Betty Williams

In 2003, Betty Williams was the promoter of the first model of the Foundation City of Peace for Children Basilicata. It was during a public demonstration against the idea of placing a nuclear waste dump in Scanzano Jonico, Basilicata, that she intervened in favour of an alternative use for the area.

In February 2012, during a visit to Basilicata, His Holiness the Dalai Lama formally launched the Foundation.

In 2014, Betty Williams presented the work of the Foundation to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, at the UN Headquarters, in New York.

In 2015, the actress and human rights activist Sharon Stone visited the Foundation and launched the project Home for Peace. In 2018, the foundation stone of this new project was laid. Home for Peace is a project donated by the Architect Mario Cucinella and funded by the local entrepreneurs Pasquale Natuzzi and Nicola Benedetto.

Betty Williams, along with Mairead Corrigan Maguire, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her work to bring peace in her native Northern Ireland.

For the following thirty years, Betty Williams, world activist for the rights of women and children, dedicated her life to the creation of a movement aiming to change the way injustice and cruelty to children in the world are seen and dealt with.

Betty Williams was the Head of the Global Children’s Foundation, and the Founder and President of the World Centers of Compassion for Children International (WCCCI). The work of these non-profit organisations, particularly in countries touched by war and extreme poverty, is designed as a comprehensive and systematic approach to support the future of world peace and the rights of the child. They adopt and implement the Universal Declaration of Rights for Children as a step towards providing children with a political voice and a recognisable status worldwide.

Betty Williams was President of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), in Washington D.C., a non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organisation that has supported democratic institutions and practices in every region of the world for more than three decades. Betty Williams was also Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Nova Southeastern University, in Florida; and she received an honorary degree from the Università degli Studi della Basilicata.

Through WCCCI, Betty Williams carried out international peace and reconciliation missions. Her action to obstruct the war in Iraq was memorable. With the help of Alitalia, her organisation donated 14 tons of commodities to the children of the Baghdad hospital using the last flight before bombing began. Mrs Williams’ visit to the capital of Iraq was decisive in supporting the last diplomatic attempt to avoid the war.

In 2006, Betty Williams endorsed the Nobel Women Initiative led by Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman.

In 2016, Betty Williams was one of the promoters of the FAO - Nobel Peace Laureates Alliance for Food Security and Peace with Mairead Corrigan Maguire (Northern Ireland), Nadia Murad (Iraq), Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Argentina), Professor Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh), Tawakkol Karman (Yemen), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia), and Óscar Arias Sánchez (Costa Rica).


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