URDD GOBAITH CYMRU and its members have been crowned ‘Young Peace Activists of the Year’ at this year’s Young Peacemakers Awards ceremony, which was held at the Llangollen International Musical Festival today (7 July), for the organisation’s Peace and Goodwill Message.
Without fail for a century, the young people of Wales have sent a Message of Peace and Goodwill to the world. It is unique – Wales and its young people are the only country in the world that have communicated a global message of peace annually.
In celebration of the Urdd’s centenary year, the 2022 Peace and Goodwill Message was launched on 18 May in a dedicated event at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway in the company of the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford along with the Aberystwyth University students who helped write the message. After being released in video form, it was shared all corners of the world, from Peru to Zimbabwe, Vietnam to New Zealand and Moldova and was available in more languages than ever before – 101.
It was also revealed that the winner of the Young International Peacemaker category of this year’s Young Peacemakers Awards was Mah Zari Kakar, an Afghan refugee who resided at the Urdd’s Residential Centre in Cardiff last year. The Urdd nominated Mah for the award as acknowledgement for her tireless work campaigning for women’s rights in Afghanistan and her willingness to continue with these efforts in Wales.
Originally from Helmand Province in Afghanistan, Mah (who was 20 at the time) was forced to flee the country last August along with her brother. She had been working with USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development), holding sessions for women so that they understood their rights.
This year marks the seventh year of the Wales Young Peacemakers Awards, which is jointly organised by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), Size of Wales, CWVYS and the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Young people from all over Wales are celebrated for their positive contributions to peace and global citizenship, and winners receive prizes for artwork, creative writing, and film as well as their positive work as local and global citizens.
Aberystwyth University’s 150th anniversary celebrations begin
THE EISTEDDFOD chair awarded to a soldier who died in the First World War, together with other historical objects, will be central to Aberystwyth University’s activities at this year’s National Eisteddfod as it marks the start of its 150th anniversary celebrations.
The University was founded in 1872 following efforts to raise money locally and nationally to establish the first university in Wales, and this August marks the beginning of its 150th academic year.
On the Tuesday (2 August) of the Eisteddfod the University will launch a year of special anniversary celebrations. During the event on the University stand, there will be an opportunity to see a collection of items of historical importance to Aberystwyth University, including a statuette of the first Vice-Chancellor, Thomas Charles Edwards, and the prison badge of the former lecturer, poet and conscientious objector Gwenallt.
On the Thursday of the Eisteddfod (4 August), an event will be held to remember the stories of two students who won the chair at the College’s Eisteddfod in 1912 and 1914 – Gwilym Williams who was killed in France in 1916 during the First World War, and Dorothy Bonarjee, the first woman of colour to win it.
The eisteddfod chair won by Gwilym Williams will be on display at the University’s stand throughout the week. It is among 150 objects that will appear in a special volume called Ceinogau’r Werin / The Pennies of the People which is to be published in October as part of the anniversary celebrations.
Aberystwyth University Vice-Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure said: “The National Eisteddfod is a very important event for us at Aberystwyth University, and especially so this year: returning to Ceredigion for the first time in over a quarter of a century and being held in-person for the first time in three years. It is even more significant for us this year as we begin to celebrate our 150th anniversary – it’s an extremely exciting time.”
On the Sunday of the festival (31 July), an open day will be held at Pantycelyn Hall, offering the public and former students the first opportunity to visit the iconic student accommodation since it re-opened in its new guise in 2020 during the pandemic.
Professor Treasure added:
“Beginning our 150th anniversary celebrations is a unique opportunity to discuss the University’s rich history, as well as to look forward. We have seen many exciting developments here over the past few years. The re-opening of Neuadd Pantycelyn in particular, is one that stands out as exceptionally important – it’s such an important space for the language locally and nationally.
“As an institution, we have been growing, with the first and only School of Veterinary Science in Wales opening here last year, and nursing education starting for the first time in September this year. We have a great deal to celebrate at this year’s Eisteddfod.”
As well as the events on its stand, Aberystwyth University will host several events in the Learners’ Village and as the main sponsor of the Science Village on the Maes. The University’s Arts Centre will also host a ‘Salon de Refuses’ exhibition including art from the Eisteddfod.
Aberystwyth University events at the Eisteddfod (Stand M05)
On Sunday 31 July at 11:15am in the Pabell Lên, an event will be held by the University’s Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies to remember the life and contribution of Dr Tedi Millward with speakers including Bleddyn Owen Huws, Llio Millward, Cynog Dafis, Mark Lewis Jones and BBC broadcaster Huw Edwards.
