28 Emerging Peacemakers Trained in Transformational Programme

Rose Castle Foundation welcomed and equipped 28 Emerging Interfaith Peacemakers aged 13 to 17 at a transformational ‘Encounter’ programme at Patterdale Hall in Penrith. The group was made up of young Christians and Muslims from Carlisle, Birmingham, East London, and New York City.

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The participants spent the week exploring conflict resolution skills and how to be reconcilers capable of managing change, social unrest, and conflict, with a focus on the 12 Habits of a Reconciler and daily Scriptural Reasoning sessions. They also participated in outdoor activities such as hiking, paddle boarding, gorge walking, bush making, archery, and low ropes, which allowed them the space to bond and fostered relationship building.

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The success of this programme would not be complete without the partnerships of the All Angels Church in New York, the Muslim Community Network in New York, Al Madina Mosque Barking, and the Cumbria Community Foundation in funding 5 of the participants, as well as the parents for allowing their children to participate in such a transformative journey.

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Programme facilitation was supported by two volunteers, themselves emerging leaders on a trajectory to careers in faith-based peacebuilding, Salomey Wynymy Ali, based at the University of Kent, and Natasha Wardle, from the University of Cambridge.

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In the words the participants, the programme:

  • Created communities with diversity that encourage listening and vulnerability
  • Was a beautiful opportunity to grow
  • Bridged divides by creating diverse relationships founded on deep and vulnerable conversations

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  • Was very fun and pushed me to open up a lot to people I didn't know
  • Was an incredible opportunity to learn the essential habits of peacemakers, engage with others who are different from oneself, deepen your faith, and have fun
  • Enabled my faith has grown by being exposed to the vast array of opinions and variations of opinions shown to me at the residential

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  • Showed me that people are complex and have so much to share if only you can make them feel comfortable. Also that labels do not define an individual
  • Made my faith much stronger

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Rose Castle Foundation hosted its first Emerging Peacemakers Program in 2019, and it has been an honour to conduct another successful programme in 2022, post Covid-19. As part of the young people’s lifelong journeys towards reconciliation, RCF and our partners will host reunions for the 2022 year-group later this year in the UK and the US, with plans for a third cohort of sixty participants next year.

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