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The latest news and events from the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. Update your profile to receive the e-news in Welsh. 

Cardiff commemorates 21st anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide

Cardiff marked 21 years of the Srebrenica genocide with an event in the Temple of Peace on July 14, bringing together three Bosnian Muslim survivors and the daughter of Bosnian refugees to speak of their experiences. 

Srebrenica, a Bosnian town, declared a UN safe area during the Balkans conflict, was captured by Serbian General Ratio Mladić and his paramilitary in 1995. What followed in the next ten days was the systematic massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys, and the deportation and rape of thousands of women, children and elderly people. This was declared as a genocide by International Court of Justice.

"I had been shot in my stomach and right arm... I watched lines of people falling down as the shooting continued. I could hear people dying", said Nedzard Avdic, who managed to escape to safety after playing dead.

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, attended the event at the Temple as he launched the Remembering Srebrenica Welsh language education packs. He reiterated the importance of sharing survivors' stories as an aid in better understanding and developing relations with Wales' international neighbours. 

"Tolerance is not about indifference; it's a desire to understand our neighbours - be active in finding out more about them and learning from them. This pack will be an excellent resource for that."

"It is vital that these stories and experiences are never forgotten, we only learn if we remember."

The commemoration event was hosted by Saleem Kidwai, Chair of the Muslim Council of Wales and David Melding AM, Co-chair of Remembering Srebrenica - a charity funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

To read survivor's stories click here. For more information about Remembering Srebrenica click here



Wales Africa health conference puts global health improvement centre stage

This year's Wales Africa Health Conference took place in Cardiff on July 6, highlighting the ongoing heath challenges of working in Africa and sharing learning. 

Organised by the Welsh Government funded Hub Cymru Africa, the Wales for Africa Health Links Network and the International Health Coordination Centre, Public Health Wales, the conference included visiting speakers from England, Scotland and Namibia. 

Wales Africa Health Links support healthcare professionals throughout Wales contribute to development of healthcare across Africa, by committing voluntary time and expertise through community groups and charities. 

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Vaughan Gething, who opened the conference, spoke of the positive impact the programme has had at home and abroad.

“We should be really proud of what the Wales for Africa program has done as it builds upon our shared interest to improve healthcare across the world and helps us foster a generous and outward looking Wales.”

The programme has seen contributions towards improving burn care, midwife training and mental health awareness amongst many others. Cat Jones, Head of Partnership at Hub Cymru Africa, spoke of what can be achieved by furthering global health services through transferable skills between healthcare professionals.

 "Welsh health professionals are able to build the capacity of their partners by sharing knowledge and skills. In return, there are benefits of increased confidence, leadership and training skills, understanding of global diseases, and experience of problem solving in very limited resource settings."

Hub Cymru Africa, which celebrated its one year anniversary this year, on June 23, supports partnerships in Wales and Africa. It has given out 80 grants through an annual small grants scheme for Wales-Africa projects. 

To read more about Hub Cymru Africa's grant recipients and their work click here. To read more about the conference click here.

Wales' peace heritage: story of a WW1 Belgian refugee

From living through war in Belgium to teaching fine Arts in Manchester, Bernard Willems talks to The Refugees in Rhyl Project of his experiences as a young adult faced with the First World War on his doorstep in Belgium.

The Refugees in Rhyl project works to keep a record of the lives and stories of those who were exiled from Belgium during the First World War and settled in Rhyl. Wales accepted 4,500 refugees from Belgium who escaped from the Germans at the start of WW1. Bernard's grandparents and father were refugees from Ghent who came to the UK during the First World War. 

Bernard, who was arrested 22 times by the Gestapo, speaks of very narrowly escaping death at the hands of Nazi soldiers. From 50 people being forced off his tram in Brussels to be lined up and shot, to being trapped for four days under the rubble of a house bombed by the Nazi, Bernard was witness to the brutality of the Nazi regime.

