Maryam Monsef and Jess Melnik Win 2013 YMCA Peace Medallion

Maryam & Jessica (PTBOCanada file photo)

Maryam & Jessica (PTBOCanada file photo)

Every year, YMCA's across the world celebrate Peace Week by awarding someone special in their community with the YMCA Peace Medallion. The Peace Medallion is intended to recognize the achievements of individuals and groups in local communities who—without any special resources—demonstrate in their lives and activities the values expressed in the World Alliance of YMCA's Statement of Peace, which states "Peace has many dimensions. It is not only a state of relationships among nations. We cannot expect to live in a world of peace if we are unable to live in peace with those close to us—even those who differ from us. The responsibility for peace begins with each person, in relationship with family and friends, and extends to community life and national activities....It is we ourselves who must see, act, pray for ways to be peacemakers."

The Balsillie Family Branch in Peterborough has announced that this year's winners of the YMCA Peace Medallion are Maryam Monsef and Jessica Melnik for their work with the Red Pashmina Campaign. The Red Pashmina Campaign (RPC) is driven by a vision for a world where women and girls everywhere have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

The campaign aims to celebrate, empower and connect women around the world, first by funding education initiatives through the sale of beautiful Red Pashminas, and second, through sharing the stories of courageous, everyday women. Founders Maryam and Jessica believe that by supporting women and celebrating their stories, RPC will be able inspire others and foster a local and global community of empowered, successful individuals.

You can purchase your Red Pashmina from several local businesses for $20, with proceeds going to advancing education and educational opportunities for Afghan women and their families.

City Hall delegates will present the award on Thursday, November 28th at 7 pm in the Grand Hall inside the YMCA, located at 123 Aylmer St. South, just off Lansdowne. The YMCA is inviting and encouraging everyone in Peterborough to attend the ceremony and celebrate with them as Maryam and Jessica receive this great honour.

Learn more about Red Pashmina in this video below...

PTBOCanada's Scott Arnold

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