The police took away his shirt, which had three bullet holes. So says Carlos Gomez who survived a shooting outside of his public high school in Los Angeles. He quickly found himself expelled and had to scramble to find another school. Now a senior at Central High School, he’s seen too much of his neighborhood devastated by gang violence, too much prejudice based simply on someone’s neighborhood, too much abandoned property, too much discouragement.
It’s a small, very functional tool found in most American homes: a flashlight. When the electricity goes out, its beam is helpful, even comforting. And in communities in Haiti, flashlights can mean the difference between danger and safety.
Children in Baltimore are developing conflict resolution skills using games, discussions, role-playing, and other activities, in a program which stems from AFSC’s conviction that nonviolence and community participation can better both individuals, communities, and our world.
“Everyone deserves justice and peace!” This was the sentiment of youth from the Learning Club Leadership Academy, a neighborhood teen youth program serving inner-city youth surrounding Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Kansas City, Kansas. The group’s members participated in the American Friends Service Committee’s Reflections on Afghanistan Mural project, which is teaching area youth about the Afghan people, the Afghan war and the impact the war has had on people there, on U.S. soldiers and on the United States.
Bringing youth and police together in three poor Mexico City neighborhoods to forge urban peace is a challenge. But AFSC has embraced that challenge along with our partner AlianzaCivica. In February 2011 AFSC’s Debka Colson visited Mexico City to see first-hand how our work there is changing those neighborhoods.
AFSC held an 8-day exchange between 47 Somali and Kenya youth to promote constructive dialogue. Participants learned from each other’s experiences of youth employment, sports as a tool for development, and the promotion of human rights. The program was included partnerships with a Somaliland youth organization and a Kenyan youth program.
After visits to both Nairobi and North Eastern Kenya the youth left with a greater awareness and understanding of the dilemmas facing youth today and a drive to promote sharing and change in their communities.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.