FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2016
USAID awards $800,000 to Kids4Peace for Interfaith Jerusalem Initiative
Funding will empower youth leadership and expand the pro-peace community to 288 new families in the Jerusalem area.
[Jerusalem, October 13, 2016] Kids4Peace is excited to announce a two-year, $800,000 cooperative agreement with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen and expand the constituency for peace in Jerusalem.
The Interfaith Jerusalem Project will connect youth and parents from East and West Jerusalem, and neighboring West Bank communities in programs that foster civic involvement, celebrate the religious diversity of Jerusalem, and encourage key populations to support a pro-peace agenda.
Project activities include cross-border dialogue groups; workshops about parenting youth in the midst of conflict; community service projects, and town hall meetings that connect youth with community leaders. Kids4Peace will also host community events during religious holidays and facilitate opportunities for Jewish and Arab residents of Jerusalem to visit each other’s homes.
“We are grateful to USAID for this opportunity to strengthen and grow the pro-peace community in Jerusalem,” said Fr. Josh Thomas, International Executive Director of Kids4Peace. “In these difficult days, we are providing a place where youth from both sides of the conflict can meet each other, find a partner for peace, and take charge of their future.”
More than 1,000 residents of Jerusalem will be part of this project, and Kids4Peace will focus special attention on those populations most affected by the conflict and most essential to a solution, including traditional and religious families.
Kids4Peace’s goal is to create a diverse, visible and influential pro-peace community that inspires greater involvement at the grassroots level and motivates key Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take steps toward a long-term solution.
This grant is part of USAID’s Conflict Management & Mitigation (CMM) program, a worldwide effort to bring together individuals of different backgrounds from areas of conflicts in reconciliation activities.
Since the program’s start in 2004, the USAID West Bank/Gaza Mission has invested in over 100 projects to bring together Israelis and Palestinians to work on issues of common concern and promote peaceful coexistence.
Founded in Jerusalem in 2002, Kids4Peace is a grassroots interfaith youth movement dedicated to ending conflict and inspiring hope in divided societies around the world. Its mission is to build interfaith communities that embody a culture of peace and empower a movement for change. Currently, Kids4Peace serves more than 350 Jewish, Christian & Muslim families in the Jerusalem area through a series of international camps and year-round dialogue and social action programs.