To commemorate the International Day of Peace, which this year fell on Sunday 21st September, the College invited Philip Ikita, Rotary Peace Scholar from Nigeria to give a talk.
“Pursuing Peace Your Own Way” gave students an opportunity to experience and hear about some of the issues and solutions confronting the Nigerian people, and the people of the world. The image he described was of students on the perimeter fence, defending themselves and their education. This was quite a startling picture, which will remain in our students’ minds.
Students were also interested to hear of the fate of the (over) 200 girls kidnapped from school in April this year; they were saddened to hear that they are being held by their captors as human shields, thus making their release incredibly complex. The College held an awareness raising event in June, to mark the Day of the African Child, in which we focused on the ‘Bring Back our Girls Campaign’ (which was featured in the Cambridge Evening News); so it was good to keep that narrative alive and fresh in everyone’s minds, and also to hear what progress has or hasn’t been made. Also, earlier in the year the College marked ‘Red Hand Day’, raising awareness of the use of child soldiers around the world: Philip talked about this issue, and it resonated deeply with students.
Students benefited from having events which are very much at a distance (intellectually & geographically) made more real and immediate by the flesh and blood Peace Scholar and his real life experiences.