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DESMOND LIVES THE DREAM; Archbishop's whistlestop Wales visit.

Byline: Graham Henry Julia McWatt

NOBEL Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu yesterday echoed Martin Luther King as he urged Welsh children to keep dreaming of a united world.

The retired Anglican Archbishop was speaking at the Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr school in Fairwater, Cardiff, as he started a whistlestop tour of South Wales with First Minister Carwyn Jones - saying that young people were "idealistic" enough to end world poverty.

He was in Wales to recognise the work of the Welsh Government's international development programme Wales for Africa, and praised the school for its social rights work, including a link with the Moshoeshoe II High School in Lesotho.

He was greeted at the Welsh-medium school by rows of cheering children waving South African and Welsh flags, and children sang the Welsh national anthem as he entered the school's assembly hall.

Addressing sixth-form students, he thanked the "extraordinary, heartwarming welcome" and urged young people to "go on dreaming" of a united world.

"These young people God has used to accomplish God's purposes, in so many, many parts of the world," he said.

"Because young people are idealistic.

They dream dreams.

"They imagine that they can make poverty history. They care. They dream God's dream of a different kind of world."

He praised the work that the school was doing in Lesotho, an impoverished landlocked country surrounded by South Africa, which he said was a place close to his heart - dubbing it the "Switzerland of Africa".

But Archbishop Tutu said: "I want to urge you - go on dreaming. Go on dreaming this fantastic kind of world that God has sought to have.

"A world where war isn't normal. A world where we don't spend so much money on arms, or instruments of death and destruction. "We spend billions when a very, very small fraction of the budgets that we spend on what we call defence - just a minute fraction - could ensure that children everywhere could have clean water to drink and a decent home and adequate healthcare, and good education.

"Dream of that kind of world, which is God's dream for all of us."

Earlier, he had been introduced by Mr Jones, who made reference to the fact that the message of Martin Luther King's famous 1963 "I have a dream" speech had not been picked up in South Africa until 30 years after its historic impact in the US.

Mr Jones said: "For nearly 30 years such a system existed in South Africa, where people were judged exactly by the colour of their skin.

"The colour of their skin determined I urge dreaming of world that whether they had access to decent education, decent healthcare, employment, decent housing. "A system that enshrined in law the supposed superiority of some races over others.

"In Wales we have a proud record of opposing apartheid.

"I remember in the 1980s when I was a student taking part in the protests all over Wales in the anti-apartheid movements.

"But for all that we did, we didn't have to confront apartheid on a daily basis.

"We didn't have to run the risk of imprisonment or worse, because of opposition to such an inhuman system."

Echoing the famous speech, the Archbishop told the audience: "The First Minister ... referred to Martin Luther King - and his dream.

"I too have a dream. God says that one day my children will wake up and realise that they are members of one family. The human family.

"That they will know that these others are in fact my brothers and sisters.

"How can I want to bomb my brothers or my sisters? "Why would I want to spend so much on defence, when my brothers and sisters are struggling, and they're poor?" To end his visit, the Archbishop visited a workshop at Cardiff's Temple of Peace organised by Life for African Mothers and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.

you to go on the fantastic God has sought Arriving at the Temple, the Archbishop sat with groups of people who had travelled across the country to discuss their views on how they could help others in their community. Angela Gorman, founder of Life for African Mothers, who has accompanied the Archbishop on his trip to the UK and was instrumental in bringing him back to Wales, said: "It's been amazing but this event is special as it's ours.

"I just can't believe that by making a phone call that the Archbishop was able to join us here. "It's just been extraordinary. "I feel like I'll wake up and find it's been a dream."

I urge you to go on dreaming of the fantastic world that God has sought


The archbishop visits the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant

Archbishop Desmond Tutu meets children at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr in Cardiff as part of his whistlestop tour of Wales PICTURES: Matthew Horwood (c)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Oct 26, 2012

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