Emerging Peacemakers Trained in Transformational Programme

24th November 2022

Young Muslim and Christian peacemakers from across the world spent a week in the Lake District, getting to know each other and learning how to be reconcilers capable of navigating through change, chaos, and conflict.

The Emerging Peacemakers programme is run by the Rose Castle Foundation and equips young leaders in reconciliation. It creates a space to celebrate different cultures, build lasting friendships and provide unique and valued skills and knowledge to enhance long-term educational prospects.

A grant of £3,117 from Printers Inc Social Mobility Fund enabled four young people from Cumbria to join their peers from across the UK and New York City to spend a week at Rose Castle, near Carlisle.

Through a mix of activities including prayer, workshops, home groups, outdoor exploring, and evening excitement, 28 young people learnt more about themselves, their faiths, and others, exploring how to work as reconcilers and peacemakers to cross divides in their communities.

The young leaders explored conflict resolution skills and learned how to be reconcilers capable of navigating through change, chaos, and conflict. 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.

Ahmad, who attends Carlisle Mosque, took part in the programme. He said: “I’ve been able to build a lot of confidence and have so many opportunities I wouldn’t have thought possible, for example I’ve had the opportunity to lead a Friday prayer, a real honour in my community. You’d think having to mix across so many divides you’d have to dislocate yourself from your own faith, but that’s not the case whatsoever. I’ve been able to practice my faith openly, and all the conversations have been so incredibly open. My faith has grown much stronger given the opportunity to grow in brotherhood.”

Ahmad wanted to thank Cumbria Community Foundation directly for the opportunities the grant gave him:

Hannah Larn, Programme Coordinator said: “Beyond the direct participation of the beneficiaries themselves, this has also strengthened our relationship with Carlisle Mosque, local churches, and other community organisations. We intend to build on these relationships to develop more initiatives for the benefit of the local community together in future.”