Desmond Tutu to help launch new York youth initiative

By staff writers
September 8, 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, will join the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to launch a York Youth Trust this coming Saturday.

The aim of the Archbishop of York's charity is to recognise and encourage the work of young people, mainly from poorer areas in northern England, whose faith is inspiring them to transform their communities.

Naomi Cumming, aged 15, is one of six people who will receive awards at the event on 12 September 2009.

Naomi is being recognised for her work with the Christ Church Armley Youth Project, which she attended from the age of five. She became a youth leader there after completing a peer mentoring course.

She says the project has offered young people a positive environment and has provided an an alternative to the culture of under-age drinking and violence.

Ms Cumming said: “We are really grateful to the Youth Trust for the money that they are giving us. It’s going to change what we’ve got now to something a lot better.”

Archbishop Tutu praised Naomi in a video message released ahead of the awards.

“Naomi, you don’t know just what an encouragement you are,” he declared. “I look up to you. You are an inspiration to me and many, many others who think that the problems we face are beyond our capacity to resolve. Thank you for reigniting our faith.”

The 77-year-old social justice campaigner will be presented at the Trust launch with a Human Rights Award in recognition of his contribution to transforming South African society and his ongoing work for truth and reconciliation.

Dr Sentamu, said: “I want the Trust to send a message out to passionate young people that they can make a positive difference in their local communities. They really can be the change they want to see.”


Archbishop Tutu has a preface in Fear or Freedom: Why a warring church must change, edited by Simon Barrow and published by Ekklesia and Shoving Leopard -

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