Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”
But what kind of lesson are we teaching our children if the narrative we are presenting them in the media is one of endless conflicts abroad, violence happening in our own cities, or internal fighting within the government?
What about peace? How can young people be included in this conversation?
With the new school year starting, it’s a good time to start thinking about engaging young people in the real life and relevant work that needs to be done to build peace in our world now.
Are you a teacher or youth leader who would like to sponsor students and promote the What About Peace contest?
We live in an era with tremendous potential of new technology to connect young people from around the world to cement people-to-people ties that are the root of the desire to protect human rights, preserve peace, and learn about each other.
Our What About Peace? contest attempts to do just that. It asks the question of 14-20 year olds and challenges them to answer and create a conversation around the idea of peace by using all of their creativity in writing poetry, prose, or painting a picture, taking a photo or making a drawing or graphic.
We've been so inspired by the vision and beauty of the answers that pour in every new year from all around the world. There's been poetry from Zambia, photographs from the Ukraine, a short story from Pakistan, and last year's grand prize winner of a Manga style drawing in colored pencil from Upstate New York.
Not only do students get the opportunity to think deeply about the subject, have their work professionally evaluated and possibly win a cash prize, but teachers are also rewarded with support and recognition for fostering their student’s creativity.
So, let's follow the words of Gandhi and start teaching our youth about peace.
Director of Organizing
P.S. Enter Global Exchange’s 25th Anniversary Prize Drawing for a chance to win great prizes including a brand new PUBLIC bike and more!