Over 10,000 hands for peace

Image © Courtesy 10,000 Hands

If you have not heard of the 10,000 Hands or the Peace Cloth, then hopefully you will soon as it is coming to a street, bus or school near you. The Cloth itself is just what it sounds like, well, there are more than 200 cloths now, all over Lewisham and together they will be nearly one mile long.

The 10,000 Hands, and the Peace cloth, was the idea of the award-winning pupil of Camilla Yahaya, a 17-year-old who volunteers at The Jimmy Mizen Foundation – Working with a team of pupils, supported by her teacher, they began with the 15 Schools in the Borough of Lewisham.

After 6 months, they now have the support of 1,500 teachers and staff, 16,000 pupils, 10,000 families, 800 police officers, 3 Mayors, 1 Home Secretary, 1 Secretary of State, 1 Shadow Cabinet, 30 MP’s, 10 local councillors, 36 faith groups, 35 youth organisations, 1 Council, 13 press stories, 3 radio interviews; all in all over 35,000 people in 4 months. 2 other boroughs, 3 towns interested, 4 European countries and the US Embassy have now asked to become involved.

We are now introducing the 10,000 Hands Peace Cloth to Lewisham’s sixty four Primary Schools, and all the Secondary Schools in Bromley & Southwark.

In December every community, school, organisation with a cloth will come outside of their building, temple, mosque and hold aloft their cloth – there will be 30,000 hands held towards the sky.

The Metropolitan Police’s helicopter India 99 will flyover Lewisham on a pre-arranged route to salute the ‘Peace Cloth’ filming and uniting young people, the police and the community of Lewisham.

And for a weekend in 2014, we are gathering all the cloths, over 200 of them – Then unrolling some along Downing Street, and wrapping them around City Hall.

We are also looking for a venue to hang our Peace cloth, the Turbine Hall would be wonderful so that everyone can look for and find their handprints among the 100,000.

The 10,000 Hands is now run by a group of Lewisham young people, led by Camilla, they identify and creates opportunities that bring together individuals, institutions, and organisations to spread Peace, create Hope and positively Change young people’s lives.

They are now a number of projects that are running in Lewisham:

Deptford High Street – We are piloting the 10,000 Hands Safer High Streets in Deptford, working with Lewisham Council, Lewisham Police, Lewisham Business Against Crime, Lewisham MP’s and Councillors, Millwall Football Club, Second Wave and local faith groups. A project seeks to build a stronger and safer community.

Safer Buses – Working with Lewisham Buses, Transport for London (TfL), Lewisham Police and Lewisham Council our 10,000 Hands schools are going to ‘adopt’ their local bus route. A 10,000 Hands Passenger and driver charter will be agreed and a ‘Talking Heads’ video will be created and presented in school assemblies. Following the success of the pilot, we will push for a Lewisham wide launch, through all of our 10,000 Hands secondary schools.

European Peace Cloth – The Peace cloth is being taken to Norway, Sweden Germany, and France in 2014 by the Lewisham Young Mayors Team and the 10,000 Hands.

Visiting South Africa & Desmond Tutu – We are visiting South Africa next October, taking the Peace Car, Barry & Margaret Mizen, Grace Idowu, and twenty of Lewisham’s young people to Release the Peace – Taking the 10,000 Hands Peace Cloth to the local schools and community around Klerksdorp, Transvaal. While there we will also be meeting with Desmond Tutu and taking part in his foundation’s International Peace conference.

The 10,000 Hands Café – Working with the Jimmy Mizen Foundation, Release the Peace, Lewisham Council and TNG we are opening a community café – The 10,000 Hands Café – as a social enterprise. The café will seek to support young people, provide work experience and work with the local community.

Google – In October, we visited Google’s London office, we met with a couple of the Directors, had a tour of their amazing offices, a visit to the YouTube Studios and best of all a demonstration and a chance to play with the new Google Glass.

Prince Charles – The Jimmy Mizen Foundation, Release the Peace and the 10,000 Hands took part in Prince Charles ‘Step Up to Serve’ launch at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 21 November 2013. Camilla, Billy, Margaret and Barry Mizen were privileged to attend.

The 10,000 Hands Peace Cloth is a ‘Release the Peace’ initiative, ‘Release the Peace’ is part of the Jimmy Mizen Foundation.


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