Peace Makers & Problem Solvers connects students in Colombia and U.S.
In March 2018, MLI launched a new leadership development program called Peace Makers and Problem Solvers (PMPS). PMPS is an innovative program that provides students the opportunity to cultivate leadership skills, think critically about the world around them, and work collaboratively with students in other countries on social impact projects, taking them from concept to completion. PMPS builds upon CHAMPS to provide high-school students a custom-made curriculum that enables them to implement projects in their communities that address a local humanitarian issue. MLI is currently piloting the program between a school in Poolesville, Maryland, and a school in Chigorodo, a rural region of Colombia. The participating American and Colombian students are virtually talking with each other on a bi-monthly basis and are active in a What's App PMPS group that is monitored by MLI staff. Despite occasional language challenges, the students have made fast friends with one another and are already sharing inside jokes during the calls!
Through PMPS, students in both countries identify a shared social issue in their communities and design a project with a set of activities that will aim to address the issue. The goal is for the students to observe how a similar issue may manifest itself differently in both communities. The current group of PMPS American-Colombian students is currently working on activities that will address their chosen topic. These student-driven initiatives can take a variety of forms, including fundraising campaigns, public outreach initiatives/awareness raising campaigns, art installations, social entrepreneurship projects, and more, but all must have measurable metrics and plans for outcome based assessments.
Through PMPS, MLI also equips educators with tools and resources to implement the PMPS curriculum in their classrooms, which includes topics such as defining conflict, teamwork, perceptions, and cross-cultural communication. MLI is incredibly excited to launch this new program and is currently seeking financial support for its expansion. If your school is interested to participate in PMPS, if you are interested to financially support the project, or if you would like to receive more information, please visit our website here or contact us at email@example.com.
First virtual call between Poolesville students (top left on computer) and Chigorodo students (bottom right), led by MLI staff and MLI's Education Coordinator, Ms. Anne Wooleyhand (top right)