In the presence of the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the British embassy in Beirut, Dr. Martin Longden, UN Women the University of Saint Joseph’s Centre for Professional Mediation and the women community mediators who they helped to train, hosted a commemorative ceremony at the Qana Grotto, South Lebanon, to honor the life and legacy of Rebecca Dykes; the British aid worker killed in Lebanon in 2018.
UN Women, in collaboration with the Centre for Professional Mediation at the University of Saint Joseph (CPM-USJ), has been supporting three women’s mediation networks in South Lebanon to play an active role in preventing violence and conflict in their communities, thanks to a generous contribution from the Rebecca Dykes Foundation, which was established by Ms. Dykes’ family and friends following her tragic death.
The ceremony is hosted by the networks of mediators, who were touched by Ms. Dykes’s story, her courage and determination to build bridges between people and to support peacebuilding in Lebanon. As a token of their gratitude and to commemorate Ms. Dykes’s life, an olive tree has been planted in her name in the town of Qana.
Dr. Martin Longden, ai Chargé d’Affaires for the British embassy in Lebanon said “I am deeply honoured and moved to be sharing this commemoration with the women community peace builders, for an outstanding colleague and humanitarian. Becky led her life with passion, energy and enthusiasm, values you share. The world – and especially Lebanon – needs more engaged and passionate women to lead from the front, and the UK will always be a partner and friend to you on that agenda. And I know Becky and her family would be very proud to see the impact of your work and your very thoughtful and enduring tribute of the olive tree.”
Qana Grotto was chosen for its symbolic meaning. For the mediators this site is located in a village where Muslims and Christians peacefully coexist, and it therefore reflects their vision for their work on nonviolence