A Step Towards Peace in the Middle East

Sep 5, 2014


2014 Campers and Young Leaders
2014 Campers and Young Leaders

For three weeks this summer, 16 young women from Palestine and Israel came to New Mexico to engage in dialogue, art, and social activities. While war raged between Israel and Gaza these young women courageously shared their stories of growing up in the conflict and under occupation. They learned to speak from a place of personal experience and to listen from a place of deep compassion. Led by women peacemakers who themselves live in the region, they opened their hearts to their so called enemies.

It was an intense and deeply moving summer for everyone involved. Going back home is always difficult for campers, and never more so than this year. The sadness of leaving new friends and allies, the excitement and relief of going back to families, and the vast gap between the acceptance, hope, and love of camp and the hurt, anger, and despair of war.

At Creativity for Peace we know the importance of providing support to our campers when they return home. For the transformations that occur at camp to endure, the young women need emotional support, opportunities for dialogue, and practical assistance to overcome the difficulties of traveling within and between Israel and Palestine.

Our staff there tell us that the 2014 campers have been actively using social media to stay connected. Next week they will reunite in person for three days to examine their experiences at camp, discuss the challenges they have faced since returning, and explore their hopes for the future.

Please join us in holding them in your thoughts and prayers as they continue their journeys as young leaders for peace.

You can support the post camp program by DONATING TODAY and sharing this report with your friends and networks.


Jun 10, 2014


Young women from our 2013 peace camp graduated to our Young Leader program when they signed up for our innovative ACT! training course, which prepares them to become community leaders and social entrepreneurs.

Six three-day seminars combine education on conflict resolution, gender awareness, parallel histories, practical project management skills and dialogue, during which:

  • Expert trainers from local peace-oriented organizations partner with Creativity for Peace staff to deliver experiential workshops.
  • Senior Young Leaders develop their own group facilitation skills.
  • Camp friendships are strengthened and deepened, and peaceful coexistence is made real.
  • Mentorships are established between professional women in Israel, Palestine and the US, and ACT! participants.
  • Community projects are envisioned and planned, ready to go for 2015.

This would not be happening without your generous support – shukran, todah, thank you.


Please continue to help us by telling family and friends about our work.

Visit our website www.creativityforpeace.com to find out about the 2014 summer camp and public events in Santa Fe.

LIKE us on facebook, where you can keep up with our news and find out about this year’s camper underwriting campaign.


We’d like to leave you with words from Aya, one of our Senior Young Leaders. Aya recently facilitated a workshop on HeartMath at a Healing Trauma conference in Israel. She learned HeartMath through the Creativity for Peace Young Leader program.

“For me it's a dream come true, this conference was the start of a journey that I dreamed of. I am so thrilled to tell you that Creativity for Peace helped me to be who I am today so thank you all from my heart.”                               Aya, Palestinian living in Isarel

Mar 11, 2014

From Dialogue to Action

Young Leader, Yuval
Young Leader, Yuval

When we sought your donation for A Step Towards Peace in the Middle East, our current Global Giving campaign, we promised that ‘your donation will support on- the-ground peace work in Israel, Palestine and the US.’

Here are three ways this is happening:

  • Schools Dialogue project in Acre, Israel. Young Leaders May and Siwar launched Creativity for Peace’s first ever crowdfunding appeal in Israel. They reached out to their friends, families and to other Young Leaders, raising nearly $1,000. Since starting the project they have held two meetings with Jewish and Arab girls.
  • Santa Fe high school girls who attended the Young Leader-led Alternatives to Violence workshop last fall have continued to meet to deepen their understanding of non-violence, women’s leadership and social change. They have chosen to support their sisters in Israel and Palestine by fundraising for the Acre Schools Dialogue project.
  • ACT! is the exciting new two-year training program for our young women. Action for Conflict Transformation, ACT!,seeks to equip Young Leaders with essential community organizing and project management skills. The second year will see participants paired with adult mentors who are leaders in their fields, to put peace-building projects into action.

In addition, our Young Leaders continue to affect those they meet in their daily lives, at home and around the world. This was written to campers by Yuval, a Young Leader at the 2013 summer camp.

For almost two months I have been travelling in India and I had to write to all of you to tell you how you are present with me.

More and more I find myself in conversations about what we are dealing with in Israel and Palestine (conflict and more). As I talk with people about my experiences and about what is possible, I realize that you girls are my best example of a correct society and the light at the end of the tunnel.

I meet so many people who find the conflict tiring and unreasonable. They are happy to hear about our activities and gatherings of Arabs and Jews. So we should all know that what we do affects many.

I hope you continue being who you are, keep growing and asking questions, and eventually be the leaders that we need!

I miss you and love you all.

Thank you for supporting our work. Please share this report widely with people you think may be interested in our stories of hope.

Peace, Shalom, Salam, Paz

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Project Leader

Frances Salles

Santa Fe, NM United States

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