Friday, March 20, 2009

the friday philanthropist

it's time to get real honest for a minute here: i TOTALLY wrote this week's fp on sunday morning and backposted it for friday. life's gotten busy here in the d and i only expect it to get busier as the weather warms up. to avoid writing really lame fp's, i'm going to post on this column the first friday of every month.

in the meantime, let's talk about peace. most people would agree that teaching a young person the value of peaceful living is beneficial immediately and for generations to come. how do you effectively instill this value and break down barriers to peace? below are three approaches in the global community:

music
the shropshire music foundation's dedication to "teaching children peace through music" rings true like an elvis costello song. created in 1999 in response to ethnic cleansing in kosovo, the shropshire foundation now boasts programs in kosovo, northern ireland, and uganda. by providing instruments and music education, the foundation encourages children to play alongside neighbors that might otherwise be considered enemies. musicians, dancers, and athletes might find interesting service opportunities in the november practice for peace campaign.

basketball
this one goes out to my cousin, scott. peace players international serves youths in 5 locations: northern ireland, south africa, middle east, cyprus and new orleans. the middle east program, founded in 2005, "facilitates dialogue and fosters tolerance" between "jewish and arab youth" through integrated basketball leagues. for nola friends with a lingering isp itch, taylor smiley (504-309-9660) is the managing director and the office is located at 1509 jefferson ave.

pushcarts
pushcarts, like music and basketball, are only vehicles for change. teej forwarded me this cnn article about efren peñaflorida's unique endeavors in the philippines through the dynamic teen company. convinced that education is the key to preventing gang violence, 16-year-old peñaflorida set to work making it more accessible to impoverished youths in his community. twelve years and 1500 children later, trained teen volunteers teach saturday classes (from reading to hygiene) out of pushcart classrooms.

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