Having a look at projects which are active in the work for peace, the program „Seeds of Peace“ is important to know.
Every year youngsters of the whole world are coming together in Maine (USA) to take part at a huge peace camp. Here they meet with other young people, who at home are considered members of the enemy party.
The Camp lasts for three weeks and consists of:
- games, fun, special activities – for growing friendships!
- almost two hours everyday „dialogue sessions“ take place. The young people are moderated professionally to talk about all big issues of the conflict. They are encouraged to be open, honest and fair. Here they are confronted with their own stereotypes and they learn to doubt their prejudices. They have to adjust their thoughts according to the reality of the other persons.
- art projects & workshops, group challenges and dance
- They get to know different cultures, for example at the „International Dinner“ or at the „Interfaith Dialogue“
Many reports of the Peace Camps can be read in detail online. So many touching diary entries allow to have a look at their work. All the pictures and stories are amazingly inspiring. They give hope that at the end of their shared time the thought of peace will be put into actions in the real world.
The main goal is not only that those students meet each other and learn to listen and practice dialogue. They also get qualified as a voice of peace for the future. It’s quite challenging to get accepted for joining a peace camp. You have to speak english really well, write essays, doing interviews and prove your competences and leaderships qualities.
Besides the yearly international camp there are regional meetings and actions throughout the whole year. Here the focus lies on strengthening the values and qualifications. For a real change in conflict regions the following four principles are important:
- strong relationships and friendships among the regions of conflicts
- sophisticated knowledge on the issues
- abilities and tools for an empathic communication, critically thinking and change making
- the will to take actions in the purpose of peace
In short: it’s a strong program which is really encouraging and gives hope!