South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has joined a group of other Nobel Peace Prize laureates to launch what has been described as the world’s largest youth movement for positive activism and peace.
Known as the Global Call to Action, the campaign will recruit young people around the world to perform 1 billion acts of peace over 10 years, focusing on 10 issues that have been identified by Nobel laureates. as the cause of global suffering. These include issues such as poverty, children’s and women’s rights, the environment, equal access to natural resources and violence.
The campaign was launched at a conference in Los Angeles, USA, where thousands of young people from around the world heard words of wisdom and encouragement from inspiring Nobel laureates.
Sharing a message of hope with the 3,000 young people gathered, Bishop Tutu said, “Nobel Prize winners do not fall from the sky. They are just ordinary human beings like you. I want you to know that there are future Nobel Peace Prize laureates in this room.
Shirin Ebhadi, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, reminded young people how interconnected we all are. “When I tell you that the fate of the world is intertwined, here is what I mean: something happens in Afghanistan and years later innocent people are killed in New York. This is why I say that we should not be indifferent to what is happening in the world.
The conference provided an opportunity for young people in attendance to engage with Nobel laureates in developing their own community projects that could change the world.
The work that began at the GCA conference will continue globally through the GCA website, where young people are encouraged to develop, investigate and initiate acts of peace.
Some of the youth projects that have already been developed include, bringing clean water to a village in India, educating young people in South Africa about HIV/AIDS, improving housing for families in Argentina and establishing a school” green” in Denver, Colorado.
Through the website, young people can either join existing groups or start new projects and recruit volunteers online or through schools, community centers, clubs, churches and other local groups.
The campaign is the brainchild of Peace Jam founders Ivan Suvanjieff and Dawn Gifford Engle. Peace Jam was founded in Colorado, USA in 1996 with the goal of fostering a new generation of young leaders committed to positive change through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
Peace Jam says it has mobilized 600,000 people over the past 12 years to develop more than one million service projects. Their GCA campaign should magnify their work into a powerful global movement.