All we are saying ….

There’s a whole new generation of peacemakers out there. And on March 19-26, the week-long Just Peace Summit in New York brought together 26  of them: remarkable Global Teen Leaders  from 13 countries and 4 continents–  to explore new pathways to peace.

Fernand, 17, started Rwanda4U to resolve ethnic conflicts and build peace among his country's youth.

The Summit is the work of Three Dot Dash, a global initiative of the We Are Family Foundation that is designed to recognize and support a truth articulated by the inspiring, late 13-year old poet and peacemaker Mattie J.T. Stepanek, who wrote, “Peace is possible if our basic human needs are met.”

Each of the Global Teen Leaders was selected by a coalition of 47 NGOs and dynamic organizations in different countries for his or her efforts to promote peace around the world by providing underserved communities with the basic human needs of food, water, health, shelter, safety, education and a healthy environment. Here’s the cool video from last year:

Brady, 17, has donated almost 28,000 books to underprivileged children through his "My Own Book" organization.

These Global Teen Leaders are amazing kids, with big ideas and incredible passion, who spent the week sharing their experiences, learning how to accelerate their leadership, amplify their message, and realize their initiatives in their communities.

Malken, 13, distributes malaria nets, plants trees in her country of Botswana through IEARN, and is an ambassador to the UN.

Having traveled collectively more than 100,000 miles to get to New York, the Global Teen Leaders returned home with a stipend to continue their work, and the support and counsel of a personal mentor – as well as the online constant camaraderie of the other 25 participants who are now … family.

Matias, 18, started an environmental group that has 50,000 Argentinian households curbing pollution, emissions and energy use.

Last year’s 30 Global Teen Leaders went home to their 18 respective countries and positively affected 4 million people with their messages of peace. This year — the sky’s the limit. For a truly visionary approach to fostering global peace and understanding, my $100 today goes to Three Dot Dash. (Stay tuned for another Message of Hope tomorrow, with an in-depth story about one particularly courageous  2010 Leader.)

(One Last Message of Hope : If you have a normal teenager who just trashed your car, threw up Jagermeister on your new sofa, or forgot to apply to college, you may be feeling a bit depressed right now. Before you act on that overwhelming parental impulse to hurl yourself off a cliff, just remember these are not normal teens. Trust me on this.)

6 thoughts on “All we are saying ….

  1. Betty this is so cool, it totally made me cry this morning…what an amazing display of hope and promise for the future, thanks for sharing!

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