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Following on from our Virtual Walk Around the World we re-embark on our journey of 'Lighting the Way' with a new project - 'World Peace Flame Trees'.

The intention is to plant trees worldwide growing a network of peace between schools worldwide.

Getting involved couldn't be easier.

We began planning this project by sharing stories of kindness, which you can view further down the page.

World Peace Flame Trees

‘Growing a network of peace between schools worldwide’

An inspirational environmental project engaging with the World Peace Flame Education Pack and working with schools to plant trees worldwide.

Schools love the idea of planting trees because it’s easy to organise, inexpensive, simple and topical - they can bring trees into so many aspects of the curriculum. Furthermore, there are many possible ‘spin-offs’ - such as creating a peace garden where children can go to spend quiet time, hanging pupils’ peace messages on the trees, building a peace pathway etc.

This initiative is about much more than planting trees!  It is about creating a web of friendship linking schools worldwide.   It is about fostering harmony, kindness and community.  It’s about showing children that their heartfelt prayers, wishes and actions also make a difference… on many levels.

Schools on three continents are already on board and have begun planting trees.   The network is growing as more and more schools get involved. Please join us, and help create a more peaceful and compassionate world for future generations.

Together, we can do it!  We invite you to get planting.

You can email us with any questions here.

 

Ysgol Yr Hendre - Argentina

Ysgol yr Hendre is a Welsh/Spanish-medium primary school in the large town of Trelew in Argentina. It was opened on 6 March 2006, initially to teach children between three and five years of age in Welsh and Spanish. The Chubut Province education authorities authorised the establishment of the school and supports its aims. The school is twinned with Ysgol Pentreuchaf near Pwllheli in Wales.

They are very much involved in all the activities and initiatives we run.

Head teacher Silvia Almeyra says:

''What a joy to be involved. We have just started classes here in Patagonia. We continue with activities to work on Peace at school.

We have started with group reflections on peace in contrast to war (in Ukraine and Malvinas). We have a project to plant trees on the school grounds, as we are building this area, we waited for your proposal and have joined it. This is the season to plant in this area so we look forward to it as soon as possible.

Thank you for the World Peace Flame Foundation Certificate celebrating our school’s commitment to promoting peace and unity.  We will print it out and display it in the school.

We also trust that our children are transformers of the world.

Thank you for being in contact with us. Diolch yn fawr iawn.''

Support for Prisoners and their need for Woolly Hats

This has been shared with us by Sheila Stevenson who served many years as a prison chaplain and still supports four current and ex-prisoners.

In the Quaker magazine called 'The Friend' for the first week in January there was a letter from the Clerk of the Committee for Quakers in Criminal Justice. He had an urgent request from the prison chaplains at one of the country’s oldest and coldest prisons.

"Please get out your knitting needles to provide woolly hats for the prisoners!"

She writes:
'The residents at this old, cold prison are exercising outside wearing only their prison-issue tracksuits. Indoors it's not much better with central heating described as 'ineffective' at best. So the chaplains have come up with the project of providing a hat for every man: 2,476 in total. In the coldest sections of the building, these hats could even be worn in bed. The hats can be knitted, bought or second hand so long as they comply with prison rules namely: no black or peaked hats, or with earpieces or slogans. However, beanies and bobble hats are welcome.

I circulated this request to Friends in my local Quaker meeting, High Wycombe, who responded very positively sending hats they had knitted or ordered online to the chaplains at the prison. I posted a letter through my neighbours' doors with the same request asking for new or used hats in good condition, and so I was also able to send quite a large parcel.  At the beginning of February, I wrote to the Quaker Prison Chaplain to ask her if they had received enough.

She replied:

‘Enough thank you. I am still handing hats out but I have enough stock to last. Please thank the Friends most sincerely for their efforts. The hats have brought all sorts of emotions rarely seen in this prison—giggling, clowning, happiness and warmth! The yards at exercise time are alive with colour and everyone likes them. Only dourest officers have a word against them. The Governor is delighted with the effort, describing it as a force for harmony.’

“I HAVE ALWAYS DEPENDED ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS.”

Tennessee Williams

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The Law of Kindness

This story was reported in a newspaper by James.N.McCuchenon.

During the great depression in America in New York 1930, the poor were close to starvation.

A Judge presiding one day was hearing a complaint against a woman who was charged with stealing a loaf of bread.

She pleaded that her daughter was sick and her grandchildren were starving because their father had abandoned the family.

The shopkeeper still refused to drop the charges and insisted that she should be made an example off as a deterrent to others.

The Judge sighed, he did not want to impose a fine on somebody who was destitute and trying to save her family. Yet he had no alternative. “The Law is the Law. I sentence you to a fine of 10 dollars. If you can’t pay it you must go to jail for 10 days. Have you got the money?”

The woman silently shook her head tears running down her face.

The Judge’s face suddenly lit up with a smile.

He removed his wig, tossed a 10 dollar bill into it and then addressed the crowd: “I am going to impose a fine of 50 cents on every person here present in this courtroom for living in a town where a woman has to steal bread to save her grandchildren from starvation. Please collect the fines Mr Bailiff and pass them across to the defendant.”

The woman went home with forty-seven dollars and fifty cents (including fifty cents from the shamefaced shopkeeper).

Everybody in the courtroom gave the Judge a standing ovation. People felt justice had been done—upholding the unspoken law of the heart. We are here to help each other in times of trouble.

(Submitted by Barbara in Epsom)

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Lockdown Charity Camping

A ten-year-old boy from North Devon has raised thousands of pounds for charity while camping out in his back garden.

Max Woosey, from Braunton, has slept in a tent in his family’s back garden every night since 29 March.

Braving strong winds, freezing temperatures and wet weather, the inspiring youngster has raised nearly £90,000 for North Devon Hospice.

Max has been camping in his back garden since March.

“This is my small, lockdown adventure,” he told ITV News West Country.

It all started after Max’s neighbour Rick died from cancer in February.

Rick was a keen explorer, and gave Max a tent so he could experience the outdoors.

He said to me, ‘Max, I know I’ve not got long left but I want you to promise me you’ll have an adventure’ and I said ‘I’ll promise you that’. And that’s what I’m doing.

Max

Having spent more than 200 consecutive nights sleeping in a tent, Max’s story has led to donations from around the world.

His fundraising efforts have been praised by staff at North Devon Hospice, who say it is an “inspiration” to us all.

“For a little boy aged 10 to be doing something in memory of someone in their 70s, I think that shows a very special relationship,” Ali Hunt, who is head of fundraising, said.

Max is fundraising for North Devon Hospice.

“It’s kind of an inspiration to all of us. We’re all in this together, everyone’s having a hard time and there’s not the money to go around.

“It’s not about asking for too much, but if we can ask for small amounts from lots of people and use Max as an inspiration for us all, then we’ll survive.”

(Submitted by Sheila in Caernarfon)