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

Growing Peace Stories with UNA Exchange: How women seeking refuge found peace in Cardiff

Kenya, Jordan, Zimbabwe, Syria, and Libya - just some of the places women have fled to eventually find peace in Wales. They brought with them culinary, social, and teaching skills, to name a few, the women have been integral to building peace and tolerance in Wales, as a UNA Exchange project has explored. 

As part of Wales for PeaceUNA Exchange organised the Growing Peace Stories project. A group of international students from across Europe spent two weeks (9-23 August) volunteering with a group of women from Women Connect First, working together to produce and share their ‘Peace Stories'.

One women who shared her story was Jordanian born Farial, who lived in Italy for sixteen years prior to moving to Cardiff. 

"When I arrived to Europe I felt different, I felt free". 

She worked as a chef of Middle Eastern food, now a common cuisine in Cardiff, before moving on to voluntarily cooking Italian dishes in a nursing home. 

It is her dual culture as a Jordanian Italian that Farial brought with her which has contributed to building diversity and harmony within Welsh communities. And she isn't alone, she is one of the many women who have contributed to the project, showing that living in peace is possible, irregardless of race, ethnicity or religion. 

To read more about the project, and more volunteer peace stories, click here.

Size of Wales: helping to protect the Amazon rainforest

Welsh charity, Size of Wales, are now protecting an area of rainforest in the Amazon roughly the size of Wales. 

The Olympics drew attention to a continent being threatened by climate change and deforestation, but with the games now officially having come to a close, that attention may deteriorate. 

However, Welsh charity, Size of Wales have committed themselves to keeping their eyes firmly on fighting climate change on the South American continent.

The charity's projects in Peru and Guyana will see two million hectares of rainforest in the Amazon being protected. They have already planted over 4 million trees, with the aim of protecting such tropical rainforests. 

Size of Wales’ Acting Director Lowri Jenkins said:

“We’re so chuffed to be able to say we’re helping to protect an area of rainforest the size of Wales in South America, and support these worthwhile communities.

We’re currently looking at new projects in Africa, which would mean Wales is protecting an area the size of itself on both continents. That’s an incredible achievement for our nation."

Size of Wales, launched in 2010 and supported by the Welsh Government and donations from people and businesses, will be 
fundraising on 14th October to protect such habitats and its unique communities. 

Read more here. For more information on Size of Wales, click here.

Swansea stands as one in solidarity with refugees

Hundreds of people gathered in Swansea's Castle Square in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers in Wales.

Organised by a partnership of Oxfam CymruHope not Hate, Swansea City of Sanctuary, and Christian Aid, the event supported and celebrated the contributions of refugees to Wales.

Speakers, such as Suzy Davies AM, urged the Welsh government to do more to resettle refugees and find a more effective long term solution to the current global refugee crisis. 

"Is it good that sanctuary splits up families, prevents refugees reaching family members in the developed world? No it is not."

The rally, which took place all morning, was a show of great community effort of standing side by side with refugees and asylum seekers alike. 

To for information and pictures of the event, click here. 

Inter-faith community relations important, says Secretary-General of the Muslim Council for Wales

Saleem Kidwai, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council for Wales, expressed the importance of Inter-community Relations in Wales, on Thursday 22 September, at the Temple of Peace, Cardiff. 

Taking from his own experiences growing up in both Pakistan and the UK, he spoke about establishing good relations with people like the Chief Rabbi and the Archbishop of Wales, and the importance of inter-faith events that they have organised together. 

Furthermore, he commended making personal friends with people from different faith backgrounds or with different attitudes.

Just over 30 people were in attendance of the event organised by United Nations Association Cardiff and District Branch, from varying religious backgrounds, including a female Imam from Newport, who spoke of the status of women in Islam. 

The next meeting of this kind will be addressed by Dr. Amanda Potts on 'The United Nations War Crimes Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia' in October'. For more information for this event, click here

October Month of Action: speak up about tackling climate change

Organised by Stop Climate Chaos Cymru, a coalition of 15 influential Welsh organisations, the Local Climate Lobby is aiming to engage the recently elected Assembly Members in climate conversations.

In October, the coalition aims to call on the Welsh Government to deliver on the commitments set out in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

"We hope this will be part of a strengthening of local relationships between AMs and their constituents as we seek to see action on climate change, both locally and globally.  

Now is the time. We need to make sure that AMs can see, hear and feel how much we care, and how many of us care."

Stop Climate Chaos Cymru are encouraging locals to invite local AMs and MPs to events organised by themselves throughout October.

To read more about Stop Climate Chaos Cymru, and how to get involved, click here

Lydia Edwards on volunteering with WCIA

Lydia Edwards joined us as a volunteering near the beginning of the Wales for Peace Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

What interested you in volunteering for the WCIA? 

I was attracted by the possibility to gain an insight/ work experience in an organisation that has values I believe in as well as it being something that has covered my interests. 

What did you enjoy the most? 

I enjoyed working with committed people on a project that is so varied! I learned a lot about team work and project management. I also felt valued and appreciated as a volunteer by the team. 

Is there anything you would like to say to people considering volunteering with the WCIA? 

I would recommend it! It’s an amazing experience to work at a third sector organisation to do things you truly enjoy! You learn so much from the team as they’re such a diverse group of people. I believe these skills will really help me after I graduate.

For volunteering opportunities with us click here.

Hire the Temple of Peace

Hire our prestigious venue in the heart of Cardiff for conferences, exhibitions, wedding receptions and much more. 

More information and availability.

Our events

'Bringing the World to Bangor', 30 September 2016,  Fair Trade Wales’ North Wales, Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre. Find out more.

International Development Summit, 1 November, Liberty Stadium Swansea. Find out more.

Other dates for your diary

'The UN War Crimes Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia', 5 October, Temple of Peace. Find out more.

Black History Month Wales, 1 October, Wales Millennium Centre. Find out more.

Women’s Inspirational Day:  Voices from Community, 6 October, Basso Office, Cardiff. 


From war to Olympic glory, the Refugee Olympic Team are competing for tolerance. Read.

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.

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

Support the WCIA 

Find out more.

Volunteer with the WCIA

Gain skills and experience, meet people and support the WCIA. We’re looking for a website volunteer and general volunteers.

Other Volunteering Opportunities

Wales for Peace are recruiting volunteers for Poppies and Remembering for Peace community events in Caernarfon this Autumn. Fore get involved click here. 

UNA Exchange provides a range of international volunteering opportunities including; work camps; step by step programmes; medium to long term projects; European voluntary service; and group projects.

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