From 2pm on the same day, there will be an open day at the refurbished Welsh-medium student accommodation, Pantycelyn Hall, in Aberystwyth.
On Monday 1 August at 2pm, a discussion ‘Education, time and place: Recent research on current issues in the world of education in Wales’ will be led by researchers from the School of Education on a range of research projects, including the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the education system, and the new curriculum.
On Tuesday 2 August at 11am in Pabell y Cymdeithas 1, a panel discussion will be held about reforming the Senedd with speakers including Siân Gwenllian MS, chaired by Dr Elin Royles.
An awards ceremony for the best Welsh learners in mid Wales will be held at 11:30am on Tuesday 2 August at the University’s stand.
At 15:30 on Tuesday 2 August on the University’s stand, in an event called ‘Hawlio Heddwch’, the Chair of Wales’ Peace Academy, Dr Rowan Williams, will give a summary of its work.
Later the same day an event will be held to launch a year of 150th anniversary celebrations, chaired by Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan in the company of Vice Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Anwen Jones and Professor Mererid Hopwood.
Dr Charnell-White, Rebecca Roberts, Professor Wini Davies and Rosanne Reeves will discuss women’s literature in Ceredigion at 12pm on Wednesday in the Pabell y Cymdeithasau 1 in an event entitled “Following Cranogwen: Publishing Women’s Literature in Ceredigion” held in conjunction with Honno Gwasg Menywod Cymru.
At 13:00 the same day, Dr Anwen Elias and Dr Elin Royles discuss the conclusions of a project about “The constitutional demands of European nationalist parties” in the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Tent
On Thursday 4 August at 11am, a discussion will be held about the history of the two student poets who won the chair at the College’s Eisteddfod in 1912 and 1914 – Gwilym Williams who was killed in France in 1916 and Dorothy Bonarjee, the first woman of colour to win it. Dr Cathryn Charnell-White, Faeeza Jasdanwalla-Williams, Eurig Salisbury and Iestyn Tyne will speak at the event.
On Friday 5 August at 11am, Dr Elin Royles will hold a discussion with Mali Thomas from the Urdd, and a group of students who wrote the 2022 Peace Message on the theme of the climate crisis which was launched in Norway earlier this year.
A discussion between Dafydd Rhys, Eddie Ladd, Gethin Scourfield will be hosted by the University’s Theatre, Film and Television Department about the history of the Welsh music video, focusing on the history of Fideo 9, at 2:30pm on Friday 5 August in Pabell y Cymdeithasau 2.
On Saturday at 11am a discussion will be held entitled “Wales: Sanctuary Nation?” in Pabell y Cymdeithasau 1.
Supporting Ceredigion’s small businesses at the Eisteddfod
THE NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD OF WALES visiting Ceredigion will be an excellent opportunity to promote local businesses and boost the local economy.
In addition to the surge in visitors to the county, a number of Ceredigion businesses have taken advantage of the opportunity to sell their products at trade stands at the Eisteddfod.
Ceredigion County Council supports local/small businesses, and we are pleased that some have accepted the invitation to showcase their products in wooden huts at Pentre’ Ceredigion’s stand on the Maes.
We welcome the opportunity to show that Ceredigion is a good place to do business, and it will be an opportunity for the businesses to promote and sell their products.
Around 15 companies from Ceredigion will take advantage of the wooden huts during the week. These include Pethau Melys, Galeri Gwyn, Bay Coffee Roasters, CreatEmAber, Yoga Essentials, Canfas, Tonnau Surf, U Melt Me, Gwella, L P-D, Atebol, Coffi & Bara, In the Welsh Wind, Recover Eden, and Aberdabbadoo.
There will also be an opportunity for people to learn more about food and drink companies in the county during the daily cooking demonstrations at 11:30am in Pentre’ Ceredigion. Pop by for a treat for your tastebuds.
One local company who has taken advantage of this is the craft business L P-D. Lowri Pugh-Davies from Llangybi said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for my small business. I’m extremely grateful for the privilege and the chance to trade along with other businesses from Ceredigion, and only a stone throws away from my home. The experience will be even more special for me as this will be the first Eisteddfod where I’ll be taking a stand, and the biggest event for my small business. Thank you very much for the invaluable opportunity.”
