At CPBI, we believe that empowerment, equality, acceptance and understanding, and respect for the environment are the keys to building peace at the grassroots level. These values are grounded in our belief that Children are not just victims but are agents of peace.
Empowerment The establishment of sustainable peace depends to a great extent on confronting and overcoming the stereotypes that individuals and communities have of each other. Empowering those involved in conflict situations with the knowledge of the conflict, the concerns of the other side, and peace-building skills is central to making the transition from war to peace. Creating an environment conducive to collaborative efforts between communities provides substantive grounds for ownership of the reconstruction efforts at the grass roots level.
Equality Peace can be achieved through building awareness of people against inherent assumptions of superiority based on categorical differences, such as: religion, gender, class, race, age, etc., and translating the value of equality into actual practice.
Acceptance and Understanding Promoting acceptance of diverse beliefs, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds among youth and adults will create the framework for understanding and respecting differences. Common concerns can be addressed through creating a space for sharing different opinions and values and finding ways to work together for a better future.
Respect for the Environment Holistic peace-building efforts not only include working with people, but also nurturing the environment and resources that are destroyed in a conflict. The role of youth and adults in respecting and protecting natural resources is vital to bridging the gap between war-torn communities. Through the implementation of innovative projects, youth and adults can learn to cooperate with one another in harmony with the environment and each other.
Children as Peacebuilders Children have received increasing attention in international affairs. The rhetorical recognition of children as humanity’s key resource for the future has led to awareness and action regarding the plight of the world’s young people – from exploitative child labor to hunger and poverty, from AIDS to the nefarious effects of war. The focus on the victimization of children around the world is welcome and valuable. Yet, it has so far fallen short on a critical component: empowerment, stemming from an appreciation of children’s potential to have an impact on their world. We cannot look at children as merely the passive recipients of random acts of kindness. They are not only the leaders tomorrow but also the leaders of today.