Promoting peace in our world
The PeaceJam Foundation, created back 22 years ago in 1996 by peacekeepers Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff, is an international organization whose divine mission is to promote peace in our world. PeaceJam encourage youth to become leaders of peace and committing to positive self-change, in their communities and by extension the world at large, through conscientious compassion programs and helped by the powerful inspiration of 14 Nobel Peace Prize Winners, who wholeheartedly share their skills, infinite knowledge and experience.
This year’s PeaceJam guest of honor was Betty Williams from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who was co-recipient with Mairead Corrigan of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her work as a cofounder of Community of Peace People, an organization dedicated to promoting a peaceful solution to the troubles in Northern Ireland. Betty Williams is a member of PeaceJam.
Betty Williams was received by Prince Albert II in his Palace for a private audience. She was accompanied by Dawn Engle co-founder of PeaceJam and Claudia Abate.
Williams heads the Global Children’s Foundation and it’s the President of the World Centre of Compassion for Children International. She is also the Chair of Institute for Asian Democracy in Washington D.C. and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Nova Southeastern University. She lectures widely on topics of peace, education, inter-cultural and inter-faith understanding, anti-extremism, and children’s rights.
Williams is a founding member of the Nobel Laureate Summit, which has taken place annually since 2000. In 2006, Williams became a founder of the Nobel Women’s Initiative along with Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Jody Williams and Rigoberta Menchu Tum. These six women representing North and South America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, bring together their experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. It is the goal of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women’s rights around the world.
PeaceJam annual peace initiative in the Principality counts with the invaluable assistance of Claudia Abate-Debat, Founder and Executive Director of Post Conflict Development Association of Monaco. Claudia served on the Board of PeaceJam from 2008-2016 and was two-term Chair of the Board during which time she was able to introduce Monaco to PeaceJam programming and now she is the Monaco Coordinator for the organization.
Youth Conference in Monaco
Betty Williams inaugurated the annual PeaceJam Youth Conference at Lycee Technique and Hotelier of Monaco, supported by Isabelle Bonnal, Director of the Department of National Education, Youth and Sports of Monaco, on Saturday, June 16. The Nobel Peace Prize winner’s moving presentation was followed by an interactive and enthusiastic Q & A session from the students.
The day after a Ceremony of Inspiration took place at the Lycee that commenced with Betty Williams sharing her inner sources of strength and inspiration for her longterm commitment towards peace, and continued with the students speaking about what inspires them. PeaceJam presented their projects for peace to the students.
Contagious Courage world premiered in Monte-Carlo
The film “Contagious Courage” that recounts Betty Williams’ unrelenting commitment to sustainable peace was premiered at the 58th Monte-Carlo TV Festival.
- Dawn Gifford Engle – Writer/Director
- Ivan Suvanjieff – Executive Producer
- Dave Wruck – Cinematographer
- Giacomo Bounafina – Sound Design
- Zabe Holloway – Editor
Ireland in the 1970’s was defined by violence. Unionists faced off against Nationalists, known widely as the IRA, and the average Irish citizen was caught in the middle. Betty Williams was drawn into the public arena after witnessing the death of three children on 10 August 1976, when they were hit by a car whose driver, an IRA fugitive, was fatally shot by British police.Williams was so moved by the incident that, she went door to door obtaining 6,000 signatures on a petition for peace within two days and gained wide media attention. Williams soon organised a peace march to the graves of the slain children, which was attended by 10,000 Protestant and Catholic women. However, the peaceful march was violently disrupted by members of the Irish Republican Army, who accused them of being “dupes of the British”.
The following week, Williams led another march that concluded successfully without incident this time with 35,000 participants. In 1977 she and Mairead Maguire were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their peace efforts. Since then, Betty has dedicated her life to helping children across the globe. Betty Williams affirms: “We want to live, love and build a just and peaceful society. We dedicate ourselves to working with our neighbors day in and day out to create this peaceful society.”
PeaceJam 2018 Hero Award Winners Ceremony
The PeaceJam Foundation, Google, and many others have come together to create the “One Billion Acts of Peace” Campaign – an international global citizens’ movement designed to tackle the most important problems facing our planet. In less than 4 years, more than 48 Million Acts of Peace have been logged in over 151 countries.
Every March, Billion Acts reviews each Act of Peace that has been added to the PeaceJam website over the past 12 months. We look at the impact and scope of each Act, and 12 are chosen as the Billion Acts Hero Award semifinalists representing 6 categories:
- Best Youth Act
- Best Nonprofit Act
- Best Community Act
- Best University Act
- Best Up and Coming Peacemaker Act
- Best Social Enterprise Act
Each winner was honored by receiving their award from Betty Williams at the Hero Award Ceremony during the 58th Monte-Carlo TV Festival at the Grimaldi Forum. In the photo below, Betty Williams is surrounded by all the 2018 award winners accompanied by Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff co-founders of PeaceJam.