Why not visit other areas in Ceredigion during the Eisteddfod period. You can get a glimpse of what the county has to offer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBFvGg23UqA
Councillor Clive Davies, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for the Economy and Regeneration, said: “Ceredigion businesses have so much to offer and the National Eisteddfod’s visit to the county is a truly fantastic opportunity to celebrate and promote that. It will be lovely to see visitors venturing to every part of Ceredigion to get a taste and support local businesses, as well as finding interesting companies on the Maes itself. Ceredigion County Council is proud to support small businesses too by offering slots in the wooden trading huts during the week. Remember to drop by.”
You can see Pentre’ Ceredigion’s full timetable on our website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/eisteddfod
You can also download the Eisteddfod app and find more Information on the Eisteddfod’s website, www.eisteddfod.cymru, and follow us on social media:
Remember to share your photos too by using the hashtags #Steddfod2022 and #EisteddfodCeredigion.
20mph speed limits in Wales ‘will protect pedestrians and save money’
SENEDD members will vote on Welsh Government plans to introduce 20mph as a standard speed limit across Wales on Tuesday (Jul 12).
The plans intend to shift to a default speed limit of 20mph from the current 30mph in most residential roads and other busy streets.
If it passes, the new law is expected to come into force from September 17, 2023.
The policy aims to reduce the number of road traffic collisions, improve air quality and noise pollution, and encourage the shift away from car use.
Research and pilot trials in eight areas across Wales have been regarded as a success by Welsh ministers.
The government estimates that after an initial £33 million is spent on the change, it will be offset by a saving of £58m in reduced use of emergency services and hospital admissions over 30 years.
Supporters of the move say that pedestrians are 40% less likely to die when hit by a car travelling at 20mph compared with one travelling at 30mph.
Dr Sarah Jones, consultant in environmental public health at Public Health Wales, said: “Travelling at 20 mph has been shown to reduce the risk of crashing and the severity of crashes that do still happen.
“It also produces less noise pollution and reduces fuel consumption. It encourages people to walk and cycle, helping to fight obesity and improve mental well-being.
“All of these are likely to contribute to improvements in health and reduction in the demands for health services, which will help the NHS recovery from Covid.”
However, not everybody is in favour of the change. The law is likely to be opposed by the Welsh Conservatives.
Sam Rowlands, MS for North Wales, has called on residents to voice their concerns about the plans.
Mr Rowlands said: “I met with local councillor Adie Drury and residents in Buckley, this morning who are extremely frustrated at the pilot scheme which has led to roads through the town having a 20mph speed limit instead of 30mph.
“They are quite rightly very concerned as they believe that pollution is increasing because cars have to drive in a lower gear and wait longer at traffic lights, there have also been more accidents and the cost of the scheme is thought to be in the region of £33 million across Wales which would be better spent on more teachers, doctors and nurses.
“The trial has certainly caused a lot of problems for people living in Buckley and I am angry on their behalf as there does appear to be a lack of public awareness around these changes.
“I do support letting councils put 20mph speed limits outside schools, hospitals and other areas where evidence shows it’s a benefit, but a blanket 20mph speed limit across urban roads in Wales is just not right.”
Stephen Edwards, chief executive of Living Streets, who advocates a walking based approach to travel, said: “This would be life-changing legislation because slower speeds will improve the places where we live, work and go to school.
“It’s simple: slower speeds save lives – and I urge Members of the Senedd to support the 20mph in the vote on 12 July and help make our streets and pavements safe and accessible for everyone in our communities.”
Christine Boston, director of sustainably travel organisation Sustrans Cymru, said: “Sustrans Cymru joins Living Streets and Cycling UK in calling for Members of the Senedd to support the proposals, because 20mph defaults will help make communities across Wales safer and more attractive places to walk, wheel and cycle.
“We believe that everyone in Wales should have access to safe streets. Making 20mph default limits in our communities will help to reduce the dominance of motor vehicles whilst creating opportunities for social interaction, creating happier and healthier places.
“We want communities that are built for safety rather than speed.”
Commenting, Welsh Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Ashgar MS, said: “The Welsh Conservatives are not against introducing 20mph speed limits outside schools, playgrounds, places of worship and high streets, but a blanket roll-out is quite frankly ludicrous.
“With a price tag of more than £32 million, is this really money well spent at a time when the Labour Government should be focused on tackling the big issues at hand such as the cost-of-living? I don’t think it is, and I am sure residents across the country will be thinking the exact same.
“This is yet another diktat imposed by Labour from Cardiff Bay.
“Speed limits like this should be decided by councils in their local areas, not top-down by Labour ministers. Let’s give local people the power over their communities, the very people who know their roads best.”
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