Friday, February 22, 2013

Meet the Peace Medal Recipients!

The recipients of the 2012 YMCA Peace Medals for the Winnipeg Association were awarded at the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg's Annual General Meeting on February 5th.  Congratulations to Taylor Daigneault and Muuxi Adam for being selected as the 2012 Peace Medal recipients!


Taylor is congratulated at the AGM by Board Chair Jon
Woolley and CEO Kent Patterson.
Taylor Daigneault is a passionate young individual in Grade 12. Taylor is a co-president of the Student Body, and an instrumental leader in a student-led initiative Students Promoting Unity at Murdoch MacKay. With Taylor’s help Students Promoting Unity began spreading awareness of United Nations Observance Day. His passion for peace and unity enabled him to lead school wide assemblies and smaller student body focus groups on a variety issues and observances ranging from the International Day of the Girl Child to National Bullying Awareness Week.

Taylor truly takes to heart his duties to listen without bias or prejudice to all his peers and brings forward their ideas to the council. As part of their work they took part in Me to We, raising over $3000 for Kenya and 2000 pounds of food for Winnipeg Harvest. Taylor’s qualities as a global citizen are well shown by his act to place calls to a variety organizations and donors, not to solicit for funds, rather simply thank those who had helped. Taylor’s facilitating skills have left other students and his peers to believe that they have a voice and they are being heard.

Kim Dudek form Murdoch MacKay says “Taylor’s work with Habitat for Humanity has long term impact in that to say “thank you” may be regarded as merely good manners; indeed, with sincere gratitude, it is the practice of building lasting, healthy relationships.”

Taylor is a strong, compassionate young individual, well-deserving of the YMCA Youth Peace Medal Award!

Muxxi speaks to the crowd at the
YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg's AGM.
The recipient of the Adult Peace Medal is Muuxi Adam.  Muuxi is a young former Somali refugee who escaped from the civil war, moving to Winnipeg in 2004. He is currently working as the After School Program Coordinator at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba Inc (IRCOM). Muuxi is a leader for his compassion for youth and his initiatives for community development in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. 

Muuxi's commitment to diversity, multiculturalism and inclusiveness began with his visits to Somalia and Kenya to be united with family and friends. Upon his return he felt that it was his moral obligation to respond to humanitarian and development needs of communities in the Southern part of war-torn Somalia and the marginalized communities of Northern Kenya. Muuxi co-founded Humankind International to serve the needs of the communities in Northern Kenya and Southern Somalia with the support of his African-born Canadian friends. Humankind International strives to use new approaches to developing and empowering these communities to achieve their goals. Their project included construction, equipping and staffing of an Early Childhood Centre in Dadaab Refugee Camp to admit 120 students who will take two years of early education until they are able to enroll in primary schools.

In order to help fundraise for the cause, and to promote understanding of peace and human rights, Muuxi has collaborated with schools in Winnipeg. His success with Humankind International was celebrated with an event hosted by the Winnipeg International Story Telling Festival.  Muuxi's story will also be featured in The Lucky Ones: African Refugees' Stories of Extraordinary Courage by Anne Mahon, set for release this spring.

St. John Brebeuf School’s Margaret Lafreniere summarizes Muuxi's impact in the community. “Muuxi Adam, founder of Humankind International, has helped us open our eyes to a world totally unlike the one that we have grown up in in North America. His personal story of enduring war and separation from family and of his dramatic move to Canada where he is making his dreams come true totally captivates and motivates us. His example of resiliency and compassion has set the bar high for us and we are determined to help him build a school in Dadaab."

Congratulations to all of the nominees for the 2012 YMCA Peace Medal and a special thank you to all of the nominators for sharing these stories with us!

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