YMCA Peace Medallion

There is a well-known Nelson Mandela quote that reads:

“there is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered,”.

YMCA Peace Medallion

For Christina, there are no better words to better encapsulate what it was like returning to Canada. Nothing was quite the same anymore, not the big things nor the little. Everything was how she remembered it, there hadn’t been intense cultural changes in the four months she was away, but it was also completely different.  The familiar was no longer familiar but it was because she had changed so much, it was as if she was seeing things through an entirely different set of lenses.

YMCA Peace Medallion

[Pictured: Ken Corlett (left), Christina Hassan (Marchand) and Greg Kett- those who nominated our Christina for this award!]

As time passed she adjusted to these new lenses – they became her new normal. Christina was home for three months when she was invited back to her hometown, where she grew up and went to school, to receive the YMCA Peace Medallion for her experiences in Uganda.

Returning to Chatham, it could have been easy to focus again on the new perspective Mandela described… but instead she found herself reflecting through a different lens. As she met with her family, community members and the people who educated her, Christina realized she was reconnecting with the people who helped her to build the foundation of who she is. These people, together, create the community where she learned how to dream, challenge herself, ask questions and care about the lives of others.

Yes, Christina definitely returned to her hometown a changed person, but in the moments she spent there, she was grateful for all of those who helped her become a person that pursued these experiences that cause such fundamental change. They are her champions of motivation, education and believing in the good of this world. This community… her family… they are the ones who first taught her what it means to live SoulFully.

We at FullSoul are so very excited for Christina to have received this award for all of her amazing work in Uganda and now with FullSoul! Recognition is so important, and we’re honoured to have Christina recognized with such an important award! Continue reading for more on the YMCA Peace Medallion!

YMCA Peace Medallion

From YMCA’s Across Southwestern Ontario’s page, from November 12th, 2013:

YMCA honours 3 Local peacekeepers with Peace Medallion

From November 16-23, YMCAs across Canada celebrate YMCA World Peace Week as an opportunity to join people of all ages in activities focused on exploring peace from a local and global perspective. Local YMCAs take the opportunity during Peace Week to recognize unsung heroes within our community – individuals who give of their own time and money to make a positive difference in our world.

The YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario will celebrate Peace Week with the awarding of the peace medallion to three local winners [including SoulFull’s own co-founder]:

CHATHAM – Christina Marchand (Youth category)

A university student, Christina has had a great impact in her community and around the world with her restlessness to make life better for the ones around her. She’s been involved in peacekeeping initiatives such as Save the Mothers Campaign interning at a Ugandan hospital where she helped to save the lives of Ugandan mothers and their babies. Christina led a school-building campaign in Kenya, currently volunteers at soup kitchens, organizes food drives and is a Global Experience Leader at the University of Waterloo helping international students integrate into the community.