How Peace Works
Our educational travel programs reflect our teachers’ values: young people are naturally compassionate. We use techniques of ethical service-learning in partnership with local communities, exploring social justice themes. Our itineraries are powerful. We embrace a diversity of issues with a shared goal: to give students agency over their work as sustainable peace-builders.
Connecting with local people – survivors, artists, policy makers, activists, journalists and educators – teaches how to put a human face on the headlines. Travelers absorb the central lessons from each place.
All programs in each destination may be framed with a digital storytelling, media production focus. Or not. Either way, travelers return inspired to make a difference.
Educational Travel Themes
Experience the fascinating cultures of our destination cities through the journalists’ lens. Media professionals travel with each group, teaching basic journalism “in the field.” Travelers practice documentary skills in photography, blogging, writing and filmmaking. Emphasis upon ethical global citizenship and the “5 freedoms of the First Amendment”. Travelers learn to ethically document each place in a meaningful way. Learn More.
Inside Washington D.C.:
What if Howard Zinn designed an #alternative break through our nation’s capital? “We the people… in order to form a more perfect union….” Our grass roots exploration of Washington DC invites students to sincerely understand their power as citizens while appreciating the most amazing achievements of our great nation. We teach concepts of Constitutional law through visits with key players in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. Learn More.
The United States is, by definition, a “nation of immigrants.” What does that actually mean? What are the rights and responsibilities of being an American? Who among our long-term residents, veterans, neighbors and guest workers deserve the dignity of citizenship? Through meaningful explorations on both sides of the California-Mexico border, our Immigrant’s Experience program invites travelers to understand the paradox of a militarized border between nations who are inextricably linked through economic, historical and human relationships. Learn More.
Peace and Justice:
“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace, I think, is the manifestation of human compassion.” – His holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Global peacebuilding is about educating and engaging citizens who understand the interconnectedness between their lives and those of people around the world. Visiting now-peaceful destinations of historic discord imparts critical lessons for non-violent conflict resolution. Through a synthesis of structured inquiry, extraordinary personal testimony, and joyful inter-cultural exchange, students acquire practical strategies in diplomacy for a more stable planet.
Women and Girls:
“When a girl has self-belief and is supported by her family and community; when she’s empowered with skills, ideas and knowledge; when she has access to services, role models and other girls: when she is visible and vocal – she can demand to stay in school, to get healthcare, and to get married and have children when she chooses.” –Girl Effect, Mission Statement.
In partnership with local NGO’s dedicated to creating opportunities for girls to reach their full potential, our program makes solutions to gender-based poverty visible. Peace Works is dedicated to Child Safe principles of non-exploitation of minors, engaging young people together in positive cross-cultural exchange, building respect and mutual prosperity.
Most everyone wants to “make a difference”. But what does that actually mean? Peace Works harnesses the desire to “help” in structured activities to address community needs and promote student education in sustainable, local enterprise. In alignment with the U.N Declaration of Human Rights, our hands-on social justice activities are integrated with personal reflection, empowering travelers to recognize and transform inequality. Our travelers learn to live in solidarity with the dignity of every human being, close to and far from home. Learn More.
Genocides don’t just “happen”. They are the product of incremental –but perceivable – policies of targeted hate. Our transcendent discoveries inform travelers of the history from horror to healing. Students understand the roots of prejudice and discrimination from personal testimony of courageous souls with an unimaginable past. In Cambodia, where the Khmer Rouge once-targeted artists and intellectuals for execution, we dance with survivors who know how “Art Saves Lives.” In Rwanda, cooperative projects uniting Hutu and Tutsi together teach the power of forgiveness. Creative itineraries balancing darkness and light, expression and reflection, include careful visits to key sites to memorialize the past and celebrate recovery.
Meaningful Family Explorations:
Meaningful travel with your children is the best way to teach lifelong learning. Kids easily create connections which transcend language and national divisions. Join kindred-spirit families on small group discoveries which foster age-appropriate understanding of the human condition and positive engagement for a better world.Learn More.
Art and Music:
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” – Albert Einstein. Experience the transformative power of human spirit with cross-cultural explorations of the creative arts. Visit iconic places with professional creators who teach us new ways of seeing the world. The marvels of ancient architecture, awe-inspiring sculpture, paint and puppetry, soul-soothing sounds of instrumental melodies, the breath-taking acrobatics of performance artists. Each place offers travelers a unique understanding of cultural identity, and personal discovery of their own creative potential through the universal human language of artistic expression.
Youth and Education:
“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” – Nelson Mandela
Peace Works values education – the ancient, traditional and modern wisdom transferred between generations. On our programs, the relationship between “learner” and “teacher” is inverted, revealing the many ways that knowledge and skills can be mastered across cultures. Our travelers use a variety of methods – visual literacy, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and entrepreneurial education to connect with young people in our diverse destinations.