Peace Mala


Pam Evans




I spent 34 years of my life as a teacher in mainstream education. During that time I taught at primary and secondary level and found most of the young people I met to be wonderful. My subject areas at secondary level were Drama, Dance, Music, English, History and Religious Studies.

After 9/11, I devised the Peace Mala bracelet and project to empower and educate young people. This was my response to the racial, religious and homophobic taunts some of my pupils suffered.

The project works to empower and educate everyone by using creative and innovative approaches to key issues and concepts.  It’s especially focused on global youth work, human rights and inter-faith dialogue for peace.  It also contributes to education for global citizenship by inviting all people to treat each other with respect regardless of race, colour, religion, gender, sexuality, size, age or ability.  At the heart of Peace Mala is the compassionate wish for people, animals and the environment to be at peace.


A Peace Mala is a symbolic double rainbow bracelet that focuses on the Golden Rule. Its intention is to educate and remind everyone that this rule is recognised by many scholars, teachers and philosophers. It is also universal to all compassionate faiths. Simply stated, it is:

“Treat others as you would wish them to treat you.”

This is the central message of the Peace Mala bracelet and youth project. Peace Mala cuts through all forms of prejudice and bullying and celebrates what makes us different from each other. Fourteen spiritual traditions, along with their individual versions of the Golden Rule, are represented on the bracelet. The central clear bead on the bracelet represents the wearer.

The word ‘mala’ is Sanskrit and means ‘garland of flowers.  In the East a ‘mala’ is a string of beads which may be used in mediation or prayer as each bead focuses on a prayer or mantra.  I like to think of the rainbow beads on the Peace Mala as representing the human family in all its glorious diversity.

Peace Mala stands for total compassion for all beings without exception, and does not takes sides with anyone against anyone else. It is a vision for the future. Wearing the Peace Mala is a promise to help create a better world.

Since the launch of Peace Mal at the UNA Wales Temple of Peace in Cardiff, the project has grown.  We now have Peace Mala Accreditation for schools, youth groups and community groups. I am delighted to see that this initiative is growing across the UK.

Recently we launched 14 symbolic doves of peace to travel the world.  It will be so exciting to see where our doves travel.   Two are already on their way to the US and another is already in Sardinia.  We know that some will travel to Africa, Cyprus, Hong Kong and Japan.   Symbolic peace dove no 13 is our Inter-Faith Dove of peace.  We hope that this will bring harmony and friendship between different faith communities here in the UK and beyond.

Faith representatives at the launch of our symbolic doves of peace

Peace Mala Symbolic Inter-Faith Dove of Peace

Peace Mala is a non-political, non-religious registered British Charity.


For more information about the project visit:

Registered Charity No 1118053

Info on Pam Evans

Pam Evans is an honours graduate of the University of Wales and an experienced teacher of World Faiths. Pam taught at High School level for 34 years before taking early retirement. In her last teaching post she worked as Head of the Department of Religious Studies in Coedcae Comprehensive School in Llanelli, Wales.   In her youth she was also involved in the music industry as a singer.

Pam Evans has been fascinated by the mystical traditions of all faiths for most of her adult life. She has a keen interest in History, Egyptology, Anthropology and travel. At the age of eleven she declared herself an atheist and stopped attending church. Seven years later whilst studying Religion at A level she discovered Liberal Theology, Biblical Exegesis and Form Criticism. This opened her mind to a new and exciting way of studying Holy Scripture and made her think again about the possible existence of God. She went on to study Mains Advanced Divinity at Trinity College, Carmarthen.

Pam describes herself as an open-minded Christian who has a healthy respect for all compassionate, spiritual traditions.   She is committed to interfaith dialogue for peace which she sees as a vital process in the current world climate of fear and misunderstanding.


Are We Asking for it?

Writing in a personal capacity, Ellie Walker discusses the issue of rape and the way women dress.

Ellie Walker

‘Is this dress too short?’ ‘How about this top, is it too low cut?’ ‘Do I look desperate?’

