Peace. It’s a great idea!
The Peace Idea delivers programs to children, youth, and university students to promote peace and justice in communities impacted by conflict and division.
Thank you for visiting The Peace Idea.
Since 1996 I have volunteered and worked in the Balkans, primarily Bosnia and Herzegovina. UMCOR, the disaster relief agency of the United Methodist Church, spent many years rebuilding infrastructure and developing programs to aid in the recovery from the Balkan wars of 1991-1995 that broke apart the former Yugoslavia. I was privileged to work and volunteer for UMCOR and learned a great deal about international disaster relief and met many wonderful and dedicated professionals and volunteers from around the world.
This ethnically rooted war resulted in the enormous loss of life and the brutal process that gave us the term “ethnic cleansing.” Over 100,000 persons lost their lives, thousands more were wounded, and a fragile peace, ethnic divisions, and high unemployment remain today.
Nearly a quarter of the world’s children in the world live in areas affected by conflict, war, or disaster. I saw first-hand that children from all backgrounds can come together to learn and teach each other that harmony is possible. As children grow into their teen years and adulthood they can have the desire and the foundation to promote peace and fairness in their own families and communities. It is amazing to witness children learn that peace is a really good idea.
College students often want to give back to their own communities and countries through promoting peace and justice ideals, but finding adequate resources is a challenge. I am happy that we are able to offer some scholarships to qualified students who want to study in the fields of global awareness, peace and justice, conflict resolution, education, and other disciplines. We will be awarding several scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Beginning in January of 2020 we will be accepting applications from US college students who would like to have the experience of an overseas internship. Students studying international policy, world affairs, diplomacy, and similar courses of study can apply to be associated with an organization that promotes peace and international relations. Learning about another culture is valuable, but the real understanding and total immersion comes by learning from another culture. Developing new perspectives for our interconnected world will be one of the most valuable experiences our students can have.
I hope you will follow The Peace Idea as we grow and learn to meet the challenges and joys of serving children in need -and aiding as we can students at home and abroad achieve their dreams of a more peaceful world.
Peace. It’s a Great Idea!
– Craig Gaither
Coming January 2020
The Peace Idea offers international summer unpaid internships to qualified American university students who are pursuing degrees in International Studies, Peace and Justice Studies, Human Rights, Global Affairs, multi-ethnic or religious studies, and other appropriate disciplines. Interns will be housed, when possible, with a local family to gain a real world experience and have a meaningful cultural exchange. Financial support is awarded to defray in-country expenses. A completed application, essay, and interview is required.
Peace Scholars Initiative
The Peace Scholars Initiative is a university scholarship program for citizens of the Balkans studying in their home country. Preference is given to students studying peace and justice, global issues, or pursuing a degree in teaching or education. The application must be completed in English and an interview will be required.
Club 31 is a day camp for children. Children gather for morning and afternoon sessions for games, art, crafts, and a variety of activities to learn communication skills, sharing, team work, and to appreciate diversity. Children learn to play“peacefully” while learning to appreciate and understand themselves as well as others. Club 31 is loud, chaotic, and fun!