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An 'honour' to meet the Dalai Lama.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

An 'honour' to meet the Dalai Lama. thumbnail Children in Crossfire fundraiser, Joanne Callan, meets the Dalai Lama.

ONE of Newry's fundraisers for Children in Crossfire described it as an "honour" to meet His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet at the charity's 20th anniversary event.

The Dalai Lama, who is the Patron of the charity, was joined by actress Joanna Lumley and many other influential activists from across the world at the Millennium Forum in Londonderry last Monday (September 11) where the celebrations took place.

Joanne Callan was invited to the event with fellow Newry Children in Crossfire fundraisers Gemma Murphy, Colleen Tinnelly, Brigid Farrell and Lisa McKevitt.

The group spent the Sunday afternoon in the Dalai Lama's presence during a private lunch and special public event entitled 'Compassion in Action'.

Relax Kids coach Joanne stayed until Monday to attend the Compassion in Action conference.

The conference was attended by over 100 people from various parts of Ireland and across the world who are involved in Education.

"It was great to see the Newry and Mourne area so well represented so I am hopeful that over the next few months we will all be able to work together to implement some of the strategies discussed," said Joanne.

"The conference was the launch of Children In Crossfires 'Teacher Training Program' called TIDAL.

"It was really interesting. The Dalai Lama has a very infectious laugh and is very funny. He had lots of wisdom and knowledge to share with the audience and had a lovely way of putting that across.

"At the conference he talked for about two hours to the whole room and then he came down off the stage in the Millennium Forum for a few minutes and some of us got the opportunity to shake his hand and have a very brief conversation.

"When you get asked 'who would you like to have dinner with' my answer has often been the Dalai Lama, so it really was a dream come true." Joanne, who is a Well Being Coach and owner of Try The Alternative, Holistic Products and Services, found the experience "very uplifting and motivating".

"Getting the opportunity to meet him was a bit overwhelming as well," she continued.

"It was a real honour because he's 82 now and he may not have an opportunity to come to Ireland again.

"His big message was that if we wanted to change the world, we need to take action by helping others and doing what we need to do to make a difference in the world." Joanne also managed to have a brief conversation with BAFTA award winning star Joanna Lumley, who is a tireless campaigner for a number of charities including Survival International and the Gurkha Justice Campaign.

"Joanna Lumley was there as a supporter of Children in Crossfire," explained Joanne.

"She was really lovely and talked about the importance of joy for children across the world. I got the opportunity to speak to her for a few minutes also." Founded in 1996, Children in Crossfire aims to help children in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

The anti-poverty organisation was established by Richard Moore, who was blinded after he was injured during the Troubles.

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