November 18th-25th

Peace Week 2017 will take place on November 18-25. The YMCA of Greater Saint John is excited to offer a week full of peacemaking activities to the community.

Each year, YMCAs across Canada celebrate acts of peace by recognizing individuals and groups, who, without any special resources, status, wealth, or position, have demonstrated a commitment to building peace within their community or communities elsewhere in the world. During YMCA Peace Week, taking place from November 18-25, 2017, local peacemakers will receive special recognition at Peace Medal ceremonies across Canada.

Peacemakers are selected through a nomination process. Know a peacemaker in your community? Take a look at the guidelines below to nominate them:

2017 Peace Medallion Recipients - 30th Anniversary 

A special highlight of this week is the presentation of YMCA Peace Medals to individuals or groups who, without any special resources, demonstrate a commitment to the values of PEACE through contributions made within their local, national or global community. Peacemakers are recognized for promoting and inspiring Participation, Empathy, Advocacy, Community and Empowerment.

2017 marks the 30th Anniversary of the YMCA Peace Medal. It was developed in 1987 by the International Committee at the YMCA of Fredericton. That year, this committee of volunteers and staff was tasked with developing Peace Week support materials for YMCAs across the country.

Inspired by efforts of Jim and Kay Bedell in raising awareness of the 1982 United Nations Disarmament Conference by walking from New Brunswick to New York City to attend, the Committee decided to institute an award, a peace medal, to be given by YMCAs across the country each year to people like Jim and Kay.

Since 1987, more than 1,900 individuals and groups across Canada have been recognized with YMCA Peace Medals. 

Reham Abazid and Li Song will both be receiving the 2017 Peace Medallion in Saint John for their individual peacemaking efforts.

“Reham empowers others to go after what they believe and is beyond willing to help in whatever way, ensuring they succeed,” Kendra Gautreau, who nominated Reham said. “Everything she does has an impact and shows she is a peacemaker. From hosting a fundraising market to support women in Jordan to providing meals for Outflow Men’s Shelter, she is giving her time to bridge gaps in her community, while advocating for peace.”

Li Song will also receive a YMCA Peace Medallion. “Li works to ensure everyone in the community feels included. She is an ambassador for peace through her volunteer work at the Saint John Library and brings newcomers and locals together and inspires them to learn from each other,” explains Jiaojiao Meng, who nominated Li for the award. 

PEACE it Forward

Join us during Peace Week to Peace it Forward: if you receive the coin pictured here, you’re now a part of the PEACE it Forward challenge! You have 24 hours to carry out a peaceful act (for a person, group or cause). Once you complete the challenge, give your coin to the person you acted for or pass it along to anyone you’d like.

Don’t forget to share your #actforpeace or someone else’s on Twitter during #ymcapeaceweek and beyond. Let’s see how far the coins and PEACE spreads!

Need some ideas on how to act for peace? Consider these:

Have a passion, talent or skill? Donate it to a person, organization or cause. Get involved!

       Offer help to someone who needs assistance.

       - Get to know your neighbours and fellow community members. 
- Learn something new by researching the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
 Stop when you see a demonstration, rally or walk. Ask a participant about the cause.
 Find out when your municipality is holding community meetings and consultations. Participate.

Keep the list growing. Join the #ymcapeaceweek social media discussion and add your own #actforpeace ideas.

  • Reham Abazid | 2017 Peace Medallion Recipient

    Q: How did you feel when you found out you were nominated and chosen for this award? 

    A: I was jumping up and down like when I was called to come to Canada. It was a wonderful feeling!" 


  • Peace Breakfast

    Join us on November 24th to celebrate local peacemakers during YMCA Peace Week. Reham Abazid and Li Song will both be receiving the 2017 Peace Medallion in Saint John for their individual peacemaking efforts. This is the 30th anniversary of the Peace Medallion. 

  • Li Song | 2017 Peace Medallion Recipient

    Q: What does peace mean to you? 

    A: When I think about peace, I think about every day living. You are loved and can spread love. You're surrounded by good people and have peace in your heart. To me, peace is simple." 

Youth Coffee House

The YMCA of Greater Saint John's International Committee is hosting a Youth Coffee House on April 21st at 6:30 pm. The event will take place at the Saint John Regional. There will be free international coffee, treats and hot chocolate! We will be accepting donations to support our global partner, the YMCA of Honduras. 

Youth ages 13-25 are welcome to register to perform!