A peace fair on the campus of Luther College Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 6-8, is raising funds to establish a memorial scholarship in the name and honor of the late Sylvia Nabukeera, a 2010 Luther graduate who was murdered in Nairobi, Kenya, June 24, 2011.

The scholarship will provide funding for African women pursuing their undergraduate education at Luther.

The fair is sponsored by a Luther-based, student-led non-profit organization called Paigaam -- A Message for Peace, founded one year ago by recent Luther graduate Ufra Mir, a certified peace education trainer and peace psychologist.

Born and raised in Kashmir, the northernmost state in India and one of the most conflicted regions of the world, Mir says she always yearned for peaceful co-existence and respect for human rights, especially for youth.

"It is essential but hard to make a positive difference in a place that is marred by extreme violence," Mir explains. "Innocent Kashmiri youth are constantly facing numerous atrocities and brutalities. But living in different multiethnic regions of the world including India, United States and UK strengthened my belief that understanding and acceptance of human rights and peace can create a wider space, bringing people -- especially youth -- together to work for the common good."

About Paigaam

Mir describes Paigaam as "a global alliance of trainers, practitioners and activists committed to learning, teaching and promoting peace-building."

To that end, they train people in various peacemaking techniques and methods to sustainably incorporate and apply them in different aspects of life.

In addition, they support, promote and network with similar peace initiatives and organizations.

"We strive to build a healthier future through peace-education and training, youth empowerment and leadership," Mir says. "We spread the message of peace by celebrating diversity, culture, arts and collaboration with the community."

Currently, Mir and Paigaam are offering peace-education training and workshops on Luther college campus, supporting a Music for Peace project in East-Timor and working on a cross-cultural Art for Peace initiative for orphans and children with violent pasts in Kashmir, Pakistan, East-Timor and the United States.

"Paigaam's main strategy is to transform thinking hence empower people so that they can help themselves positively," Mir says.

Currently, she also is formulating an eclectic peace education program and curriculum to be potentially used in various colleges including Luther.

For more information, contact:Ufra Mir, miruf01@luther.edu, or visit Paigaam's Web site at www.paigaampeace.org.