The project, the only one in the world partnering students to tackle extremism and challenge hate, was set up by Brazilian journalist and International Relations and Security MA alumna Beatriz Buarque and developed in connection with Westminster’s Democratic Education Network (DEN).
Words Heal the World aims to support students to enhance their self-confidence and provide them with the necessary skills to turn their idea into reality in their mission to tackle hate. It also connects students with others from different cultures, backgrounds, religions and sexual preferences, as well as global organisations that promote peace, forming a unique network of action in the world.
Students who are involved have the opportunity to write their own stories, make videos, produce short documentaries and work on social media campaigns. They cultivate critical thinking, improve their communication skills, boost their CV and make a difference in society promoting peace, whilst also challenging their own misconceptions.
Currently having 23 partners and 38 undergraduate students across the world, it is an international NGO that has brought young people closer together. It is a registered non-profit in the UK and is currently looking for sponsorship to further expand its actions in the UK, Brazil and other parts of Latin America.
Founder Beatriz Buarque, said: “Words Heal the World has only been a registered NGO for less than six months and all of our work has been possible due to the students’ passion, the passion that motivated students from the University of Westminster and from Brazil to use their talents to challenge hate. This nomination means a victory to everything we represent. It proves how powerful students can be when it comes to the development of strategies to promote peace.”
The Luxembourg Peace Prize honours outstanding individuals and organisations working for peace. Established in 2012 by the Schengen Peace Foundation and approved by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the different categories and their celebration aim to amplify the goals of the World Peace Forum. The Award Ceremony will take place on Friday 14 June at the historical Schuman European Parliament building in Luxembourg.
This year’s awards will be given for Outstanding Peace Activists, Outstanding Peace Education, Outstanding Peace Organisation, Outstanding Public Peace Efforts, Outstanding Peace Technology and/or Support, Outstanding Youth Peaceworker, Outstanding Peace Process, Outstanding Peace Journalism, Outstanding Peace Environmentalism, Outstanding Art for Peace and Outstanding Inner Peace.
Words Heal the World is also running for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Action Awards on the Connector category. This award recognises individuals, civil society organisations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, or private sector leaders for the most innovative, impactful and transformative initiatives building a global movement for the SDGs.
Winners will be announced at the SDG Global Festival of Action in Bonn, Germany, taking place from 2-4 May. Organised by the UN SDG Action Campaign, the awards aim to broaden and sustain global action for the SDGs and cover a People’s Choice Award and seven other categories that identify the top Mobilisers, Storytellers, Campaigners, Connectors, Visualisers, Includers and Creatives.