It is nigh on impossible for women to get dressed for a night out without taking into consideration how they will be perceived by others. Her choice of attire could be deemed as provocative or “attention seeking”. It certainly isn’t practical tottering through town on a cold Swansea night in the highest of heels and the smallest of dresses. However the social pressure to conform to this look is enormous and as someone who opts for comfort and practicality over spectacle, I often feel that I stick out like a sore thumb. The hours of preparation for a night out are consumed by an internal battle between my practical side and my fear of what others will think of me. But if I give in and dress in a revealing outfit, does this mean I am putting myself up for male attention? Should I expect to receive physical contact? Am I just offering my body up?

Practicality and comfort are not the only things that are sacrificed in the name of a good night out. Some choose to down pints, cocktails, mixers and shots. The effects of these substances may start with a nice boost in mood and confidence but as you start knocking them back, your judgement becomes impaired and the mind becomes hazy. When women voluntarily drink does this mean that they must accept the consequences of the vulnerable situation they are putting themselves in? According to 26% of people surveyed in an opinion poll, commissioned by Amnesty International, a woman is partially responsible for being raped if she was drunk. If the woman behaved in a flirtatious matter or was wearing sexy or revealing clothing, 6% said that she was totally responsible for her rape.

This dismissive attitude towards rape is also prevalent in the media. Back in 2012 the Steubenville High School rape case made headlines for the role of social media and also for the seemingly warped reporting of major media outlets, as it made excuses for the accused rapists and lamented the effects the affair would have on their lives. The biased focus in the coverage of that story only serves to perpetuate a culture in which sexual assault is not only dismissed and seen as taboo to report, but focuses on blaming the victims, as the following article demonstrates:

Many women have been victim to some form of sexual harassment whilst on a night out. It seems like the context of a sweaty, loud, dimly lit night club makes people’s behaviour more permissive. Take a pinch on the bum as an example. It has happened to a large proportion of women whilst in a club or at a bar, the consequences usually being no more than a dirty look, some angry words, maybe a slap in the face. However if the same thing was to occur in the work place, all hell would break loose, with disciplinary action, people losing their jobs, maybe even legal action. So why does the context have such an impact on the result?

A common reaction to sexual assault is; ‘well she was dressed like a s***’ or ‘she was really drunk’ or ‘she shouldn’t have walked home alone at night’ etc. This is victim blaming. It is the equivalent of telling a mugging victim that it was their own fault they got mugged because they have nice things. Women should be allowed to wear what they want, inebriated or not, without expecting to be raped. Our lives should not be governed by fear of others. The focus needs to be turned around on the aggressors: ‘why did he do such a thing?’, ‘how can we stop this from happening again?’ etc.

Rape is not just a women’s issue. Men can be victims too, in a physical sense and also in society’s view of them. Blaming the way a woman dresses or the fact that she was drunk as factors in sexual assaults suggests that men are incapable of controlling themselves, like they’re wild animals, mastered by lust, just waiting for a vulnerable victim.  This is obviously untrue of the vast majority and an extremely offensive way of portraying men in general. By creating these excuses and directing the blame onto the victim you are simply providing scapegoats for the attackers allowing them to not take responsibility for their actions.

I urge you to watch this informative, perspective shifting TED talk on violence against women and victim blaming by Jackson Katz:

Yes, women can take precautions to avoid finding themselves in vulnerable positions, but why should they have to?

Hannah Granton asks if Feminism is Relevant to 21st Century Women?

Hannah Granton



Why are Women Scared to call Themselves Feminists?

A couple days before my boyfriend’s birthday I told him I’d get the bill for his birthday dinner. He as always immediately refused ‘No you won’t, I’ll pay for it. I earn more money than you.’  Immediately that usual pang of guilt hit me, am I setting women back by letting my boyfriend pay for me, should I stand my ground and tell him no, I’m paying. My boyfriend hates me paying for anything for him, don’t get me wrong I’m not some kind of ‘kept woman’ and I generally pay for smaller expenses like takeaways, lunches or coffees but he definitely pays for bigger things. My problem is, by us not being completely financially equal; am I being anti-feminist? I’ve always proudly stated that I was a feminist but maybe I’m not. Maybe because I quite happily let my boyfriend pay for me and would love to one day have children with him and work part-time, I’m actually a bad feminist and perhaps I have no right to label myself as one. Why can’t women make choices without being judged or second guessing themselves?

