Murdered aid worker’s brother brings his message of unity to Cumbernauld school

Mike Haines OBE, founder of Global Acts of Unity, gave a talk to pupils at Greenfaulds High
Mike Haines OBE, founder of Global Acts of Unity, gave a talk to pupils at Greenfaulds High

The brother of an aid worker murdered by Daesh terrorists in Syria has shared his story with students of Greenfaulds High in efforts to tackle extremism.

In 2014, footage was released of the brutal execution of Mike Haines’s brother, British aid worker David Haines.

David had been working for an NGO, assisting Syrian refugees when he was captured by Daesh terrorists and senselessly murdered after 18 months of brutal captivity.

In an attempt to spread discord and violence, footage was released to the world.

In the aftermath of his brother’s death, Mike felt strongly that he did not want innocent Muslims to be blamed or victimised in his name and so he made an emotional national television appeal for unity and tolerance.

Since that tragic event, Mike has harnessed the pain of losing his brother and best friend to tackle hatred head-on with his Global Acts of Unity campaign.

Mike’s emotional journey has seen him meet people from a wide variety of countries, communities, backgrounds and religions including Pope Francis, former French President Francois Hollande and former British Prime Minister David Cameron.

However, it is working with young people that inspires him most and in the most important phase of his campaign work to date, Mike has embarked on a nationwide school tour with the aim of emboldening young people to work together and stand up against those that seek to spread fear, hate and division.

His talks cover his transformative journey from personal pain to positive ambassador for peace, and his powerful personal message, help give people the tools they need to tackle all forms of hatred and challenge extremism.

Mike, who was awarded an OBE last year for his services to tolerance and education, said: “The devastating loss of my brother had a life-changing impact on my family. We continue to feel his loss every day.

“It has not been an easy path to take, to channel that pain into a powerful, positive force for good, but it has been the right one.

“Young people are the peacemakers of the future. Through ensuring our young people here, and across the country, know how to stand up to hatred we can together tackle extremism wherever we may find it.

“By standing together, with acceptance and understanding, we will defeat those who seek to divide us.”

Craig Scoular, principal teacher in social subjects at Greenfauld High, added: “Mike’s talk was an inspiration to all that were fortunate enough to hear it.

“His message of peace over hate and his reminder that we have more in common than divides us is a timely one.”

To find out more about the Global Acts of Unity campaign, and to access free classroom resources on the issues, visit: https://mikehaines.globalactsofunity.com.