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Connecting the Dots: Youth Build Social Cohesion in India

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“Listening is the first step in peacemaking.” —GPF Volunteer (India)

Youth from different castes and faith backgrounds joined together to begin a month-long social cohesion program initiated by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) India on February 24. As leaders in their communities, youth and their combination of knowledge, skills and charisma are essential to a healthy and peaceful future.

Connecting the Dots is a program designed to build social cohesion and peace in societies and communities by engaging youth from diverse backgrounds in meaningful activities that articulate the intrinsic value and dignity of all people. Youth participate in cooperative games and learn how to apply the lessons in their respective communities. This method of peacebuilding not only engages participants in fun activities to create trust and friendship between the leaders, but also creates a domino effect of social cohesion when the youth bring the games and activities to their local areas.

Activities in Connecting the Dots, like Human Bingo and Friendship Chain, are capable of including people of all ages, encouraging participants to take the time to listen to each other, build teamwork and reflect on self-growth.

Upon reflection, one participant quoted Mother Teresa saying, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Although simple, games have the power to bring people of different backgrounds together and begin the process of peacebuilding by establishing a foundation of trust and a platform to listen and understand people who think differently than us.

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