I recently read an interview with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in which she stated that ‘I’m not at all an active feminist. On the contrary, I’m a bourgeois. I love family life, I love doing the same thing every day and she’s not the only woman in the public eye trying to distance them self from the label. Kelly Clarkson, Madonna, Katy Perry and even Beyoncé said she was a ‘modern-day feminist’ – what was wrong with the old feminists? To me, its opinions like these mixed with opinions like this (the Feminist Times writer compares wearing high-heels to being in an abusive relationship) that make me question if ‘the f-word’ has any clear meaning.

I asked my friends what their thoughts on it were and a surprising amount of them said they wouldn’t classify themselves as feminists because they weren’t regular campaigners for it. Many said (my boyfriend included) that the term ‘feminism’ was outdated and that the focus should be more on equality rather than anything else. A comment that particularly stood out to me was a friend who said that she didn’t think men and women were equal in terms of physicality and sometimes mentally and so she couldn’t possibly be a feminist. But surely no one is disputing the fact that men have different physical capabilities to a woman, but that doesn’t mean that we’re unequal in society? It’s so easy to get wrapped up in unimportant details. I feel that men and women are different, and we should celebrate that but what shouldn’t happen is that we get treated badly or unfairly because of it.

The (online) oxford dictionary defines feminism as ‘The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes’, and to me this is exactly what feminism is about. However, I also believe that so much of what feminism represents is choice. I choose to live a life in which my partner pays for dinners out, I choose to wear heels, have long hair, watch rom-coms and have an administrative job. Just as much as I choose this lifestyle I believe that if a woman wanted to choose flat shoes, be a firefighter or fight for her country then she can. I believe all this just as much as I believe that if a man wanted to make these decisions then he should be able to.

I think what people need to understand is that feminism is about equality AND choice. I believe that if we decide to put feminism aside and just speak for equality then we’re letting go of everything good that has been done under the name of feminism. We’re basically telling everyone that has spoken against women’s rights that actually they were right. By denouncing feminism we’re paving the way for anti-feminists and giving them a louder voice which will just put everything we’ve fought for at risk. We need to stop judging the shoes that we wear and the lifestyle choices we make when there are countries where female genital mutilation is seen as okay.

My Life at Swansea University (School of Management) – an International Perspective




We all know that travelling reveals wonders of life but i think the treasure doubles when accompanied with studying abroad.  From personal perception to social demeanours: such an experience does change the lives of whom it is endeavoured by.  This can be personified as a stage where you get your bought time with a set of selected opportunities to try your luck. Well, i tried mine and it actually worked out to be a fantabulous experience indeed.

With all the said goodness, travelling, with no doubts, is a challenging experience as well, especially if its ‘on your own’. Along with the perky offerings to sight, there comes huge nostalgic spells that can initially wind a person up to pack up back.

My first experience after landing in UK was made immensely superb by my friends in London but after reaching my destination; Swansea, i was encountered with couple of callous incidents which gradually determined my attitude for my entire stay here in the UK, especially with some expatriates from back-home. I found them nothing more than a Pound generating machines; inhuman. But the good part is that such things are also part of our learning, as facing such difficulties makes us stronger and that without the backing of our family and friends.

For many reasons, UK sounds more like a fairy-land especially to us; the Asians. In terms of cultural differences and social norms, UK appears to be a place of solace for those particularly who are casted out for various reasons. Having such liberated perception in mind, I too was a bit relaxed for not having been nosed up by any unwanted people around me. But to my surprise, things weren’t much different and people’s mindsets were exactly the same as in back home. So, it was then I realized that no land can change the decades’ old carved ideologies and tuned-in myself to keep living the very own my way but of course in a vigilant manner.  The best part that distinguishes Britain from many other countries is that the freedom of life it provides to every single person within its land regardless of citizenship. On certain occasions, where i felt helpless, i was provided the due protection and support by the relevant authorities and this gave me a sense of security for being a woman on her own.

Overall the time spent in the university has been wonderful especially being part of a class with 160 students from across the globe has been incredible. It certainly gave me a chance to get to know about different cultures, their norms and insights and a lot more. From the notes of my observations, i would like to share my experience with Chinese which has 95% been awe-inspiring. In different settings, I have found Chinese to be really humble, smart and patient and i can now easily relate their success to one of the greatest elements the nation got; patience and humbleness. These two factors have winged China’s success quite high in my own personal opinion.

