International Day of Peace: LWF calls for proposals of youth-led projects
LWF invites churches to advance the role of young people in peacebuilding
(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has invited young people in its member churches to propose projects that advance the promotion of peace in their communities and build societies where all people are included.
Youth—under 30 years—in any LWF member church are encouraged to develop small-scale peace projects led by young people to be implemented between December 2021 and March 2022. The deadline for applications is Reformation Day, 31 October.
The invitation is part of LWF’s ongoing work with churches across the communion to build the capacity of young people as “Peace Messengers” who serve as advocates for peace, as mediators, and leaders in their communities.
Interfaith and peace work points to the need for everybody to advance interfaith solidarity, dialogue, collaboration, and the contribution of faith actors in peacebuilding
Eva Christina Nilsson, director of the LWF Department for Theology, Mission and Justice, emphasized the Lutheran communion’s commitment to advocacy for peaceful, inclusive, and just societies. “Interfaith and peace work points to the need for everybody to advance interfaith solidarity, dialogue, collaboration, and the contribution of faith actors in peacebuilding,” she said on 21 September, the International Day of Peace.
Any LWF member church is eligible to send in one project application. The project holders must be young people from the member church, who develop and implement the project alongside other church members and involve the community by reaching out to schools, villages youth groups and student movements. LWF member church endorsement is required for all applications.
The deadline for applications is 31 October. The maximum amount that can be requested is EUR 2,000 per project. Regional balance will be observed when allocating grants.
The invitation includes reference to LWF resources for designing projects, such as training manuals and tools on the Sustainable Development Goals. There are also examples of small-scale projects ranging from online social media campaigns, to workshops using arts, music and short films, and events to promote interfaith literacy among other activities.
Running since 2017 through international and regional training workshops, the “Peace Messengers” program provides spaces for inter-group dialogue and discussion in order to foster understanding. Youth from other faith communities have been included in past workshops.
Rev. Dr Sivin Kit, Program Executive for Public Theology and Interreligious Relations, highlighted LWF’s commitment to advance the role of youth in peacebuilding. “Due to their technological adeptness and growing interconnectedness, young people are uniquely placed to bring innovative approaches to address conflict and promote peace in society.”
The projects in the upcoming phase are intended to involve community leadership, in order to both encourage intergenerational dialogue and provide positive role models for peacebuilding.
The LWF Peace Messengers Training is a peacebuilding and conflict resolution program designed for youth from different communities and faith traditions. It is based on a module that was launched in 2017, which is now available also in French and Spanish.