Winner of Best Youth Act – Rethaka – A repourpose schoolbag gives a child dignity by day and doubles as a light to study by night. Location: South Africa
Winner of Best Nonprofit Act Rotary International
Since 1988, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication initiative have helped reduce the number of polio cases from 350,000 in 1988 to 22 cases in 2017, and they remain committed until the disease is eradicated.
Winner of Best Community Act – Peace is a lifestyle – Providing at-risk inner-city youth, ages 13-24 years old, the valuable tools they need to stay in school and out of the criminal justice system.
Winner of Best University Act – Student action for refugees – STAR is a national charity of 27,000 students welcoming and supporting refugees in the UK through volunteerism, campaigns, fundraising and education.
Winners of Best Up and Coming Peacemaker
Ba Futuru – Domin Nakloke (Unlocking love) – Ba Futuru / For the Future is changing attitudes and behavior about pressing social issues like sexual assault, domestic violence and consent through its entertainment education film series that has gone viral on Facebook
We dine together – The We Dine Together Family is made up of schools from all over the country who are taking a seat at the table to create a more inclusive world.
Winner of Best Social Enterprise Act – Little Sun – What started as a humble idea to create a small, portable solar lamp for people without electricity in Ethiopia is now a global project that has changed over a million lives through the awesome power of the sun.
Divine Order and White Right winners of Annual PeaceJam Special Jury Prize
The PeaceJam Foundation awarded the prestigious 2nd Annual PeaceJam Special Jury Prizeto the films “Divine Order” by Zeitgeist Films and “White Right: Meeting Your Enemy” by Fuuse, at the Monte Carlo Television Festival June 19th, 2018 by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Betty Williams.
The purpose of the PeaceJam Special Jury Prize is to recognize outstanding films that embody the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the prize is awarded alongside the famous Golden Nymph Awards. The PeaceJam Special Jury Prize adds a unique new humanitarian component to the Television Festival. This very special prize is sponsored by Ehthele LTD, a London based manufacturer of luggage, handbags and the like.
The prestigious list of Jury members tasked with selecting the awardees include: Dawn Engle, Co-Founder of the PeaceJam Foundation; Shirli Singh, Philanthropist and President of the Jury; Her Royal Highness Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duchess of Castro who is designated as the Monaco Representative to the Jury by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco; Lara Isoardo, Representative of the Monte Carlo TV Festival; Genie Godula, Anchor at France 24; Raquel Bruno, President of Drive Entertainment Group represented by Russ Bruno; Chiara Sbarigia, General Director, APT, Associazione Produttori Televisivi; Calypso de Sigaldi, VP, AIDA, Association Internationale D’actions Artistiques, and Ivan Suvanjieff, Co-Founder of the PeaceJam Foundation.
“The Divine Order” is the story of a young housewife challenges the status quo by fighting for women’s suffrage in 1971 Switzerland.
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Divine Order is set in Switzerland in 1971 where, despite the worldwide social upheavals of the previous decade, women were still denied the right to vote. When unassuming and dutiful housewife Nora (Marie Leuenberger, winner of a Best Actress award at Tribeca) is forbidden by her husband to take a part-time job, her frustration leads to her becoming the poster child of her town’s suffragette movement. Her newfound celebrity brings humiliation, threats, and the potential end to her marriage, but, refusing to back down, she convinces the women in her village to go on strike…and makes a few startling discoveries about her own liberation. Uplifting and crowd-pleasing, this charming, captivating film is a time-capsule that could not be more timely.
“White Right: Meeting The Enemy” is the story of Deeyah Khan, who meets US neo-Nazis and white nationalists face to face and attends America’s biggest and most violent far right rally in recent years. Both films expertly represent issue areas outlined by the PeaceJam participating Nobel Peace Laureates
In this authored Fuuse documentary, Emmy Award-winning film-maker Deeyah Khan joins the frontline of the race wars in America, sitting down face-to-face with Neo-Nazis and fascists and marching with them at the biggest and most violent Far Right rally in recent years. Khan, who received death threats from the Far Right movement after giving a TV interview advocating diversity and multiculturalism, tries to get behind the hatred and the violent ideology, to try to understand the personal reasons why people embrace racist extremism.
In addition to the Special Jury Prize, PeaceJam also honored Stephane Valerie, President of the Conseil National of Monaco with the Peacejam Visionary Award and Parlamentarian Dr. Cristophe Robino, with the PeaceJam Leadership Award. Both were recognized for heir public roles in the Principality with work that embodies the 1 Billion Acts of Peace Campaign and the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize.
(Photo: Nobel Peace Prize Betty Williams with Stephan Valerie, President of the Conseil National of Monaco with PeaceJam founders and supporters @PeaceJam Press)
“Peace in the world is everybody’s business, no matter where you live or what you do.” Betty Williams