On Thursday 17 and Friday 18 October, Mike Haines OBE, founder of Global Acts of Unity come in to the college to speak to students, as a part of a national tour in efforts to tackle extremism.
In 2014, footage was released of the brutal execution of Mike Haines’s brother, British aid worker David Haines. David had been working for an NGO, assisting Syrian refugees when he was captured by Daesh terrorists and senselessly murdered after 18 months of brutal captivity. In an attempt to spread discord and violence, footage was released to the world.
Now, defying terrorists’ aims, Mike Haines is undertaking a school tour to share his personal journey and spread a message of unity, tolerance and understanding. Harnessing the pain of losing his brother and best friend, Mike has chosen to tackle hatred head-on with his Global Acts of Unity campaign. His talks, and his powerful personal message, help give people the tools they need to tackle all forms of hatred and challenge extremism.
Awarded an OBE last year for his services to tolerance and education, Mike has travelled the world speaking to religious leaders and schools.
Mike Haines said: “The devastating loss of my brother had a life-changing impact on my family. We continue to feel his loss every day. It has not been an easy path to take, to channel that pain into a powerful, positive force for good. But it has been the right one.
Young people are the peacemakers of the future. I look forward to speaking to the students in Luton. Through ensuring our young people here, and across the country, know how to stand up to hatred we can together tackle extremism wherever we may find it”.
17 year old student said: “I was privileged enough to be invited to listen to Mike deliver one of the most inspirational talks I have heard. I came away feeling the pain for Mike and his family but also thinking how amazing he was. Not only for sharing his story but also knowing that hate can turn to hope, I found him truly inspirational. I do feel that all students, teachers and youth workers should be asked to go and see Mike and help spread the word, that we should all have more tolerance with others and that hate is not the way forward in life”
Helen Richards, Student Services Manager said: “Mikes session could not fail to have a profound impact on all that were present. His story was incredibly moving and the devastation caused by the death of his brother was evident. His reaction to his experience of such a terrible loss and in such public and traumatic circumstances is truly inspiring. His courage, strength and determination to make his brothers life matter is there for all to see.
His message of unity and tolerance and above all not holding onto hate was very clear and his efforts to convey this were a huge success. The audience were stunned by his openness and honesty and his desire to make something positive out of such a brutal and senseless loss. His message underpins the values the college upholds in everything we do. The session builds on resilience, tolerance and understanding of peoples differences as well as respect and inclusion for all”
To find out more about the Global Acts of Unity campaign, visit: https://mikehaines.globalactsofunity.com/