In a splendid ceremony in Newcastle upon Tyne’s Civic Centre on 23 May, Cllr David Down, a former full-time volunteer with Initiatives of Change, was elected as the Lord Mayor of the city for 2018-19. His fellow councillors added good-humoured banter during formal speeches in support of him. His wife, Barbara, who is IofC UK's head of personnel and IofC's webmaster, becomes the Lady Mayoress.
Creators of Peace UK hosted a visit from Iman Al Ghafari and Ola Al Darwish who run Creators of Peace Circles in Damascus, Syria sharing inspiration of how women are supporting one another in the midst of war.
In Ukraine, Initiatives of Change is known officially as Foundations for Freedom. F4F, as it is often called, is tackling some of the country’s most difficult challenges. Three of its leaders write about it.
The Middle East is widely regarded as an area of unmitigated negativity. However, there are more creative and hope-giving initiatives being undertaken than we might imagine. It is to some of these that a group from Lebanon and Syria will witness on a short European tour to Sweden, Norway and the UK between 21 April and 12 May. The visiting delegation is associated with the international Initiatives of Change movement, and they represent two networks which are working for peace in their countries through people finding new perspectives and a change of heart.