09:17 AM

Mohawk College professor Marco Felvus receives YMCA Peace Medal

Marco Felvus

Mohawk College professor Marco Felvus received the YMCA Peace Medal at this morning’s YMCA Peace Medal Breakfast held at the Hamilton Convention Centre. Marco received the medal for his efforts in fostering a culture of peace on campus and in the community.

YMCA Peace Medals honour the achievements of local individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to fostering a culture of peace in the community.

Marco, who teaches in the School of Human Services, has involved hundreds of students in events that build and promote peace, including Take Back the Night to end sexual violence and the Child Abuse Awareness Purple Ribbon Campaign. By building such events into the curriculum, he has ensured that students actively participate in community peace initiatives. Marco most recently brought gay rights advocate Judy Shepard to Hamilton for a free community and student event in the McIntyre Performing Arts Centre.

The YMCA received a total of 17 nominations in four categories – youth individual, adult individual, youth group and adult group. Marco was nominated in the adult individual category.

This year’s YMCA Peace Medal Breakfast featured keynote speaker Conor Grennan, founder of New York City-based Next Generation Nepal, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked Nepalese children with their families.

In 2004, while travelling around the world, Grennan volunteered at the Little Princes Children’s Home in Nepal where he cared for children who he thought had been orphaned during the country’s civil war.

Grennan was shocked to discover that many of the children weren’t orphans at all. They came from remote villages, where child traffickers had promised families that they would protect children from civil war by taking them someplace safe in exchange for huge fees. Instead, traffickers abandoned children far from home in the chaos of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. The discovery motivated Grennan to start Next Generation Nepal.

The YMCA Peace Medal Breakfast was presented by the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford in partnership with the Farah Family Foundation and Hasty Markets. YMCA Peace Medal nominations are presented by The Hamilton Spectator.