Please see Peace Prize 2014 summary video below:
Message from DRC from Therese
Since returning home to Bukavu, in Eastern DRC Therese has had several celebration events where community members including parish priests, local leaders, journalists, civil society and women members of local associations have joined together for some ‘sharing meetings’ to hear what happened in Coventry and to see the peace prize award sculpture. Therese has shared of her inspiration following visits to the Cathedral and the Universities and has been especially challenged by the story of Forgiveness. Regarding the peace prize award money Therese wants to help women who have lost limbs to violence suffered during the conflict by providing access to medical services for artificial limbs provision and rehabilitation.
Sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo: “I went to speak about human rights… people believed they had none”
We are very pleased to see 2014 Peace Prize winner Therese’s work with the Listening Rooms in the DRC in todays Independent. So timely given that 25th November is UN International day for the elimination of violence against women.
The whole article can be found here. Photo: David Warren
2014 Prize winner announced – Thérèse Mema Mapenzi from the DR Congo
As the annual Coventry Peace Festival gets underway, the Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation has been awarded to Thérèse Mema Mapenzi from the Justice and Peace Commission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On Monday evening (3rd November), Canon David Porter (Canon of Coventry Cathedral and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation) announced Thérèse as the award recipient during the Lord Mayor’s Peace Lecture.
“It was a privilege to announce Thérèse Mema Mapenzi as the recipient of the prize. Her work provides a safe place and a voice for those whose lives have been affected by sexual violence. Rape is now a weapon of warfare which has a devastating impact on the lives of women and girls and the communities within which they live” commented Canon David Porter, “The Peace Prize recognises those who work at grass roots, with a passion for reconciliation and a determination to change their communities for the better – the Listening Room project is an inspiration to us all.”
Member of the judging panel, The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry commented “I’am hugely excited about Thérèse’s work; both because of its impact in the Democratic Republic of Congo but also because as a way of working with people who have suffered trauma it can translate so easily into other contexts. I hope that we will be able to set up something like the Listening Rooms here in Coventry that is inspired by her example.”.
Peace Prize 2014 Award Ceremony
Lord Mayor of Coventry’s Annual Peace Lecture – Dancing at the Crossroads. Transforming conflict and Building Peace.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Hazel Noonan, cordially invites you to a lecture given by Canon David Porter, Director for Reconciliation Ministry, Coventry Cathedral and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation.
Should we intervene in conflict and if so how can we enable our intervention to lead to peace rather than further violence? These are vital questions we all need to address.
David Porter brings his extensive experience of participating in the Northern Ireland Civic Forum and Northern Ireland Community Relations Council as well as his reconciliation work within the church. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry.
Monday 3rd November 2014 7.30pm, doors open 7pm – St Mary’s Guildhall, Bayley Lane, Coventry
A public free event, all welcome.
Peace Festival 2014
Coventry and its iconic Cathedral Ruins are international symbols for peace and reconciliation and for many years the Coventry Peace Festival has carried on the tradition of promoting peace within communities and throughout the city.
With over 50 events taking place including exhibitions, orchestral concerts and lectures to craft workshops and poetry readings, there is something of interest for everyone.
A message from the Lord Mayor: “Welcome to the 2014 Coventry Peace Festival programme. I hope you will find a host of interesting things to do, places to visit and people to listen to who will remind you of the work being done here in Coventry to promote peace and reconciliation. I know there are events in the programme that will inspire you as you see first-hand how hard different groups are working to make sure that peace and reconciliation is a key theme for the city as we keep moving forward.”
To learn more, visit www.coventry.gov.uk/peace/