School and St Helen’s Primary School received equal first prize and have now been allocated prestigious Peace Mala School status.

Hafod Primary School was recognised for the a very recognisable celebration of peace: a rainbow encircles the school on the outside and threads through all the rooms on the inside. Links with schools in Poland and Lithuania have been developed and up on the roof is a Global Faith Garden planted by the children.

St Helen’s Primary School was recognised for the way it welcomes children from many different countries who speak a range of different languages. Its children were also praised for a presentation on diversity and tolerance and their contribution to a Peace Garden at the school.

Third prize was awarded to St Joseph’s Catholic Infants School thanks to projects including a DVD of an assembly devoted to the Peace Mala theme. The children of Clase Primary School were highly commended certificate after creating and performing a rap version of Peace Mala.

An entry from the Step-Ahead Education Centre in Cockett also won third place in the senior awards after each student designed and made a circular decal for a poster in a bracelet-like arrangement that focussed on the messages of the Peace Mala bracelet.

Former pupil of Hafod Primary School and current chair of governors at St Helen’s Primary School, Councillor Alan Lloyd, Lord Mayor of Swansea, was at the ceremony.

He said: “It’s wonderful to see many Swansea schools doing so well in such an important awards scheme. Swansea is becoming an increasingly multi-cultural society so it’s vital our children grow up to become global citizens who have respect and tolerance for all faiths and customs.

“The children and staff at the award-winning schools should be proud of their efforts.”

Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Mike Day, said: “The world is becoming a far smaller place as each generation progresses to adulthood so it’s very important that the principles of global citizenship are instilled in our young people in this day and age.

“Qualities such as fairness, openness and compassion can only serve our children and the world well as we move into the future.”

This was the last time the awards will be competitive in nature – in future, schools will work towards Peace Mala School status to join a growing global community. Vist Peacemala.org.uk for more information about the organisation and how your school can achieve Peace Mala status.

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