The Message of Peace and Goodwill: Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Urdd Gobaith Cymru is a national youth organisation providing sport, cultural and residential opportunities for children and young people in Wales that will enable them to make a positive contribution to the community. The Urdd has nurtured generations of young men and women to be proud of their country, open to the world and living embodiments of our language and culture, along with the universal values which we cherish in Wales.
The Urdd has also reached out to the youth of the world with an annual Message of Peace and Goodwill – initially communicated through Morse code, then by the BBC World Service and more recently through digital media.
One of the original aims of the Reverend Gwilym Davies (who was as a pacifist and was prominent in the establishing of the Welsh Union of the League of Nations and UNESCO) in creating the Message of Peace and Goodwill in 1922 was to contribute to world peace by enabling young people in Wales to connect with their peers across the world, sharing their ideas, dreams and experiences
In 1927 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr Nansen, noted: “I feel convinced that it is the spirit in this message of the children of Wales which humanity needs.”
The Urdd wants the message to be a living and contemporary message and for it to take full advantage of the range of social media at our disposition in the 21st century, so that it receives as much response as possible.
The Peace and Goodwill message to the world focuses on giving every young person a voice. The Urdd intends to build on that theme going forward to argue against all exclusion. Just because others don’t speak your language does not mean your voice should not be heard. Just because we don’t understand what others are seeking to communicate does not mean we can ignore them. These are the themes created by the Urdd members to which they want the world to hear and share.
As custodians of a minority language in a small country often on the margins of the UK, Europe and the world, the Urdd believe they are uniquely placed, to champion all young people who feel excluded through class, culture, religion, language, disability, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.
The Urdd will communicate the message in Welsh and in several other languages worldwide, to trigger discussion, and to extend a hand of friendship across the world.