We are a group who seek to promote international friendship and understanding.

We meet together regularly for social events and fundraising and take part in exchange visits with similar groups from our twin cities and partner towns abroad.

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Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. It is a pleasure to welcome you all to the Council House and to the prizegiving ceremony for the Coventry Association for International Friendship‘s Young People’s Friendship Competition. We are very proud of the CAIF and of the amazing work it does in spreading our city’s message of peace and unity around the world. It works with our twin cities and others to promote understanding and build links. And, of course, it does so much here in Coventry as well, helping to make sure everyone – including our city’s young people - can get involved. The annual Friendship Prize is an important part of that work. This year, young people aged from 14-20 were invited to send in poems on the subject of ‘My Peace Hero’. I understand there were many great entries, and the judges have had a very tough time. So congratulations to our four winners, you should be very proud. You were obviously inspired by your peace heroes and I am sure they would be delighted to know they have been honoured through your work. And congratulations also to everyone involved in the competition and all those who submitted poems. We are very proud of our work as a city of peace and reconciliation, and your words are helping to reinforce that message and encouraging others to play their part. One of the great pleasures of being Lord Mayor is being able to host events such as this. In Coventry, we are fortunate to have so many caring and hard-working young people who help to make our city a better place. There are lots of positive stories around young people in Coventry and the wonderful things they achieve. They are a vital part of the life of our city and so important to our future. They deserve to be celebrated and that is why events like this are so important. Thank you again for coming today and for your support for the competition and for the Coventry Association for International Friendship. And thank you to the Association for all it does throughout the year. It has been a part of our city now for over half a century and has strengthened ties with cities such as Kiel, Dresden, Volgograd and many more. Those ties help businesses and education, community groups, politicians, artists and athletes, and they make the world a safer, friendlier place. And as UK City of Culture 2021, what better way to celebrate and further that work than through the art of poetry! The Friendship prize brings together two very important parts of our city so beautifully. My very best wishes to you all for the future and it is now my pleasure to present our winners with their certificates and prizes.

SEE GALLERY FOR PHOTOS