We know we can't change the world alone.
Together we can do more.

That's the power of a global community. Our national and worldwide YMCA networks provide ways to make changes that will have an impact on your life and on the lives of your neighbours - near and far - to make a difference in the world.

Global Initiatives Programs

The YMCA Peace Medal recognizes and celebrates members of our community who inspire us to join them in creating a more peaceful world.

Every time someone takes an action for peace, people are connected, to themselves and to each other. In every community there are people who make a difference and who are committed to bringing peace and prosperity to the world they live in, often in the face of great conflict and injustice. 

YMCA Peace Medal

The YMCA Peace Medal is presented to individuals or groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, demonstrate a commitment to the values of P-E-A-C-E through contributions made within their local, national or global community. 

2023 Medals

As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and issues facing our global community, YMCA Peace Week takes on new meaning, illustrating how the ongoing work of building peace needs to continue now more than ever. COVID-19 and the urgent calls for action for diversity, social inclusion, and equity are challenging us, as individuals, communities and country, to consider where we've been and where we want to go.

More information about our 2023 YMCA Peace Medals and Annual Breakfast in Spring 2023 can be found here: 

Learn More

Previous Recipients

Developing leaders. Advancing peace.

The Farah Family and the YMCA are inviting youth school groups of all ages in Hamilton, Burlington, and Brantford area to apply for a grant of $500 - $2,500 to support youth-led projects that: 

  • Encourages the advancement of peace in their community
  • Promotes non-violence within the family, community, nationally or internationally 
  • Demonstrates ways to live in peace and harmony in an increasingly diverse society 
  • Supports leadership in global awareness among young people 
  • Encourages global responsibility and action towards positive change 

The initiative should also:

Promote civic engagement
Encourage empathy and understanding through communication
Actively lead and support leadership
Connect and collaborate through communities by building connections
Empower and inspire others to create positive personal and social change

With the initiative of these grants it is our hope that we can encourage more young people to foster a culture of peace in their school and community; promote peace and cross-cultural understanding; and build skills for civic engagement. We also wish to inspire others to join them in creating a more peaceful world. 

Awarding is not automatic: The Youth Reviewing Committee and the YMCA Peace Medal Committee reserves the right to not issue the award in full or in part of the $2,500 funding available, should candidates not meet criteria.

The 2024 applications are now being accepted.

Apply Now

Christopher Cutler was a champion of the YMCA's mission with a deep understanding of the important role YMCA programs play to level the playing field for people of all ages.

Chris believed strongly in seeding the roots of peace in young people - a passion that will be carried on through the Christopher Cutler Youth Development Scholarship in his memory.

Two awards will be presented to deserving young people in support of their leadership development, training or education, to help them reach their potential.

The 2024 applications are now being accepted.

Apply Now

YMCA Peace Medal Recipients - 2023

Cathedral High School – The Annex

The Cathedral Annex program, initiated in 2003, has been awarded the Peace Medal for its remarkable dedication to addressing the needs of students and families in a neighbourhood marked by income disparity and challenges. Providing essential support such as food, clothing, school supplies, and household items, all free of charge, the program has become a symbol of hope in Hamilton. 

North Park Collegiate School – SARC

The North Park Collegiate Student Anti-Racism Coalition has been recognized for its outstanding efforts in promoting diversity, inclusion, and combating racism within the school community. Through a series of impactful initiatives and weekly meetings, they have successfully created a safe and open space for students to engage in conversations about sensitive issues and foster cross-cultural understanding. 

Serena Bufalino

Serena Bufalino has been awarded the YMCA Peace Medal for her global impact through initiatives such as the Haiti School Building Project, Yoga for Haiti, and her work with Help Heal Humanity. Her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable populations worldwide is truly remarkable. Serena's collaborative approach and dedication to driving positive change have been an inspiration to all.