Northern Ireland news

Dalai Lama joins Joanna Lumley for 20th anniversary conference of Children in Crossfire

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has described Children in Crossfire founder Richard Moore as his hero. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

JOANNA Lumley and the Dalai Lama will be among speakers at a conference in Derry celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Children in Crossfire charity.

Children in Crossfire was established by Richard Moore, who was blinded as a 10-year-old when he was struck by a British soldier's rubber bullet.

Over the last two decades, it has raised more than £25 million for causes in 10 countries including safe drinking water in Malawi, help for visually impaired children in The Gambia, and assistance for thousands of starving children in Ethiopia.

The 14th Dalai Lama is a patron of the charity and is making a third visit to Derry.

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the Tibetan spiritual leader has previously described Mr Moore as his hero.

While best known for her work as an actor and model, Joanna Lumley is also a human rights activist. She works with Survival International and helped Gurkha soldiers win the right to settle in the UK.

Mr Moore said he was delighted that the Dalai Lama and Ms Lumley had agreed to come to the 20th anniversary conference.

“His (the Dalai Lama's) message of compassion, forgiveness and peace is needed now more than ever. All of these values underpin the work of Children in Crossfire," he said.

The Dalai Lama is expected to arrive in Derry tomorrow to take part in a sold-out public talk with Mr Moore at the city's Millennium Forum.

The conference will open at the Millennium Forum on Monday morning with speakers also including Ms Lumley, Mr Moore and Scarlett Lewis, mother of Jess Lewis who was killed in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in the US in 2012.

The theme for the event is “Compassion in Action”.

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