Building Bridges for Peace

5th March 2019 by OSFC. Comments (0)

Jo Berry, co-founder of Building Bridges for Peace, a non-profit organisation promoting peace and conflict resolution throughout the World, visited OSFC to speak to A Level Psychology students on Thursday 28 February. Following the death of her Father in 1984, during the bombing of The Grand Hotel in Brighton, Jo chose to give up blame and revenge, instead taking responsibility for her own pain and feelings, transforming them into passion for peace. Jo co-founded this organisation alongside Patrick Magee, who was convicted for the Brighton bombing that killed Jo’s father. Jo shared her story and experiences on her incredible journey to find forgiveness and peace, before answering questions from students.

Following her talk, Jo also held a smaller workshop session focused on ‘Becoming Positive Change Makers’ which proved to be a rewarding experience for the students involved. Ellen Ndoro, an AS Psychology student hoping to go onto study a Psychology degree, stated “I took a lot away from the talk, especially the ideas around trying to understand people and listening to other people before judging their situations. Jo provided us with a great insight into her life and the feelings that she went through when the attack on her father was carried out. It was great to learn about how her thought process changed, enabling her to channel her anger into producing positive responses and using this to travel the world to help promote peace. In the workshop, I really enjoyed talking more with Jo; she was very open about any thoughts that we had and she was particularly helpful in encouraging good self-esteem, which I feel is a major issue in young people today.”

Jo was overwhelmed by the response from all students, complimenting their mature, reflective approach to the session, and she was honoured that they trusted her to open up and share their thoughts. Jo added, “The workshop content is very thought provoking and all students offered very profound ideas. The students listened intently throughout and it was a joy to hear all about their visions to make positive changes to the World in the future.” Jo was also really impressed with the whole atmosphere in the college and appreciated the respect and support given to all the students and hopes to return.

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