Youth Peacebuilders Network

Youth Peacebuilders Network (YPN) is a component of the EFP Program. It is an emerging network of youth mobilized as leaders for their peers with the goal of creating violence-free, peaceful schools, neighborhoods, and communities. Trained in cutting-edge concepts of peacemaking, conflict transformation, and violence prevention, YPN participants lead their peers in exploring the fundamental ideas, worldviews, and actions that characterize a culture of peace.

YPN originated in a few schools in North America. The current plan is to systematically create YPN groups in many more communities, both in North America and around the world. Once formed, local and national YPN groups can be empowered to undertake a wide range of activities, including:

  • Organizing and conducting peer workshops on the worldviews, attitudes, and skills of peacebuilding;
  • Undertaking peace-building and conflict resolution projects within their communities and schools, and among schools in their respective communities;
  • Undertaking peace-building activities within and among communities in regions near and far;
  • Forming and training other YPN groups;
  • Communicating and presenting their Youth Peacebuilders Network activities to the members of a Global Youth Peacebuilders Network, which is now being considered.

Digital YPN is an initiative of the Education for Digital Peace program that extends the focus of YPN activities to include digital peace-building. The need for online peace building has grown increasingly urgent as incivility, bullying, meanness and harmful speech pervade the Internet. At the same time, the Internet has become central to human experiences, representing a social space that most cannot avoid in order to socialize, learn, work, or do just about anything that is a part of modern life. This online social space is especially important to youth who spend a significant amount of time online, and who are sometimes referred to as “digital natives.”