Although it’s hard to imagine days more extraordinary than the ones we’ve already had here in Merida, today was exceptional because it included the Billion Acts of Peace Hero Awards, where Peacebuilders alum Joshua Wortham was honored. Joshua’s award was presented by 2014 Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, a passionate defender of children’s rights.
Joshua’s project, “Coexist with Cookies” fights stereotypes and marginalization by bringing people together around their love of cookies. Joshua’s started his bakery business in 2015 to fund his tuition to camp, and discovered that he loved baking and that his customers loved his cookies! The bakery, Peaceful Pastries and Sweets, continues to thrive and Joshua has found many ways to build peace through the business. We are so proud that he was honored today as a winner in the “Best Social Enterprise Act” category.
Besides meeting eight Nobel Peace laureates, Joshua has also been able to meet and network with the other honorees, including 8 year old Xochitl Guadelupe Cruz, who invented a solar-powered device using only recycled materials to heat water for her community in Mexico and for those living below the poverty line; and Shine MSD, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida who are helping youth who have survived gun violence deal with trauma through music and artistic expression. You can read about all the acts of peace that were honored today on the Billion Acts of Peace website.
Today’s speakers and workshops have reinforced to us just how critical it is that young people today receive the inspiration and training they need to become changemakers. And Joshua’s example affirms that Peacebuilders Camp can be instrumental in proving that inspiration and training! We will be returning from Merida ready to continue this critical work. We’d love to have you partner with us with your support!
(Thanks to Joshua’s mom, Rebecca, for the photos!)