Educate Children. Change Young Lives. Transform Communities.
The emotional and economic cost of violence is too high to ignore. Deaths from violence average over 1.8 million a year. From bullying in schools to religious, racial or cultural divisions motivating terrorism and war, violence often arises from fear. Fear of the other, misunderstanding of someone different. At Play for Peace we teach children, youth and communities that there is another way. Differences and conflict are part of human reality but hatred, violence and fear don’t have to be.
The impact of Play for Peace manifests itself in very different ways depending on local needs, challenges and resources. However, by the end of the Play for Peace Training process your youth leaders will able to facilitate basic cooperative play, your group will be more cooperative, caring and inclusive and you, your organization or school will be connected to peace-builders around the world for learning, cultural exchange and inspiration. Training for teachers, youth workers, social workers, community leaders is also available.
“I would just say to other fellow administrators that if Play for Peace is not part of your school culture – it needs to become part of your school culture.” – Mary Diener, Illinois School Principal
Impact on younger children’s participation in Practice Peace Sessions includes helping their brain develop in ways that reduce their fear of people who are different from themselves. They literally lay down neurological pathways within their brain’s limbic system which generates positive long-term affective behavior.
“Cooperative play activates regions of the brain for focused attention, collaboration, emotion, vision and hearing, skills learning, and past memories about games and playmates and good times…Consider all the associations the mind might make during safe, noncompetitive play. Joy, sharing, compassion, and novel experiences with children from a different background will drive the brain’s networks for learning and long-term remembering.” – Dr. Bruce Dobkin, Professor of Neurology, UCLA
Not only do children learn compassion and cooperation and young peoples very identity is changed forever, communities are also transformed by the presence of Play for Peace. Community members do more than participate in the Play for Peace Process. The process becomes a part of them. There is no end, then, to growth and change. Through this layered, integrated process, community-building takes on a life of its own. Communities become less dependent on outside interventions and external resources. They rediscover their own resources and fuel an increased ability for lasting peace. When people have the opportunity to connect in meaningful ways, they engage in more co-creative, compassionate decision-making. This experience changes them. Play for Peace is a vibrant solution — a quite simply, where Play for Peace exists, peace itself grows.