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Overcoming Hardships through Collaboration

Peace Makers and Problem Solvers - PMPS - offers a platform for youth to support each other in overcoming obstacles and creating positive change. Empowered by their PMPS teachers and mentors, young people enhance their teamwork and leadership skills through after-school experiential learning and cross-cultural exchange. Teachers and students collaborate to address local issues, analyze multiple viewpoints, and generate innovative solutions.

Our current PMPS students come from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Although the Colombian and U.S. communities have many differences, students work together to find common ground and focus on their shared struggles and triumphs. Each of their communities face unique and diverse challenges, but by working together they can intentionally find ways to bring hope, increase compassion, and spread kindness where it is needed most.

This year's PMPS cohort has put their heads together to come up with creative solutions to the challenges they see in their communities and are working side by side to turn their ideas into tangible community impact projects.

Learn about the 2023 Community-Impact Projects!

Carepa, Antioquia, Colombia

Carepa is a municipality located in the subregion of Urabá in the northwestern quadrant of Colombia. The town is known for its agricultural production, with crops such as bananas, plantains, and other tropical fruits.

Unfortunately, Carepa is a hub for drug trafficking and faces challenges from the ongoing armed conflict related to this illicit activity. However, the community is making efforts to promote peace. As part of the peace movement, the PMPS students mapped their community to pick out areas where they can promote change. In hopes of encouraging kindness in their community, the students decided to address bullying behaviors at their school (I.E. Rural La Provincia). They are now working on designing a proactive initiative intended to actively interrupt harmful and violent behaviors and promote peace.

Chigorodó, Antioquia, Colombia

Diocesano Laura Montoya School is located in Chigorodó, a municipality situated in the northwestern region of Colombia, a 15-minute drive from Carepa. The region is characterized by its lush landscapes and is surrounded by mountains, forests, and rivers.

In 2018, PMPS students implemented a project to promote conflict resolution and emotional self-regulation through physical and pedagogical spaces that fostered creativity, empathy, and fun. Unfortunately, with time, these public amenities have deteriorated. Noticing a decline in interpersonal relationships and social-emotional skills among their peers, the 2023 students plan to revamp these communal learning spaces to create safe environments to bring people together once again.

Poolesville, Maryland, United States

Poolesville is a small community known for its rural charm and small-town feel. The area is surrounded by farmland and scenic countryside. The Poolesville High School students share the local residents' strong sense of community spirit.

Well-known for its Magnet and Global Ecology programs, Poolesville High School encourages students to develop an attachment and sense of responsibility for the environment around them. To address issues related to the earth's natural resources, PMPS students explored a wide range of local environmental challenges and potential problem areas.

Based on this analysis, for their upcoming project, the students are planning to improve their school’s recycling program, clean up the school’s arboretum, plant trees in the local area,

and label the town’s storm drains which

feed into the Chesapeake Bay.

PMPS places real-life opportunities for decision-making and resource allocation in the hands of young people to promote a future of positive social change in the students' local communities.

Acts of kindness can make the world a happier place for everyone. Help support the students' efforts to effect positive change. By helping these young leaders, you join them in addressing immediate challenges impacting our world today. Click here to help them keep our world happier and safer for generations to come!


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