While Peacemaking is an everyday activity – how you welcome new people at school, how you deal with conflict among your friends, and the daily decisions you make about how to react to frustrations and disappointments – it is also applying these commitments to tackle bigger problems you see in the world. In fact it isn’t enough to put peace first in your daily life; being a peacemaker means working with others to put these ideas to work toward bigger challenges. These are called Peacemaking projects.
A Peacemaking project is when you join with others to solve an injustice in the world using compassion and courage. In fact, what makes a peacemaking project a Peacemaking project isn’t the size or scale of the problem you tackle, but how you apply the commitments of Peacemaking within your work. How do you take a stand for what you believe in? How can you understand different people’s perspectives? How do you work with others, including people who disagree with you? Different from other service projects or volunteer work, a Peacemaker project is as much about who you are as what you do.
While your Peacemaking journey is an ongoing one, Peacemaking projects have a beginning and an end, offering a chance to reflect on what you’ve done and what you might want to do next. There are five steps to creating Peacemaking projects:
Choose: Help me choose an injustice
Understand: Help me better understand an injustice
Plan: Start my project planning now
Act: Help me take action
Reflect: Help me reflect on my journey and share my story
To help you during your Peacemaking journey, Peace First has created a series of tools that support each of the steps along this journey. While these steps are laid out linearly, they won’t get lived that way. You may jump back and forth between planning and acting. You might get part way through your plan and stop to reflect and realize that you need to try something different and go back and revise your peacemaking insight. Rather than thinking of this list as a recipe, where each step must be done exactly in that order with the exact amount of time and effort, think of this as a toolbox, a resource where you can pick and choose what you need to ask and answer the most relevant questions.
Peacemaking is, after all, a journey, not a destination. And your peacemaking projects must be viewed the same way. And all journeys start with that first step of commitment to go.
These are the tools to support you during your journey:
C1 - Personal Development: Where are you on your peacemaking journey?
C2 - Team Effectiveness: How will you collaborate with others?
C3 - Positives and Negatives: What problems must you overcome and what advantages do you already have?
C4 - Injustice versus Inconvenience: Are you identifying an injustice or an inconvenience?
C5 - Choosing an Injustice: What injustice will you address?
U1 - Talking to Others: How do others view the injustice?
U2 - Problem and Solutions Trees: What are the root causes?
U3 - Imagining the Future: What obstacles are preventing your desired future?
U4 - Compassionate Insights: How can you show compassion for those experiencing the injustice?
P1 - SMART Goals: How can you create a plan from your compassionate insights?
P2 - Head, Heart, Hands and Feet: How can you take action to solve your injustice?
P3 - Planning and Budgeting: What is your plan and how can you finance it?
P4 - Reducing Risk: How can you reduce risk throughout your project duration?
A1 - Tracking your Progress: How can you document your project’s results?
R1 - Individual Reflection: How has your journey changed you and your views on the identified injustice?
R2 - Team Reflection: What differences have you made as a team?
R3 - Celebration and Thanks: Celebrate your accomplishments and thank your participants!
R4 - Telling your Story: How can you share your story to inspire future peacemakers?
R5 - Final Reflection: Reflect on the how your community or school have changed as a result of your work
Read the Book
Putting Peace First: 7 Commitments to Change the World: An inspiring and interactive handbook to empower young people to drive change in their communities.