UME Year End Report

2021 Year End Report and Request for Support

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I hope this message finds you and your loved ones in good health this holiday season.

2021 marked another year without UME in-person programs. After implementing 50 programs for over 2500 participants over the past two decades, it felt strange not to be surrounded by the positive energy and sense of community from the extraordinary peacemakers attending our programs.

Optimistically, we hope to resume our in person programming during the summer of 2022. In the meantime, we have continued to move forwards in new ways to promote a more peaceful world. 

The highlight of our efforts this year was the Hiroshima Peace and Resilience Project. During this difficult pandemic era, this online workshop helped participants build resilience through the inspiring context of Hiroshima’s transformation from a place of devastation to a beautiful “City of Peace.”

Throughout 2021, two presentation teams travelled around the world (United States, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Northern Ireland, Japan and Australia) virtually to implement a combined 25 HPRP workshops for over 700 participants.

Students at Universite Internationale de Rabat attending HPRP workshop

HPRP participants included our core community of Middle Eastern and American high schools, but also expanded our impact to university students, community empowerment organizations, Rotary Clubs and corporations such as Allstate Insurance.

The HPRP tells the extraordinary story of how the people of Hiroshima overcame the unfathomable adversity of the atomic bombing and rebuilt their city stronger and more beautiful than it was before. Within this hopeful and inspiring context, the HPRP provides practical tools to enable participants to think deeply about their own sources of resilience and discover new frameworks to draw upon during challenging times.   

Word Cloud collaborative activity created by employees at Allstate Insurance in response to the question “What do you rely on to get through your most difficult times?” 

Our most rewarding work has been working with our Oleander Initiative alumni who previously travelled to Hiroshima. Oleander staff led by Kanade and Sofia worked hand in hand with Oleander educators from the United States (CT, VT and OR) and the Middle East (Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia) to bring the powerful lessons of Hiroshima to their students.

“I was impacted by the strength and hope conveyed by all of the survivors of the bomb. I was also moved by their forgiveness that showed the world that there is hope in humanity.” – Lebanese student attending the Hiroshima Peace and Resilience Project

At the end of the school year, we added a cross-cultural component to our work by connecting Middle Eastern and American students via the HPRP.  These multinational groups of students engaged in rich dialogues about the nature of peace, forgiveness and their own sources of resilience.

Combined HPRP class of Tunisian and American students 

UME continues to persevere, adapt and move forward.  We will emerge from this current crisis a stronger organization, even more determined to promote peace and mutual understanding in the most crucial areas of the world.

Please help us continue to do so by donating to UME this holiday season.

Take care and warm wishes for peace!

Ray Matsumiya

Executive Director

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