The Challenge: The Prevalence of Violence in America
Young people are exposed to more violence today than ever before. According to a recent study from ChildTrends.org, 60% of youth were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly as victims, or indirectly as witnesses.* From bullying and domestic violence to shootings and cyber stalking, they see it in their homes, in their schools, in their communities and in their nation. Young people exposed to violence are at increased risk for drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, dropping out of school, depression and health problems.
WHERE CAN THEY TURN to move towards sustainable peace within themselves, their relationships, their communities?
WHERE CAN THEY LEARN about compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation?
HOW CAN THEY BECOME catalysts for change in their own lives/communities/world?
A solution exists to address this crisis. If armed with the tools to navigate through this complex and volatile world, we can reverse these trends among our youth turning victims into peace makers. One need not win a Nobel Peace Prize like Archbishop Desmond Tutu or risk a life like youth advocate Malala Yousafzai to be a Peace Maker. Each of us either contributes to peace, or lack of peace. Our lives are part of the ripple effect. It is up to us what ripple we want to pass along.
Our Program: Investing in Youth as the Future Peace Makers
As the next generation of leaders, artists, scientists, social activists and entrepreneurs, the future of peace rests in the hands of our young people. According to recent studies, today’s youth are more socially aware and willing to make a difference in the world. By giving them the tools and teaching them the concepts and ways of compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation, they can become catalysts for change in their own lives, communities and the entire world.