'Song and Story' Event Held to Thank Donors for Peacebuilding Program Support
May 25, 2023
On Tuesday, May 23, Hartford International University held a donor appreciation event to honor those who have contributed to scholarships for students in the MA in International Peacebuilding (MAP) program.
The event was called Songs and Stories for Peace: A Celebration of the Masters in International Peacebuilding Program. In addition to hearing from the program's leaders, several of the students sang and others told stories about experiences that led them to peacebuilding.
David Newton and Dr. Ephraim Issac, both members of Fellowship in Prayer's Board of Directors, presented a $ 2,100 donation to each student. With these funds, the students will be able to make their capstone projects, the culmination of their yearlong program, a reality in their countries.
Fellowship in Prayer supports multi-faith prayer and meditation in response to world crises; encourages programs that facilitate prayer, meditation, and community service; promotes interfaith dialogue and steps towards global peace.
President Joel N. Lohr thanked all the donors, many of whom have supported this program and its precursor, the International Peacemaking Program, for many years. He then spoke about Eliot "Bang" Williams, who passed away in October and served for years as a Trustee and Ambassador of HIU. Bang's friends and family have donated funds to support the MAP program in his honor. Bang's wife, Susan Williams, also spoke, relating how radically Bang's life changed after going on educational trips abroad with Plowshares Institute. Those experiences led him to take courses, then serve in leadership roles at HIU.
Regina Wijayanti of Indonesia, and Lena Vallianatou of Greece, sang a combination of two traditional songs from their home countries that talk about love.
Phoebe Milliken, Director of MA in International Peacebuilding, shared the story of the MAP program, talked about the cohort of students coming in 2023-24, and introduced the students who told personal stories on what drew them to peacebuilding: Lyka Mtambo of Malawi, Harriet Ahalo of Kenya, and Vinoto Shohe of India.
Please enjoy photos from the event below.