It’s 2022, and we are back! It’s been an absolute pleasure to be able to welcome so many young people back into our Academy and continue doing the work that we love!
Our 2021 saw many challenges, but also lots of young Fight for Peace athletes competing, learning, and growing – and it didn’t stop there. Many of our young people embarked on new career endeavours, completed (or started!) new learning opportunities, reached and exceeded fitness goals, and managed to remain focused on important personal development aspirations.
We’ve also grown as an organisation, taking the year’s adversities and using them to develop and improve the way we deliver our services to young people as much as we can.
“In 2022, we really want to come back stronger. Last year was a tough one – and although we’re not out of the woods yet, we’re seeing some light at the end of the tunnel,” explained Fight for Peace Academy Director, Jean-Pierre Moore.
“We’re really proud that we’ve been able to continue running our sports sessions throughout most of 2021, despite some heavy challenges, which is testament to the team pulling together and really helping us maintain the quality of our services.”
“Really, it’s about building, and recovering from the previous two years and hopefully getting us back to where we want to be!”
We also checked in with some more staff members, coaches, and Youth Council representatives to hear about some of our goals, aspirations and hopes for 2022 and beyond.
Our all-female personal development group – Lutadoras is something that we are looking forward to seeing grow in 2022. Fight for Peace Female Engagement Consultant and Lutadoras Coordinator, Katie-Wambui Kings, describes Lutadoras as “a space of power for us women to come together, and takes place every Thursday from 5pm – 7.30pm.”
“We are looking forward to all of the knowledge that will be developed in 2022! Some of our Lutadoras members will be leading a training programme that we are going to create in order to support Fight for Peace, as well as other partners”.
“The hope is to make sure that the work of everyone involved is empowering for women and girls from all different backgrounds, and all walks of life.”
Youth Worker and Boxing Coach, Michael Appiah, told us – “this year, we’re looking forward to continuing the engaging conversations that happen in Man Talk, our all-male personal development sessions where we come together every Wednesday at 5pm to break bread and have inspiring and enlightening conversations.”
“We’re hoping to get our boxing competitors as many bouts as possible, and get them into championships. Hopefully we’ll be able to see some more champions, and some national champions!”
Muay thai coach, Star Joyce, shares similar hopes for the year, and is excited to “help more young people achieve their goals, develop as muay thai practitioners, and then hopefully into muay thai champions!”
“The last two years has been a struggle for everybody, but it’s taught us a lot about ourselves and has helped us become more resilient – and that’s part of training. We’re happy to all be back now, and it’s been great to welcome lots of new young people to our team!”
Next, we checked in with one of our Youth Council representatives, Athena Bashar, who told us, “we’re looking forward to growing our team, and creating stronger connections with Fight for Peace members, as well as external partners of Fight for Peace!”
It’s been great hearing from so many of our team from across the organisation, and it’s fair to say that we are all looking to the future with a fresh perspective and motivation to reach new heights. If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that we have learnt to embrace adversity as much as we do our successes – because they are both crucial in making us stronger.
“This is a year for rejuvenation and optimism as we rebuild after the worst of Covid, support young people to be at the heart of our decision-making and services, and deepen our collaboration with Fight for Peace Alliance and Collectives networks,” explained our Chief Executive Officer, Jenny Oklikah.
“I’m looking forward to spending time at our London Academy, supporting the great work of the team here and in Jamaica, creating opportunities with national and international partners, and promoting positive social change for young people.”
And last but not least, from all of us at Fight for Peace, we wish you all a happy and healthy 2022 full of new experiences, growth, and opportunity!