17 Dec 2019
Corrymeela marked International Human Rights Day and the culmination of the 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence with a celebration of art, poetry, friendship and stories of extraordinary resilience. We also learned about the impact of climate change on displacement of populations and about human rights through a gender perspective.
A Syrian woman and a woman from Sudan told their remarkable stories of survival following displacement by war and violence and also the resilience it takes to make a new life in new country. We had poetry from Nandi Jola from South Africa and Pádraig Ó Tuama chaired the event and also read some of his own poetry.
Dr Ally McGeever from the YWCA gave a key note address on the issue of climate change, displacement and gender based violence. Prof Colin Harvey also delivered a keynote address on human rights through a gender perspective. Prof Harvey ended his words by stressing that those who were refugees and asylum seekers were welcome among us.
The venue where the event took place featured a display of artwork and poetry focussed on the theme of displacement and all were created by someone who had been forced to remake home in a new place. The work featured touched on experiences of violence, migration, and the challenges associated with resettlement.
These art pieces were accompanied by prayers and reflection questions to encourage people to engage and reflect upon the exhibition.
This event was part of a wider project addressing gender based violence which is being done with the generous support of the Sir Halley Stewart Trust.