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.
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:
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.
YMCA Peace Medal Recipients - 2022
Imam Abu Noman Tarek
Imam has been serving as an Imam, Teacher, Chaplain, Educator and Consultant in Canada for 15 years. He currently holds three Bachelor Degrees and two Master’s degrees that he earned starting in Bangladesh, and has been continuing in Canada. Currently, he is the Imam-Director of Religious Affairs of the Muslim Association of Brantford, serves as a psychotherapist at Help2Heal and Syeda Khadija Centre, teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University and serves as Chaplain at different correctional services and hospitals. Under his leadership, 90 refugee families have come to Canada and settled in 15 cities since 2016
Brantford Slavic Full Gospel Church
The Brantford Slavic Full Gospel Church is a community unto itself where parishioners of varying nationalities including Ukrainian, Polish and Russian, work together to support the local homeless population and newcomers fleeing war. Pastors Oleg and Irene Stepus, have travelled to Poland to meet refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and arrange support for families. The church provides settlement support such as housing, groceries, employment, schooling, documentation and other needs as well as collecting community donations and working with a range of community partners to provide resources.
Shelter Health Network
Established in 2005 in Hamilton, the Shelter Health Network is a collaboration of health care professionals and social service organizations serving a high-risk population of people without stable housing and who live with complex health problems. They provide primary care to patients at a variety of locations throughout Hamilton, including shelters and transitional housing programs, drop-in centres, addiction facilities and mental health facilities. The Shelter Health Network has been on the frontline of the pandemic, walking the streets to support vaccinations, advocating for food security and providing much needed health care within the community. · Representatives from Shelter Health Network must do everything they can to protect their health so they may continue to treat those in our community who need their services and so they are unable to be with us this morning. Accepting the nomination on their behalf is community partner, Katherine Kalinowski from Good Shepard.
YMCA Peace Medal Recipients - 2022
Hekmatullah Hamilton, has played an active role with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to promote peace for children. Through the establishment of a children for children network in Afghanistan, Hekmatullah has organized training programs for children and youth to educate about children’s rights and instill leadership skills. Locally, Hekmatullah volunteers with the Afghan Association of Hamilton, coordinating many of the social programs including meetings, sports programs, and events to support newcomers in their new city
St.Thomas More Diversity Committee
For 20 years the St.Thomas More Diversity Committee has been committed to bringing cultural awareness and working to eliminate racism, address social justice issues, and to help foster and nurture a safe and accepting school environment for all students and staff. During full pandemic lockdowns, the Committee continued their activities in a virtual format to bring messages of hope and fellowship while recognizing Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week, celebrating Black History Month and honouring female staff on International Women’s Day. Their annual Diversity Talent Show showcased cultural fashions with proceeds supporting both school and community causes.