Kids4Peace Promotes Leadership and Peaceful Communication among Jewish, Christian and Muslim Children through Camp Activities and Educational Classes
WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Kids4Peace International, the largest interfaith youth movement between the United States and Middle East, is currently hosting Israeli and Palestinian campers at this year’s summer program, in an effort to counter the violence and religious turmoil in Jerusalem by educating children about one other’s religions and encouraging open, non-violent dialogue.
The program, which began in Jerusalem and expanded overseas to Houston, Texas in 2002 with one summer camp and 12 children, has grown to include eight separate camps with more than 200 campers this year. The camps are equally comprised of Jewish, Christian and Muslim students and each year as many children are admitted as there is funding and lodging available. The campers range in age from 6th through 11th grade students and are hosted by partner organizations, schools, and youth foundations across the country from Seattle to Boston, with the 8th grade camp for Israeli children being held in Kibbutz Keturah in southern Israel, which is funded by the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.
“These summer camps, in conjunction with our year-round programs, are vital to ensuring the future of our global community,” said Josh Thomas, Executive Director of Kids4Peace. “We are giving these campers a deep understanding of one another’s religions and cultural traditions and the response has been overwhelming. With so much violence perpetrating Jerusalem in recent days, we are working to tip the scales back in the other direction. We have a long road ahead of us, but seeing the friendships and bonds that form between our campers each summer makes it abundantly clear that this is the way to affect real change in future generations of the world’s leaders.”
Through a network of local chapters, Kids4Peace operates eight international summer camps and a six-year, year-round program for more than 350 Palestinian, Israeli and North American students. Almost 80 percent of Kids4Peace children continue through the entire program, and many become camp counselors at ages 17 and 18 to pass on what they have learned.
“The last camp this summer will be wrapping up at the end of August,” said Thomas. “It has been another successful year and we hope to be able to involve even more campers in 2016. With every passing day, the more people that learn about our movement, the more we are able to accomplish. The outpouring of support for our efforts this year has brought us one step closer to our goal of a world with true and lasting peace through international cooperation.”
Kids4Peace is a grassroots interfaith youth movement dedicated to ending conflict and inspiring hope in Jerusalem and other divided societies around the world. Our mission is to build interfaith communities that embody a culture of peace and empower a movement for change through diversity, equality, connectivity and mutual respect.
Media Contact: Josh Thomas, Kids4Peace International, 202-544-3000, email@example.com
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SOURCE Kids4Peace International