I think for me, one of the reasons to choose Swansea University was its breath-taking location that had fascinated and captured my aesthetic sense while visiting the uni’s stall in one of the Educational expo back home.  Swansea as a city feels to me like my second hometown now. The beautiful natural setting of the city has always soothed my stress out and i feel tied up with the spiritual scenic offerings of its land. During the nerve-racking days of exams and assignments, when we find ourselves nowhere other than the world of books, i have always stolen some moments to spend hours by the beach side musing and relaxing myself with mesmeric natural sceneries. In other words, i would say that studying in Swansea University is more like studying whilst on holidays.

One of the key things that i learnt from my International Management module was to know and respect other cultures/communities/religions especially when we deal/interact with people from different origins. This sounds vital because it gives way to inter-cultural convergence that promotes the exchange of best values, norms and other great aspects. Presence of mosque is one such success that is drawing many Muslim students (planning to study abroad) to join Swansea university where they would be able to stay intact with their spirituality whilst they study. Even i have found serenity of soul and solace in every visit to the campus mosque.

I cannot finish narrating my so far Swansea experience without mentioning and commending the wonderful staff of Business school. During the term time, i had encountered some devastating personal matters which had thrown me into the grim depression until i met some of the lovely people from the student experience office. I find it pertinent to mention some of them, who have always stood by me and have given me all the required emotional and academic support. Amy Genders, Dave Wilde, Professor Nick Rich, Sarah Owens and Desire’e Cranfield are some of the eminent names who have carved special place in my memory book.

A part from all the community and academic talks, i must encourage the upcoming students from across the globe to choose Swansea University for not just an incredible learning experience but for the fabulous living experience that will let you explore a whole range of newness altogether and will unfold lots of great avenues.

Meet the SU(Student Union) Advice Team


Haley Harris, SU Advisor

1. How did you get into advice work?

Having worked previously in the Probation Service, I already had experience in helping and supporting individuals with their issues and when a job came up in the Students union Advice Centre I was excited to develop my skills in different setting.

2. What are the main issues you deal with as a team?

The main issues we face as a team are getting our service out there and trying to ensure that every students and personal tutor know where we are and what we do.

3. How do you see the move to the new campus impacting upon you?

Dual campus working is a challenge, but one we are looking forward to. We are anticipating the number of people accessing our service will increase and we are working hard to ensure that we are able to offer the same quality service to students on both campus’s.

4. What are the main obstacles to students accessing your support?

The main obstacles to students accessing our services are a lack of knowledge about what we do. We offer-:

a. Academic advice (unfair practice, disciplinary, appeals, complaints and fitness to practice)

b. Housing advice (disrepair, deposits, house hunting tips, free contract checks, landlord issues) We support students with personal, financial and consumer difficulties.

c. We are a third party reporting centre for hate crime and we also offer a free mediation service and have a trained harassment advisor.

5. What are the top five tips you would give to students to ensure they make a success of their time at university?

Top five tips to ensure success:

a. Have fun by extending you circle of friends by meeting new people and joining clubs and groups you are interested in.

b. Find a great house with great friends (Pop in to see us for some advice on house hunting and get your contract checked for free!)

c. Get the balance right. Enjoy a good social life but make sure that your studies are still a priority. Eating sensibly and exercising will help keep you motivated.

d. Be organised! Make sure you know deadline dates, plan your workload in advance and this will save you the last minute stresses

e. Don’t suffer in silence. If you have a problem or you don’t understand something, ASK! There are lots of different support systems in university to help you when the going gets tough. Always keep in touch with your personal tutor, and if you need help come and see us at the Student Union Advice Centre on the ground floor of Fulton House, or see your CEO’s for advice! Students support and wellbeing can also offer you advice and support.

 6. Tell me a little about what you get up to outside of work.

Outside work I enjoy walking my dog, making the most of our beautiful local scenery. I also enjoy Zumba and reading.


Niall Morris, SU Advisor

1. How did you get into advice work?

Started working in a local Swansea drug project in ’91 and from there also got into welfare work at various UK festivals including Glastonbury and continue to volunteer at festivals to this day. After 5 years with SANDS, I have since worked with various housing providers working with street homeless and street drinkers, after about 12 years of this I found my way to the SU Advice Centre.

