USA: Youth and Students for Peace Trainer Workshop

Prepared by YSP USA

On June 9 and 10, the American chapter of Youth and Students for Peace (YSP) held their first Peace Designer Workshop to teach the curricula of YSP to youth leaders, educators and those who want to work with youth. YSP’s goal is to promote the understanding of “hyojeong” and “hyojeong culture,” a culture centered on the heart of filial piety, among the youth in society. The workshop attracted a total of 18 people and was greatly supported by Unificationist ministries and outside organizations.

The workshop opened with an introduction to YSP, followed by its founders’ vision and then the meaning of hyojeong. Participants were then asked to pair up and share experiences or examples based on filial piety.

The participants immediately dived into practicing how to teach the Four Family Loves chapter education content created by Dr. Robert Kittel and Dr. Tyler Hendricks. Different chapters of the 12-lesson curricula were given to each participant who then took turns presenting their content to other team members. Valuable feedback and thoughts were given afterward on how the content could be changed or improved for a youthful audience.

In the afternoon, a presentation was given by Jonathan Stupple on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, followed by an intercultural sharing. Guest speakers representing Islam, Judaism and Christianity were invited to speak about the fundamental aspects of their religions and answer any questions the participants might have.

Concluding the day was the first half of the Peace Designer program led by Naokimi Ushiroda, the President of YSP USA, and Naria Gaarder, the Program Administrator for YSP USA. They introduced the meaning, motivation, and goals of a peace project versus a regular service project. On the following day, participants were taught the second half of the Peace Designer program, going through the step-by-step process of putting together a successful project and the importance of addressing the root cause of an issue. Each participant took time in researching an issue they saw within their communities and constructed a plan on how they would like to address it. A total of six peace project ideas were developed by the youth leaders and several of them plan to implement them in the near future. YSP hopes to expand their goals of collaborating efforts with youths through workshops like this.

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