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In response to the challenges and hardship faced by local communities, Plan for Peace is launching its flagship programme for changemakers in the United Kingdom to help support them to be a positive force for change during turbulent times. 

Peace-building expert Dr. Madeleine Mosse, peace-activist Jo Berry and the Bringing People Together fund granted by the National Lottery are the drivers behind this unique project. 

The project is built around the Mighty Heart course, developed by Dr. Scilla Elworthy, three-time Nobel peace-prize nominee and founder of Plan for Peace. The Mighty Heart’s unique approach re-energizes current and potential changemakers throughout the world. 

The UK course will take place in six cities -Belfast, Glasgow, Bradford, Luton, London, and Cardiff- with 16 participants in each city. The programme helps strengthen community peace infrastructures through developing skills such as deep listening and communication. 

Inner growth as a tool for outer action is one of the main takeaways from the course, a characteristic Dr Mosse views as critical to social cohesion and peace-building efforts.

Jo Berry, a new addition to the Plan for Peace team, is a fervent practitioner of ‘deep listening’. Berry brings many years of working in divided communities, particularly in the UK and Northern Ireland, to the table. “Her capacity to listen to people, to make them feel heard is kind of supernatural,” says Dr Mosse. Expertise in building cohesion and trust makes Berry the ideal facilitator for this programme. 

Dr Mosse observed that discussions with changemakers have highlighted their state of exhaustion. Re-energizing changemakers and providing them with the tools for positive inner-growth is essential to ensuring the project inspires progress and change, she says. The course is highly participatory which makes it suitable for everybody, with registration expected to open mid-November of 2022.

The project feeds into the bigger vision of Plan for Peace by building and strengthening community peace infrastructure. Dr Mosse and Berry are currently supporting this by meeting with and listening to community and youth leaders and individuals within these communities. Connecting change-makers with what breaks their heart is what makes this project unique. Channeling anger into a force for positive change is one of the Mighty Heart’s keys to re-energizing changemakers throughout the UK.