Women for Peace: Learning from Northern Ireland

7pm, Thursday 8th March 2018 (Audience & panel discussion followed by drinks reception)

Eleanor Rathbone Hall, Blackburne House, Blackburne Place, Liverpool, L8 7PE

 The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation invites you to attend Women for Peace: Learning from Northern Ireland, an event celebrating International Women’s Day 2018 and the work of the Peace Foundation’s Women for Peace education programme which trains and supports women to become more democratically engaged, active citizens, leading the way in preventing and resolving community and family conflict. To date, we have worked with over 200 women across the North of England.

This is a panel discussion followed by audience Q&A and networking drinks. The panel consists of leading female peace campaigners from around the world.

Please note – this is a free event but places are limited, so please reserve your place by booking at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-for-peace-learning-from-northern-ireland-tickets-41302735594

 Ana Victoria Bastidas – Truth, Memory and Reconciliation Commission of Colombian Women in the Diaspora


Ana Victoria first arrived in the UK 21 years ago. She came to give continuity to the theology course with the Youth with a Mission. After a period, Vicky’s invitation to be the Head Teacher of a missionary school in West London came through, which she stayed for the next 10 years.

Her work with the Missionary school ended in 2008 so Vicky started to attend the Church of England. Once again, she felt that God was calling her to start something new. In July 2017, Vicky was ordained at St Paul’s Cathedral as the first Afro-Colombian Priest. That was a moment of much joy and honour.

Back in 1990 Vicky graduated becoming Doctor in Bacteriology. After that, Vicky went to the Amazon Forest as a volunteer working with Youth with a Mission until 1996.

In January 2015, the consul of Colombia invited Vicky to meet with the Colombian group of women working in pro of the peace in Colombia, Truth Memory and Reconciliation Commission of Colombian Women in the Diaspora. That was a very emotional moment for Vicky for she knew that was a massive door opening for her, somehow getting in touch with her roots again would give Vicky the opportunity to try to forgive; maybe forget the painful past lived in her beloved Colombia.

Margaret Bateson – Chief Executive of the Victims and Survivors Service

Margaret Bateson has been the Chief Executive of the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) in Northern Ireland since July 2014, providing a range of holistic support and services to victims and survivors of ‘the troubles’ in areas including health and wellbeing, social support, truth and justice.  Margaret has led the VSS through a period of change over the last number of years towards an individual needs based approach, acknowledging the experience and needs of each victim and survivor is unique and valued.   This year, support and services to victims and survivors were expanded across the GB and Ireland.

Margaret has just returned from Colombia, where she shared the Northern Ireland experience and context in areas including victims needs, community development, political participation and the role of women.

Margaret is a supporter of community led services and development.   Prior to working with the VSS, Margaret worked overseas for a period of 2 years as a Management Advisor for the Department of Cooperatives in Vanuatu, South Pacific, capacity building staff and management to promote and develop resilience within grassroots cooperative societies and small indigenous communities.  Margaret has both a community and business background.  She holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Development Management and is a Chartered Management Accountant.

Afrah Qassim – Founder of Savera UK

Afrah is the founder of a Charity called Savera UK. The title Savera is taken from the Hindu language meaning “New Beginning”. The Charity is dedicated to supporting individuals from BME communities who have suffered from the effects of domestic abuse and harmful practices, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour based Abused.

Afrah has been working in the NHS in Liverpool for the past 17 Years specialising in roles linked to communities and in particular BME communities. Her current role is that of Community Development working throughout Liverpool. In this role Afrah has leads on issues relating to the mental health of: Women, Children, Young People and Families.  The work she does is designed to tackle health inequalities faced by many from these groups. She also has a citywide lead on mental health issues associated with: harmful practice, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour based abused.

Academically, she has Post Graduate Certificate in Community Development in Mental Health, all of which underpins the work she currently does. She also studied at Liverpool John Moores University, majoring in Youth and Communities and currently taking part in the King’s Fund cascading leadership Programme.

Afrah is also a prominent member of Liverpool’s Arab Art Festival, which is the pre-eminent event show casing Arab art and culture throughout Liverpool and other part of the UK. She was also the former Chair of Merseyside Forced Marriage & Honour Based Abused Steering Group. Currently is the Vice-chair of the harmful practices strategy steering group in 2012, Afrah was honoured for her tireless contributions to women’s issues and was recognised as Merseyside’s Women of the Year.

Kelly Simcock (Chair) – Director of Programmes, Peace Foundation

The Foundation is a unique non-governmental organisation that Prevents, Resolves and Responds to violent conflict. As a practitioner with some fifteen years’ experience, she has designed, delivered and managed tailored programmes and interventions in communities across the UK. With a wide range of experience and strong ethical and values based approach to her work — she has worked with organisations, communities and government departments providing training, facilitation and consultancy.

Under Kelly’s leadership the Foundation’s Prevention and Resolution Programme work has expanded significantly moving from being a locally based delivery operation to being networked with organisations in 20+ countries globally. She Chairs the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network’s Youth, Families and Communities working group and has been an advisor to the UK government and at Local Government Level on matters of cohesion and the Prevent agenda. Kelly is an experienced evaluator and auditor working at a local and national level and has evaluated the work of other NGO’s in the Middle East and Africa.

She is a local politician in the city of Manchester involved in the shaping of, and scrutiny, of policy–in a dynamic, vibrant and thriving city.

Kelly’s areas of expertise and interest include: Conflict transformation, Community Cohesion and Integration, the Prevent Agenda, Human Rights, Community Development, Education, Leadership and Management, Social Progress and Politics.

Kellie Turtle – Women’s Sector Lobbyist, Women’s Resource & Development Agency

Kellie is the Women’s Sector Lobbyist for Northern Ireland, based at the Women’s Resource and Development Agency in Belfast. She is responsible for developing lobbying and campaigning strategies in order to communicate women’s views and priorities directly to policy makers and politicians. Kellie has previously worked as the Education Worker at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission delivering human rights training to the public and voluntary sector and providing human rights advice to government on policy and legislation. She has a background in community development and worked in Mornington Community Project in Belfast which was founded by the formidable women’s rights activist Joyce McCartan. Kellie obtained an MA in Gender and Society from Queen’s University Belfast in 2009 and in the same year co-founded the Belfast Feminist Network, a grassroots community collective of people seeking to facilitate a platform for feminist activism.