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Peace Building in Communities with Little Friends for Peace

Posted by Erin Bechtol

Peace Building in Communities is a day where Little Friends For Peace (LFFP) a Maryland nonprofit  partners with George Washington University (GW) for their Freshman Day of Service. LFFP is a nonprofit organization that was founded 35 years ago by MJ and Jerry Park in order to answer violence with skills for peace. The mission of this organization is to empower children, adults, and communities to build relationships through social emotional learning,  empathy, and to solve struggles nonviolently through compassion and mindfulness. LFFP  envisions communities where everyone has the opportunity to experience, learn and practice peace. From playground put-downs and family fights to street crime and global conflict, violence builds from the ground up. We work to interrupt our current culture of violence through peace-building. By teaching peace at an early age and practicing peace  at every age, we can together answer the violence with skills for peace. Peace Building in Communities is our way of bringing our vision to light by partnering with GW for freshman day of service.

On this day LFFP welcomes over 30 freshman in college to serve in a North East, Washington, DC community. This provides the students with the opportunity  to break out of their comfort zones and fully immerse themselves in their new environment.  LFFP serves as a host site for these students and designs a day full of service and community building. LFFP connects with local churches and community members to make this day possible. On this day the students and community members joined in solidarity by planting flowers in a peace garden outside of Perry Community Service Center, they also painted a rain barrel that is located  inside of the peace garden. The students and community members  also prepared meals, served the elderly, and eat together as one. It was a great day of sharing stories, art, gardening, cooking and just being together in community.  The day ended with peace circles and sharing reflections about all that had taken place.  The students said “we love the spirit of this community , the people are so nice and welcoming and fun.”  This is the Peace we need:  sharing and caring for one another.  The students were from California, Ohio, Florida , and Moscow, China, Puerto Rico, and more.  Peace Building in Communities turned into a magical Peace Building Day.

See pictures below.

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Part of the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions 2017

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