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Hope is an Action: Cardiff and Vale College ESOL learners contribute to Urdd Peace and Goodwill Message 2024

Cardiff and Vale students

Cardiff and Vale College (@CAVC) ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners have contributed towards the Urdd Gobaith Cymru Peace and Goodwill Message 2024, which will be released on 17th May.

This year’s message celebrates the centenary of the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition 1923-24 and highlights the continuing need to advocate for peace a hundred years on.

In February 1924, the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition chest was opened with its 390,296 signatures in front of 600 US women at the Baltimore Hotel in New York. This act of hope for world peace has inspired the Urdd to bring together a group of young women to create this year’s Peace and Goodwill Message – including ESOL learners from CAVC.

Every year since 1922 the Urdd has issued an annual message in May with a different theme of peace and goodwill. Initially communicated through Morse code, then through the BBC World Service and more recently through digital media, the message has gone out every year without fail.

To create this year’s message the Urdd held a workshop with staff members, apprentices and Urdd volunteers and CAVC ESOL learners. Elan Evans and the poet and singer Casi Wyn, led the workshop where the learners talked about their experiences of peace – and the lack of it in their previous lives – and the historical significance of the petition. Casi Wyn then transformed the ideas and contributions of the young women into the 2024 message – Gweithred yw Gobaith Hope is an Action.

This year’s message will be release in short film form on social media and a special event at the Women’s Peace Petition exhibition at St Fagans National Museum of History on 17th May.

Shatw Ali is one of the ESOL learners who contributed to the message. She said:

Peace is a place where parents don’t have to worry about how to feed their children. Where children can watch fireworks instead of watching bombs fall from the sky.

“It might seem impossible to find a place like that on this planet but if you look carefully you’ll find it, just like how I found Wales. A land, an oasis of serenity amidst the chaotic world.”

Shatw said taking part in the Urdd’s workshop opened really made her think.

“The workshop made me realise there are so many more people who are desperately looking for peace and in everyone’s heart there is a part that wants to experience peace at least once in their lifetime no matter their race, age, gender or background,” she explained.

“I’m really looking forward to the message going out. The group and the staff all worked hard on it so I can’t wait to see how it all turned out.”

Cardiff and Vale College Principal Sharon James-Evans said:

We are incredibly proud that our ESOL learners have been asked to contribute towards this year’s Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s inspirational Peace and Goodwill Message this year, celebrating the centenary of the Welsh Women’s Pace Petition 1923-24.

“Many of our ESOL learners have come to us from parts of the world that have known little peace, so being able to participate in the creation and recording of this message will have added poignancy for them. As a College based in the heart of one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in Wales, we are delighted our learners have been chosen to help deliver this truly international message of hope and love in these troubled times.”

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