In the pursuit of sustainable peace and prosperity, it is imperative to recognize the crucial role that children play in shaping the fabric of our communities. Children, both in school and those not attending, are often the most vulnerable to the destabilizing effects of chronic and violent conflicts within their neighborhoods and communities. Their unique perspectives and experiences hold a wealth of untapped potential in the endeavor to foster lasting peace.
Unfortunately, due to their dependency on parents and caregivers, they often find themselves excluded from decision-making processes. This exclusion is particularly pronounced in low-income communities, whether in rural or urban settings. In light of these challenges, it becomes paramount to actively engage children in peacebuilding efforts.
By providing them with the necessary tools and safe spaces for expression, we empower them to not only understand and navigate the complexities of conflict but also to actively contribute to the creation of a more harmonious and resilient society. This proactive approach is at the heart of Re-Imagining New Communities’ endeavor, as we work towards a future where children are not only beneficiaries but also active agents of peace and positive change in their communities.
In response to these pressing needs, Re-Imagining New Communities engages in a comprehensive intervention. Through consultations with children, teachers, parents, and child rights entities operating at the grassroots level, we implement a children-led peace initiative. This initiative establishes a secure environment for children to engage in discussions about their communities and the democratic process. Known as the Children Led Community Peace Labs (CLCP-Labs), this program was inaugurated in May 2021.
The primary objective of CLCP-Labs is to create a safe space where primary school children/ learners residing in urban and rural communities can learn and put into practice vital peacebuilding skills. The program empowers both children and teachers to become more resilient and aware in the face of unpredictable chronic and political violence that may erupt within their communities. This initiative is a crucial step towards safeguarding the well-being and future of these young individuals, ensuring they grow up in an environment conducive to their holistic development and peacebuilding efforts.