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MLI Educational Programs Impact Young Leaders

The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) has offered school children in the United States the opportunity to learn about the landmine issue and to become part of the solution by communicating with school children in mine-impacted countries since 2007 when the first Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS) began. In recent years Peace Makers & Problem Solvers (PMPS) and Peace Through Sport (PTS) have been added to the list of programs MLI offers. The goal of these programs is to develop leadership, communication, problem-solving, and collaborative skills while empowering young leaders to take an active role in improving their local communities and communities around the world.

Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS) is a program designed for schoolchildren to learn about the human consequences of landmines and how people and dogs are working together to make a better and safer world. Students in the United States participate in meaningful activities that nurture leadership and peace building skills. CHAMPS participants connect virtually with children living in mine-impacted communities around the world and are empowered to become part of the solution for a mine-free world by restoring hope through their interactions. Since the inception of the program, children from around the United States have sponsored forty-six mine detection dogs through student-led fundraisers and activities. These dogs are working in seven different countries. In addition to sponsoring life-saving dogs, children have also assisted more than eight hundred landmine survivors in receiving prosthetic limbs, mobility aids and other medical assistance. MLI currently connects students from different areas of the United States with their peers in Bosnia and Colombia. Students enjoy learning about the different cultures and languages. All students have the opportunity to hear stories from survivors and learn how they can become part of the solution by providing help and support through action or service learning projects.

A young girl from the Urrao Municipality in Colombia shares information about the consequences of landmines and safe behavior around areas impacted by the threat of landmines with peers in the United States during a recent CHAMPS call.

Peace Makers and Problem Solvers (PMPS) is a virtual exchange and youth development program designed by the Marshall Legacy Institute to engage middle and high school aged students in the U.S. and conflict-affected countries so they can jointly learn and enhance leadership, peace-building, communication, problem-solving, and other critical life skills through a variety of activities in order to take positive and peaceful action for the betterment of their local communities. Participants in this program virtually connect once a month through a video call and then continue to communicate using What'sApp. The 2022 cohort for this program is connecting students from Baltimore, MD with students in the Antioquia department, Colombia.

“This program is so cool because it is all hands on and fun. I do not have to worry about if I am doing something right or wrong, we work as group and are all trying to figure out the object of the activity that we are doing. It never gets boring”. - Sheppard Pratt Student

Peace Through Sport is an eight-week program designed to virtually connect youth in Lebanon and the US as they develop respect for diversity, communication, and problem-solving skills through the lens of sport. Youth learn from impactful US sports figures about values learned through sport, build relationships and learn about each other’s cultures. Participants in this program are empowered to create/implement projects to benefit their communities after learning about the strengths, weaknesses and resources in those communities. Now in the third of eight sessions, more than 225 students have completed the program, and their projects have had a positive impact on more than 1500 additional people. Session three of this program will end in early June. Registration for the fourth session (runs July/August) will open on the MLI website in early June.

“Being a part of the Peace Through Sports Program, really gives me a sense of belonging and hope. I don’t feel like a victim or as if I’m being judged. I just feel like I get to be who I am, do fun activities and share my experiences from these activities with other kids that is actually interested in what I have to say”. - Sheppard Pratt Student

MLI encourages teachers and students who might be interested in working with MLI to create a meaningful program at a school or organization to contact us through the website. All programs are free, and MLI can provide a program tailored to your school's/organization's needs.


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