Spirit Youth Report

The WSYC gathering in Accra, Ghana was organized by Lawrence Yealue, a founding member and Samuel  ,who leads a COE chapter in Ghana. Lawrence has been with COE since 2002 when his students became involved  with a bead making project at the Buduburam Refugee Camp, organized at the first COE/Apeadu Peace Center conference.

The March 9,2010 gathering was remarkable with six(6) African countries  represented including Ghana, Liberia, Guinea, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Most were students at Wisconsin International University.  In the first dialogue, participants immediately began to speak about the need to share their spiritual experiences with like-minded people.  Seth Graham Acquaah, a longtime participant in the Ghana conferences sponsored by COE spoke eloquently of his lifelong sense of being different and his gratitude to find those who shared his sense of the deeper meaning of life.  Others quickly shared from their hearts, speaking of the burning desire to move past good words to spirituality in action. 

Dr. Harriett Nettles, a longtime elder with COE and WSYC, travelled to the conference from Liberia, where she lectures at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Cuttington University.  In a miraculous bit of synchronicity, after Harriett expressed her deep concern open the recent riot in northern Liberia over ethnic/religious issues, one of the participants shared that his two parents are from each of the two tribes in conflict.  In Fofee Kamara’s own family, the Muslim side had refused to accept his sister when she decided to follow her mother’s Christian heritage.  Fofee  threatened to leave the family altogether if his sister was not accepted and thus brought about reconciliation. He and Harriett are now planning to travel to Voinjama together when she returns to Liberia to teach summer session to offer interfaith dialogue and bring the two sides together. The deep relief experienced when we can share our deepest concerns on such issues, usually considered too sensitive to discuss openly, was evident.

A long conversation was held over how the participants, as individuals and as a WSYC hub, might collaborate to help avert the looming Muslim/Christian crisis in West Africa and the world. The capacity to act from a deep spiritual center alongside those who share our sense of concern was recognized.  We discussed our concern that religious leaders who hypnotize people only for the purpose of their power and self-interest can cause tremendous social havoc, especially in Africa.

After a lovely meditation, the participants discussed future plans. A core group was formed and the decision was made to meet monthly.  Possibilities for a longer summer gathering, perhaps in Aburi, will be considered.  The opportunity to be in touch with a wider global community was greeted enthusiastically. For a full Report with Pictures see attachment bellow!

International Youth Program 2011

On the 20th of August 2011, Karoline Buys and Harriet Nettles crossed the dusty border from Togo to Ghana and continued to the University of Legon in Accra, the site of two previous COE / Apeadu Peace Center gatherings.  Sammy Fianko and Lawrence Yealue organized a group of young people to join us in the lovely University gardens for a program on spirituality into action (Reflect, connect and act) and lunch. After Karoline led a meditation, the sharing that followed showed clear results: a sense of inner peace and oneness with all humanity that reached beyond religion, and the realization that we are all divine. Afterwards Karoline showed the youth the movie on the power of thought inspiring them to become more active in their daily lives. Her power point on COE shared the stories of youth around the world who are doing all they can to make this a better world. The group now plans to continue with weekly meetings and continue to explore possible projects with Sammy and Lawrence. In reflecting upon the day together, Karoline said, “ If hearts have been touched and youth have been inspired to seek higher answers about life and who we are, they will be guided from within to be the change and create a better world.”

The next day, we travelled to Aburi to visit our beloved Nana Apeadu, who generously hosted four large international gatherings for COE in Ghana. Nana has worked tirelessly for women and children refugees worldwide, and is now building her dream: the Apeadu Peace Center.  We did a very productive brainstorming session on how to make COE more active and visible in Ghana.  We began planning a training in mediation and traditional conflict resolution practices, especially in healing the religious conflict that pervades much of Africa.  Spirituality will of course be included as an essential ingredient in peace building. We hope that external funding can be found. Lawrence is convinced that our many contacts in Ghana can help us to find sponsors. If this training calls to you, please share your ideas and begin raising funds so that you can join us!!!
Lawrence and Sammy also plan to organize days of service at the Peace Center, where youth participants will also learn skills in the building trade, such as mixing mortar.  Lawrence, an avid soccer player, also plans to organize a COE Sports for Peace Event on September 21, World Peace Day.

Current Activities

Peace through Sports

Since The International gathering in Accra, the Spirit Youth Hub has been meeting every Saturday to discuss important topics such as the "Impact of Media on Youth" and to talk about possible youth action projects for Peace!

On the 1st of September 2011 the members of COE Ghana celebrated a Sports day at the Refugee Camp of Buduburam, near Accra, with the hope to bring unity among the youth.

Lawrence Yealue (COE SY Hub Leader in Ghana) is organizing another Sports Day which will take place at Buduburam refugee camp, near Accra, on the 21st of September 2011, in celebration of IDP the International Day of Peace at the United Nations. Considering the serious Leadership Crisis at the settlement, Lawrence Yealue hopes to help bridge the divisions existent between the youth and to mediate between the groups involved during this Program.



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