Choosing to settle in the UK after the War, he brought with him his stories and experiences. Bernard was a guest at the Wales for Peace 'Belgians Refugees in Rhyl' event on May 24. Stories of Belgians refugees in Wales are a vital part of the Wales for Peace project in mapping the impact of war and collecting the peace heritage of Wales.

To read more about the Bernard's story and the Belgian Refugees in Rhyl project, click here. For more information on Wales for Peace click here.

Win a free website worth £2000 for your local charity, school or club from GloverSure

Based in Welshpool, GloverSure offer web, mobile, graphics and marketing services.

To celebrate their 12th birthday, GloverSure have launched a competition giving one winner the chance to win a free website worth £2000 for a charity, school or club of the winner's choice.

To enter the competition, like GloverSure's Facebook page and post here.

Promoting unity at the peace festival

On Saturday July 16, organisations from across Wales came together at the Peace Festival at Cardiff's Temple of Peace, giving an opportunity to explore what peace means in the community.

Organisations in attendance, who work in and around Wales, included the WCIA, Hub Cymru Africa, Fair Trade Wales, Oxfam Cymru, UNA Exchange, Hope Not Hate, amongst many others. 

The festival, which was received well by organisations and visitors alike, came together with the #MoreInCommon initiative. Hosting activities such as treasure hunts, crafts, postcards to refugees and international food tasting, the community was able to promote harmony, peace and unity. 

To view photos of the festival, click here

Welsh vigil marks centenary of the Battle of Somme

More than 150 people attended an overnight vigil in Llandaff Cathedral, in Cardiff, to mark the centenary of the Battle of Somme, World War One's biggest battle which saw thousands of Welsh men killed and injured in a four month long battle. 

First Minister Carwyn Jones was accompanied by Cardiff Council leader Phil Bale to give readings at the Llandaff Cathedral service, where members of the Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force were also in attendance.

The service ended with whistle blowing and gunfire at the National War Memorial to mark the moment soldiers in the trenches went over the top, and a two-minute silence at 07:28am to remember the fallen.

To mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the WCIA has opened the Remembering for Peace exhibition at Cardiff's Temple of Peace. Through soldiers' stories and the First World War Book of Remembrance, we aim to explore the impact of war and loss in Wales. 

For more information on the Peace Exhibition, click here

Corrections and clarifications
Thank you to our keen-eyed readers who pointed out our error in stating that Wales proved more 'Eurosceptic than England' when, in fact, we meant the UK as a whole. England voted 53.4 leave/46.6 remain. 

Hire the Temple of Peace

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Our events

Remembering for Peace Exhibition – 29 June - 24 September, Wales for Peace. Find out more


Other dates for your diary

Hub Cymru Africa at the Eisteddfod, 29 July - 6 August, Abergavenny. Find out more.

Blog

The Orlando Mass-Shootings: Homophobia or Terrorism. Read.

Political Tourist: The Final ChapterRead.

Political Tourist Part 6: Discovering and Sharing Heritage for Truth and Peace. Read.

Political Tourist Part 5: Checkpoint Duty. Read.

Political Tourist Part 4: AVP – Gazan Style. Read.

Political Tourist Part 3: First Impressions of Gaza. Read.

Political Tourist Part 2: Room for Celebration. Read

Political Tourist Part 1: Walking the Line of Non-violence. Read.

North Wales Women Peace March 1926, Stephen Thomas. Read.

The EU Referendum: A Welsh Debate. Georgia Marks. Read.

Read the latest blogs from our contributors.

Event resources

EU Referendum: The Issues Debate Wales, 8 June. View event report.

‘Charity begins at home?’ Talk from the Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, Mark Goldring, 24 February. Post event report, photos, video of routable discussion, video of Mark Goldring talk.

‘The Role of the Commonwealth in the 21st Century’ Talk from Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, 22 March. Event story.
 
‘Contextualising Islam in 21st Century Britain’ Talk from Professor Grace Davie, 13 April. Event report and pictures

'Syria, ISIL and the Middle East: The US Perspective' Talk from Thomas Williams, Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy, 28 April. Event pictures and report

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