2. What are the main issues you deal with as a team?

I mainly deal with housing (although we are each of us very capable of catering for many areas of work/advice). From initial contract checks, to advising over ongoing tenancy issues (disrepair, access rights etc), to challenging deposit claims by L/L’s and possession notices/evictions.

3. How do you see the move to the new campus impacting upon you?

I am rather hesitant over this as the majority of housing is within the Brynmill and Uplands area, my concern is that by stretching over to the new campus, it will leave housing advice lacking in the main core areas near the main campus. While there will almost certainly be tenancy issues over the new campus, I feel the main ‘bread and butter’ of work will always remain in traditional areas.

4. What are the main obstacles to students accessing your support?

Very simple….awareness of the Advice Centre.

5. What are the top five tips you would give to students to ensure they make a success of their time at university?

As there are countless reasons that a student may leave Swansea with less than a positive experience, I believe that just one tip will cover all….do not suffer alone and in silence, no matter the reason. By reaching out and talking to others, you learn of other facilities and help that is available.

6. Tell me a little about what you get up to outside of work.

Currently raising my fitness levels so that I can get back into the Gower reefs (miss them far too badly). Very committed to working festivals, managed 5 last year and will almost certainly do more this year, first seems like it will be in March with the season prob ending late Autumn. Have recently got back into gaming and have been sucked into Fallout3. Play various musical instruments with my Ovation stealth guitar being my baby, I do also have a rather dark acoustic CD out. Very big on writing…songs, words and stories. Also into photography mainly doing landscape and urbex, mostly put stuff on deviantArt


Chris Ravenhill, SU Advice Centre Manager

1. How did you get into advice work?

 I have a long history of Advice work both as a volunteer and in employment. I have been working with Citizens Advice for over twenty years before I started this job 8 years ago. I was an adviser and a trainer of other advisers with CAB. I also ran a homeless hostel outreach and prison outreach for CAB. I trained as a Samaritan and worked on the telephone lines for some years. I have also been a volunteer assistant shift supervisor with Crisis at Christmas, who I was with for ten years.

2. What are the main issues you deal with as a team?

As a Students’ union Advice Centre we have always faced the challenges of limited resources. We do not have the resources that University departments and Student Support can call on. The Union is brilliant with us and has always been completely supportive of the ASC, we get what we ask for but we are mindful of the limitations. The university has supplied us with offices that are ideally situated but we still need to get the message out to the students as to where we are.

3. How do you see the move to the new campus impacting upon you?

This is going to be a challenge but we are well prepared. There will be more students accessing the service over two campuses, but we will be offering the same service on the new campus whilst continuing the service we already supply. We will still be one ASC and we will all work on both sites.

4. What are the main obstacles to students accessing your support?

I would hope there are no barriers to accessing the service but we have the same challenge every year with each new intake of students. We have to educate the student body about where we are, what we do and how to access us. Publicity does take up lots of our time. We are intending to introduce new ways of accessing the service in the next few months in time for the new campus.

5. What are the top five tips you would give to students to ensure they make a success of their time at university?

Top five tips to ensure success:

a. Get student life balance right. Study and social life, food and drink, college and home.

b. Meet lots of people, make friends.

c. Access the support that is available in the University as soon as you need it, don’t wait hoping it will go away. Whether it is Student Support Services, Advice and Support Centre, Personal and academic Tutors. We are all here to help make the student experience go easier without the stress and anxiety.

d. Be organised in your studies. Check emails regularly, check deadlines for assignments, if in doubt ask. Leave a paper trail, put everything in writing especially if you might need to rely on it later.

e. Be organised at your student home. Take photos when you move it and out. Get the contract checked by ASC. Pay bills on time. Be a good neighbour.

6. Tell me a little about what you get up to outside of work.

I read a lot, play on my x box, enjoy music, and go to summer festivals. Walk dogs, travel to far exotic places and meet people.

Janet George, the new addition to the Student Experience Team

I’ve survived my first week and have lived to tell the tale!!

I’m Janet George and I have recently joined the staff at the School of Management as a Student Experience Officer, within the Student Hub.


