Murdered youth was peace ambassador

A young man who was murdered in a knife attack in east London was a youth peace ambassador involved with St Ethelburga’s, a peace and reconciliation centre in London, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Ajmol Alom, aged 16, was killed in east London on Monday evening. Detective chief inspector Andy Chalmers said Ajmol did not appear to be involved in any gangs, did not provoke the attack and it appeared to be a case of mistaken identity.

Ajmol’s headmaster at Langdon Park School said that his student would have been expecting excellent GCSE results on Thursday. He also said that Ajmol had taken part in a St Ethelburga initiative and had helped take young Muslim pupils from Tower Hamlets over to Northern Ireland to meet with young Christians and Catholics.

The St Ethelburga’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation is based in central London on the site of the St Ethelburga’s church, which was destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1993. The centre has developed long-term relationships around Newry in Northern Ireland, where the bombers were from.

The Gullion Link Project is a youth exchange programme which was established to build links between groups of 15-18 year olds in Newry and east London. The young people who take part are from different communities but may have faced similar issues around violence, identity and negative stereotyping. Taking part in the project enables them to share their stories, cook and eat together and share their experiences of community challenges such as sectarian violence or postcode wars.

Writing on the St Ethelburga’s website in 2012, the then coordinator of the project, Candia Crosfield, said: “The programme smashes apart stereotypes and encourages integration by taking a group of young people from communities across East London to get to know a group of peers from across the community in Newry, Northern Ireland and then brings them back to London. On this journey they learn to be curious, to listen, to manage conflict and to understand one another. They therefore return home as agents of change; young leaders inspired to take action themselves in their communities.”

Witnesses to the murder can contact the police incident room on 020 8358 0100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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