Today on Capitol Hill, 50 young Israeli, Palestinian and American youth from Kids4Peace are meeting with 40 Republican and Democratic offices in the House and Senate to request US investment in grassroots peacebuilding efforts.
As beneficiaries of a FY2015 USAID Conflict Management and Mitigation grant, Jerusalem youth will share the impact of US investment in the the Israeli and Palestinian people. Because of USAID, Kids4Peace Jerusalem has doubled in size and added a teen-led nonviolent action component. Today, more than 400 youth from across Jerusalem participate in year-round programs of dialogue, leadership and action. Kids4Peace is showing the power of youth and vision of hope for the future.
Kids4Peace is concerned that FY2017 USAID funding for CMM is still on hold by the administration.
We urgently request that FY2017 USAID funds be immediately released before the end of the fiscal year. Organizations like Kids4Peace rely on CMM to fund sustainable growth. Holding back this money will cause harm to the very people who are working hardest for peace.
We are also seeking long-term investment in grassroots peacebuilding, through an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. HR 1221 (Fortenberry R-NE) would create this fund and authorize a $50million annual appropriation. The Palestinian Partnership Fund (in SFOPS 19) makes this $50million available in the coming year.
With US leadership, the International Fund would fuel rapid growth of organizations like Kids4Peace and inspire large-scale projects like our organization’s dream: to create a purpose-built Youth Peace Center in Jerusalem, where thousands of Israeli and Palestinian teens can meet after school, to build bridges of understanding, learn about the roots of conflict and inequality in the city, and work together nonviolently to create social change.
For more information, contact Kids4Peace at firstname.lastname@example.org