Kids4Peace is an interfaith peace education organization dedicated to encouraging children of different cultures and faith traditions to explore their differences and similarities, and to learn understanding, tolerance and respect, while fostering sustainable friendships across the lines of conflict. Kids 4Peace is nonsectarian, nonpartisan & nonpolitical.Through monthly activities, summer camps, leadership training programs, we develop a community of young, interfaith leaders equipped with the knowledge, skills and relationships to build – together – a new culture of peace. Each year, Kids4Peace works with more than 250 Muslim, Jewish & Christian youth from Israel, Palestine and the United States.
Kids4Peace was launched in 2001, in response to concerns about the future of children in Israel and Palestine, especially in light of escalating tensions between the two peoples in the Holy Land following the collapse of the Oslo Peace Initiative. Children aged 11-12, from Jewish, Christian and Muslim families, were introduced to each other, engaged in fun and artistic activities, and traveled together to the United States in 2002 to be hosted by Camp Allen near Houston, Texas for an exciting summer camp experience. Upon returning home, the same children participated in follow-up meetings with an educational, cross cultural and interfaith focus.
A similar program was launched in 2004 with kids from the Galilee and a host group in Toronto, Canada. Interest continued to grow in the United States. New chapters formed in Vermont in 2007 and North Carolina in 2008. Kids4Peace Boston launched its first camp in 2011 and Kids4Peace Houston is hosting camps again, beginning in 2012. A Leadership Camp for older youth piloted in 2011. Kids4Peace programs often have transformative effects on the participants, even as obstacles to being peacemakers can increase as they grow up. As a result, Continuation programs began to flourish on both sides of the ocean. Kids wanted to stay in touch with their new friends, continue their learning, and share the message of peace.
Kids4Peace aims to build a community of youth participants nestled within several Israeli and Palestinian communities throughout Israel and Palestine. The community exists on multiple levels, religious identification, language, age, location, and mainly: the mere experience of being a member of Kids4Peace.