We believe you can shift cultures away from violence with the simple tool of education. But will students actively learn if they are going hungry? Our education-based approach goes so much farther than the classroom. We work not only with teachers and students, but with community leaders and everyday farmers because an improvement in food sustainability can trickle down to improved education which, in turn, can trickle down to reduced violence and empowered people. Working in a context like this means working on a multitude of fronts to address felt needs and spark sustainable change. We help remote indigenous communities learn how to steward their resources, improve their sustainability, and protect themselves as modernization expands into their remote areas. The more resources and tools they have will enable them to be more self-sustaining as a community.
In some areas, we go from village to village and create a blanket of schools and leaders to create protection in that area. In other regions, we work with kids who already go to an existing school. We send counselors on house visits and take opportunities to disciple and mentor them in peacemaking skills. Another way we educate is to pull a few kids out of a community-in-conflict, invest in them, and then let them come back weekly or monthly to connect, influence, and invest in their own communities.
These are just some of the strategies we employ through INfire, an organization I founded. INfire is working in some of the most remote and dangerous areas of the world to help rescue and protect children from being coerced into situations of trafficking and child-soldiering. Through our work at INfire, we are pioneering innovative approaches to protect children from violence that extend into multiple areas of life. To learn more about my work with INfire and our strategies, visit www.in-fire.org. If your own organization needs consulting, please reach out and we or someone in our Justice Allies network may be able to assist you.
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