Youth hostel with a difference first posted 14 July 2000

 LONDON - first posted 14 July 2000 - 400 words London can be a daunting experience for a young first-time visitor. But there's always a warm welcome at the Pax Christi hostel, opened every summer by the Catholic peace movement. Run by volunteers from a dozen countries, it offers visitors much more than just a cheap bed for the night. Organiser Suzanne Skrimshire emailed us this report: Our hostel, situated in a converted church hall down a leafy back street, is unique. Like all 'real' hostels, it offers dormitory accommodation, metal bunk beds, guitars standing in corners and coffee cups everywhere. The atmosphere is great. Some backpackers just stay the night and carry on their journeys. But others have a deeper experience with us and stay longer, because we are not just a hostel. We are also a peace and justice project. Our aim is to provide affordable accommodation in London for young travellers, to give volunteers the chance to work as a multinational team, and to raise awareness on peace and justice issues. Each year we focus on a different theme. Last year it was child soldiers. This year it is the media and the culture of peace (in support of the UN year and decade of the culture of peace). What role does the media play in times of war and peace? Can it make a difference? To what extent are our life choices influenced by the media? We will be looking at these and other questions through discussions, workshops, film and speaker meetings. We like to think that guests and members of the public will join us: these things concern us all. Friday night is International Night: all are welcome to take part in festive banquets with food and entertainment from Poland or Portugal, Ireland or Italy. We feel that for 10 pounds a night bed and breakfast, our guests not only have a comfortable and enjoyable stay, but also take away with them something of importance: a witness that people still believe in and work for peace and that for those who have idealism to share, there are volunteer opportunities out there waiting for them. If you would like to stay with us or for more information please contact the office on: 0208 203 4884, email: Pax Christi Hostel Our Lady's Hall Falkland Rd Kentish Town London NW5 Open: 23 July to 19 August 2000.

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