Alongside my colleagues, Amy Genders and Dave Wilde, my role is to provide additional support, guidance and sign posting to students who have questions, are confused about something or do not know what to do, are experiencing difficulties with their studies or in their personal lives.  I know it’s a cliché, but my door and inbox are always open, so if you would like to discuss your student experience, both the highs and lows, then please get in touch.


A little bit about me….


Having worked in a variety of educational and learning sectors I have developed a holistic view of learning environments and how academia links to industry.  I have vast experience of mentoring and supporting students and graduates from a variety of sectors to achieve their potential and to manage their learning experience effectively.


For the past few years I have supported students and graduates with their personal and professional development, through my role as Training Officer within the GO Wales programme.  Using the Professional Development Award, I would help students to manage their development while on industry placements, often balancing other academic commitments with heavy workloads.  The industry placements were based throughout Wales and Europe, and included a variety of industry sectors including Business, Engineering, Creative Industries and Environmental.


My passions


  • Learning – I love learning and have recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship Practice. Balancing work, study, family and life commitments has been extremely challenging and at times I have wondered if I would be able to complete my course, but with planning, a good network of support (friends, family, Uni group) and a focus on the end goal, I have managed it.


  • Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise and how it can transform communities – through my recent studies I have met some inspirational fellow students who have opened my eyes to the full impact of social enterprise and how it can transform communities. As a group, we are embarking on a project focusing on helping women within the South Wales Valleys, to realise their entrepreneurial potential.



A little bit about you….

Well I know that you are a student of the School of Management and that’s where my knowledge of you ends.  As a student at Swansea University you have taken your first steps towards securing your future through the education and life experiences that you will gain over the coming years.


I am aware of the challenges that you will face throughout your studies.  Some weeks will be amazing and you will be caught up in student life…other weeks could be lonely and when assignments and exams are due, stress can really unsettle you.  You have two options, you could suffer in silence and hope that you get through your University experience or you could get in touch with the Student Experience Officers – we’re a friendly bunch and will be happy to help you to learn how to take control of your studies and your University experience.

Societies by Amy Genders



With Freshers week seeming a distant memory and assignment season now well under way – I wanted to see what you are up to Society wise and why?


The University has over 80 Student Union backed societies; billing this list as having something for everyone and if there isn’t, then encouraging students to set up their own society. Those of you that read The Waterfront will have seen that the SU continue to regularly receive requests from aspiring societies, so the demand for even more societies continues! But what is it about these societies that has us signing up?


The top answer here would likely be that they are a great way to make friends and in my experience I would agree! For many the first friendships forged at university are with friends from your Halls or people on your course. But societies present an opportunity to meet with people who share similar interests. They are also a great chance for new students to meet students further along their courses who can offer tips and advice about life at Swansea. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all about socials however – In a climate where Graduates are constantly quizzed on their experience, require concrete examples for application forms and increasing employability is everyone’s business, societies are really stepping up! Society life can offer the fun of socials, the rush of competing or mastering a new skill hand in hand, with developing the skills, qualities and knowledge that impress prospective employers and support smooth transition into the workforce.

My society experience saw me join a Sports Society – The Badminton Society was a relatively small society but ticked all the above boxes in what it offered students and its inter-university competition and social side tempted me in. My Second year saw me step up and take of the role of Ladies vice-Captain – I use Step up loosely, because as vice Captains go I was terrible, to begin with that is! I lacked ownership of my actions, organisational skills and decision making skills; all of which are fairly vital to running a team. But these things came, with support and advice from the committee around me, I got better and I got Captain the following year. Post University I quickly learnt that the skills didn’t stay in the Badminton Hall they transferred into my ‘Grown Up’ life too  – now if I make a mistake I own it and learn from it, I prepare, I practice and I make decisions based on the information I’m presented with! Not bad added extras for someone who was just looking to hit a shuttle about!

Now in my role as Student Experience Officer I’m keen to find out more about the Schools of Management students and Societies – what are you joining, why aren’t you joining and what are you gaining? In the New Year I will be looking to find this out formally but for now if anyone has any feedback feel free to drop me and email –

For those yet to sign up – it’s not too late, head over to the SU pages and get involved; and remember life is about balance, with the exam period quickly approaching prepare well but take a little time to get out and do something you enjoy, its cathartic!