Children of Peace
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|Focus||Arts, education, health and sports programmes|
|Area served||Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, West Bank|
|Mission||"Children of Peace seeks to protect all of the children and their communities in Israel and Palestine - be they Bedouin, Christian, Druze, Jewish, Muslim or Sufi – regardless of culture, faith, gender or heritage."|
- For Children of Peace International see Children of Peace International
Children of Peace is a British-based, non-partisan charity that focuses upon building friendship, trust and reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian children, aged 4–17, regardless of community, faith, gender or heritage, through arts, education, healthcare and sports projects and programmes in the region, so that future generations and their communities might live in peace.
The charity was founded in 2003/4 by its Chairman and Founder Richard Martin and formally launched in London in 2005, with the aim of protecting all of the children in the region – be they secular, Christian, Jewish or Muslim – from the arbitrary consequences of conflict. The charity works with a network of community-based organisations and non-governmental organisations in Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Turkey and the West Bank, who sign up to the notions of peaceful co-existence and cooperation. This is known as the Coalition of Peace and is now the largest peace alliance in the region. The charity acts as a catalyst for interaction and interchange, funding projects that adhere to notions of conflict resolution, child protection and a refusal to take sides. Affiliates receive a quarterly online newsletter, Peace Child, which acts as a platform for contact and exchange.
Children of Peace is based in Uckfield, East Sussex, United Kingdom, and is structured around a Management Committee of Trustees, advisors and various sub-committees, including a Compliance Team, a Grants Committee, an Education Committee and a Media Committee. The charity is currently developing plans for an Advisory Council to the Board.
Friends, drawn from public life, include Dame Helen Mirren, Matt Lucas, Corinne Bailey Rae, Samantha Morton, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Manal Timraz, Sir Martin Gilbert, Sheikh Ghassam Manasrah, Ece Koc, Karl Jenkins CBE, Yotam Ottolenghi, Zoe Heller, Elsa Zylberstein, Sophie Milman, Julia Sawalha, Mark Ronson, Jeff Goldblum, Maestro Zubin Mehta, Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Envoy to the UK, Associate Professor Harvard Medical School Dr Ofer Levy and Fiyaz Mughal OBE.
The charity is supported by a team of Goodwill Ambassadors, who act as advocates for Children of Peace and include Palestinian peace leader Bassam Aramin, Palestinian writer Shireen Anabtawi, Israeli writer Daniela Norris, Israeli business leader Doron B Levinson, Israeli singers Liel and Yasmin Levy, Mansoor Ijaz and Valerie Ijaz, Sally Becker (the 'Angel of Mostar') and Members of Parliament from each of the main UK parliamentary parties – Louise Ellman (Labour), Tobias Ellwood (Conservative) and Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat).
The charity is developing a programme for Israeli and Palestinian Youth Ambassadors. The Youth Ambassador Programme is led by its Director, Sally Becker, the Head of Mentoring is Mahmoud Jabari and the Youth Ambassador Liaison Officer is Deborah Katz.
During the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the charity was honoured internationally when Sally Becker, Goodwill Ambassador to Children of Peace, carried the Olympic Flag into the stadium with other luminaries, including Muhammad Ali and Ban Ki-moon.
Children of Peace has the personal support of many world leaders, including Pope Francis, US Vice-President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister David Cameron, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Quartet Representative Tony Blair and French President François Hollande.