PEAC Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit incorporated in Montclair, New Jersey and is institutionally committed to supporting the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS is a well-known domestic mentoring program, but Carlos Lejnieks (executive director of BBBS of Essex, Hudson, & Union Counties, NJ) has long sought opportunities to take participating students overseas. In PEAC he has found the perfect partner.
BBBS and PEAC are working together to raise funds for a trip that will take about ten high school students from Newark, NJ to Hiroshima. The students will be exposed to the full Hiroshima experience, including the museum, Peace Park, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima Unviersity, Hiroshima Peace Institute, and city officials as well as survivors.
After a deep encounter with the reality of the atomic bombing and the world-destroying potential of modern nuclear weapons, the students will retreat to Peace Culture Village. There they will take the next step. If war, especially nuclear war, is bad and to be avoided, how do human beings need to change to make that possible? At the village they will learn to identify conflicts and resolve them nonviolently. They will learn the beauty and fragility of human connection while also experiencing the beauty and fragility of nature. They will get to know village staff and local Japanese high school students while working with our plants, animals and equipment. For many, this workshop will be the first time they have ever dug in the dirt, turned a compost pile or held a chicken. People who know and love nature hate violence.
While at the village, each student will develop an action plan for improving his or her own life or home community. On their return, each will receive ongoing mentoring and the help they need to implement their plans. The primary goal of these trips is to help each participant figure out how he or she wants to work to make the world a better place, then empower them to implement the necessary changes in themselves and their environments.
Most of the students we want to bring from Newark have never been out of that city. They cannot possibly get to Hiroshima without your help. Newark desperately needs some inner city youth leading in positive, peaceful directions. Please help us give some students in that city an exciting new outlook on life.
By clicking on this donate button, you can donate specifically to the BBBS trip. Eventually, PEAC and BBBS will take students to other peace-related locations (Guernica, Ypres, Costa Rica), but these will depend on successful completion of the Hiroshima Trip.