US Institute of Peace Awards $77,500 Grant to Kids4Peace

By May 4, 2015 Home Page, Press Releases
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May 4, 2015

Contact: Josh Thomas | (202) 796-7047

Kids4Peace International awarded $77,500 Grant from United States Institute of Peace

Funding will equip Israeli and Palestinian youth to lead a social movement for peace in Jerusalem and beyond.

USIP Logo[Washington, DC , May 4, 2015]– A $77,500 grant from the United States Institute of Peace will allow Kids4Peace International to proceed with its proposal to equip Israeli and Palestinian youth with necessary skills and supports to lead a long-term social movement for  peace.

“We know the transformative power of dialogue programs,” said Fr. Josh Thomas, the Executive Director of Kids4Peace International.

“But how do youth make the transition from dialogue to social action?  This grant will allow Kids4Peace to analyze the challenges that young peacebuilders face and develop the systems of support that will help them remain resilient over time and in the face of violence.”

The primary participants will be a cohort of 20 youth and young adults, drawn from the current participants and alumni of Kids4Peace who are now aged 17-25. Two additional cohorts will be recruited: 20 parents and 20 peace educators, drawn from current and past participants in Kids4Peace.

All three cohorts will offer their perspectives on the challenges and sources of support that youth encounter during adolescence through a series of facilitated meetings and seminars. Participants will explore the contextual factors that inhibit and support the long-term effectiveness of youth peacebuilding programs. These seminars will also develop new skills to address the barriers that prevent them from engaging in social action for peace.

At the conclusion of the seminars, staff will evaluate their findings and disseminate results to fellow practitioners in the field, to help them foster resilience among youth participants in peacebuilding programs.

“Over the last 13 years, Kids4Peace has provided groundbreaking interfaith programs to more than 1,000 youth and their families.  Our long-term approach has created a diverse community of young Palestinian and Israeli peacebuilders, who have deep and lasting relationships of trust and respect,” Thomas said.  “Young people possess enormous power to lead movements for change.  With this grant from USIP, Kids4Peace will discover the most effective ways to support their efforts.”

The United States Institute of Peace is our country’s global conflict management center. Created by Congress to be independent and nonpartisan, USIP works to prevent, mitigate and resolve international conflict through nonviolent means.

As part of its congressional mandate, USIP devotes a significant portion of its budget to grant-making in the fields of peacebuilding and conflict management. Over 20 years, the Institute’s Grant Program has awarded more than 2,100 grants in 47 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and in 87 foreign countries. The Grant Program increases the breadth and depth of the Institute’s work by supporting peacebuilding projects managed by non-profit organizations including educational institutions, research institutions, and civil society organizations.

The project’s objectives are centrally aligned with USIP’s program goals in the region and will further strengthen an existing community of youth and adult peacebuilders during a time of stress and tension.

Raya Barazanji, USIP’s Senior Program Officer with oversight of this grant project describes it as “an important initiative that will contribute to the goal of creating a resilient community of young Palestinian and Israeli peacebuilders. Ongoing programs such as these will test and analyze the contextual factors that inhibit and support the long-term effectiveness of people-to-people peace initiatives especially those led by youth.”

“Kids4Peace is grateful to USIP for their support of this project.  We believe it will be a significant contribution to the field of youth and peacebuilding, by developing innovative strategies that can help organizations like Kids4Peace to grow in size and effectiveness,” Thomas said.

Founded in Jerusalem in 2002, Kids4Peace International 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 500 Jewish, Christian & Muslim youth in Jerusalem and across North America through a series of international camps and year-round dialogue and action programs.

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