By Lindsay Ducharme
The YMCA of Wood Buffalo is calling on residents to acknowledge the impact of their friends and neighbours in keeping the region peaceful. The YMCA is now accepting nominations for their 2014 Peace Medals.
“We are such a diverse community. What makes the community so great is that there are so many different people of different cultures with different world views bringing different ideas to the table, and that’s something that we here at the YMCA Wood Buffalo really want to celebrate,” said Kelly Tobin, youth opportunities coordinator with the YMCA of Wood Buffalo.
Tobin said the Peace Medals are one of the ways the local YMCA celebrates Peace Week, a national YMCA initiative. Peace Week, which stands for Participation, Empathy, Advocacy, Community and Empowerment, takes place this year from November 15-22. “Our mission at the YMCA is building healthy community and Peace Week Really embodies that.”
“For us these medals are part of building a healthy community by recognizing what community members do here. Last year for example we had a student recognized for her effort in creating a program to prevent bullying in her school. Being able to recognize all the great things people do here is important to us,” Tobin continued.
The YMCA Peace Medals are given out to an individual, group, YMCA staff member or volunteer and a youth or youth group involved in peacemaking initiatives. Peacemaking initiatives can focus on equality, cultural diversity, tolerance, respect, and conflict resolution.
“I would encourage all community members to nominate a Wood Buffalo resident they feel has made the region more peaceful. That can be anything from promoting inclusion and acceptance, to the giving of their time through volunteering,” Tobin stressed.
Nominations for the 2014 YMCA Peace Medals are being accepted now through November 1st, with nomination forms are available on the YMCA website http://www.ymca.woodbuffalo.org/files/2014_PeaceMedals_Nomination_Form.pdf.