The Need for Global Youth Peace Education
Mahatma Gandhi famously said, "To teach real peace in the world… we will have to begin with the children." Today, there are an estimated 3 billion people in the world under the age of 25. Yet peace, the most cross-cutting of all global topics, is essentially absent from formal and informal education frameworks. Nonprofit and for-profit leaders often point to the potential of youth and young adults as tomorrow’s global citizen leaders. But young people are rarely invited to participate in local, national and international peace projects.
Peacebuilder in 2015, share the story of the
Walk for Wisdom team action peace project, as
well as his overall experience in the
NewGen Peacebuilders program.
NewGen PeacebuildersSM is a global youth peace education program that emphasizes the role, value and impact of young people (ages 14-24) in achieving a peaceful world. Through the NewGen PeacebuildersSM program high school and university students learn about and engage in tangible efforts to create peace. The program combines scholarly work on conflict resolution, case studies, profiles of peacebuilder role models, high-energy exercises, and project management training. NewGen PeacebuildersSM recognizes and conveys "peace universals" that are consistent across cultures while adapting for local context and circumstances. A particularly unique aspect of the program is the focus on "education for peacebuilding" vs. simply "education about peace."
Global youth peace education is not just a strategy for the future. Today’s young people have unprecedented awareness of global issues, access to information and technology, and interest in new approaches to problem solving. NewGen PeacebuildersSM equips young people to be positive agents of peace right now.
NewGen PeacebuildersSM Program Overview
The NewGen PeacebuildersSM program helps youth and young adults understand frameworks related to peace, develop project planning and management skills, and embrace peacebuilding as a personal responsibility. Through interactive, in-person workshops; conference calls with peacebuilder role models; and completion of team action peace projects, NewGen PeacebuildersSM trains and equips students to:
- Truly understand drivers of conflict and peace
- Imagine innovative solutions to create change
- Take positive action to address an issue affecting a community or communities.
The result is empowered young people who are equipped to actively resolve conflict and build bridges for the rest of their lives.
The typical program format is extra-curricular and spans a high school or university term of 10-12 weeks.
The NewGen PeacebuildersSM program consists of five core components:
Results, Recognition, Awards
demonstrate tangible results of team action
To become certified NewGen PeacebuildersSM, students must complete team action peace projects. To date, 100 percent of students have met requirements for program completion and been awarded status as certified NewGen PeacebuildersSM. Young people enrolled in the program have completed twenty action peace projects that have collectively benefitted or involved over 15,000 people. Over half the projects continued after the program, an indication that student commitments to peacebuilding are sustainable.
In addition, the NewGen PeacebuildersSM program and graduates have received endorsements, awards and recognition from:
NewGen PeacebuildersSM workshops have been conducted or are anticipated for 2017 in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ghana, Hong Kong, South Sudan, Thailand and the US.
NewGen PeacebuildersSM Leadership
Patricia Shafer was featured in the
August 2015 The Rotarian article
How Peace Makes a Rotarian.
NewGen PeacebuildersSM is one an integrated peace education program that educates, equips and empowers high school students to actively resolve conflict and build bridges in the community. Program content is delivered by trained and certified facilitators and mentors in ways that are exciting and engaging for young people.
Key advisors and facilitators include:
Patricia Shafer, Rotary Peace Fellow, Executive Director of nonprofit Mothering Across Continents and co-Founder of NewGen PeacebuildersSM; Carla Lineback, Rotary Peace Fellow, Director of Alumni Engagement at SIT/World Learning and co-Founder of NewGen PeacebuildersSM; Elizabeth Peacock, a former teacher and current NewGen PeacebuildersSM Director of Operations; Phill Gittins, Rotary Peace Fellow, PhD candidate in International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent, Country Director, NewGen PeacebuildersSM–Bolivia and Co-Director, Global Curriculum Development; Jenn Weidman, Rotary Peace Fellow, Managing Director/ CEO of Space Bangkok and former Deputy Director of the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; Wisdom Addo, Rotary Peace Fellow, Executive Director of the West Africa Centre for Peace Foundation; Pranisa Ekachote, Rotary Peace Fellow and consultant with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and Spencer Leung, Rotary Peace Fellow, manager of a social enterprise network focused on sustainable agriculture practices and policies.