Peace Child International

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Peace Child International
Founded 1981 (1981)
Type Charity
Registration no. 1095189
Focus sustainable development, youth-led development, youth empowerment, employability, entrepreneurship, microfinance, international development
  • The White House, 46 High Street, Buntingford, Hertfordshire, SG9 9AH
Method Training programmes, educational publications, youth congresses
24 registered affiliates and representatives around the world
Mission Empowering young people to be the change they want to see in the world

Peace Child International is a UK based charity focusing on youth entrepreneurship, employability, sustainable development and youth empowerment. It has United Nations Economic and Social Council Consultative status and promotes the concept of youth-led development.[1]


Peace Child International began during the Cold War as a musical, based on Bernard Benson's The Peace Book, aimed at resolving conflict between the USA and USSR, and at bringing youth from both countries into contact. The first performance was in October 1981 at the Royal Albert Hall, with Susannah York as the narrator. The musical was then taken to the United States, where it was premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in December 1982. The core of the musical was composed by David Gordon and written by David Woollcombe, but it was re-written and customised by the cast wherever it was performed.[2] Since its debut the musical has been used in conflict resolution efforts in Azerbaijan and Armenia, Central America, Cyprus, the former Yugoslavia,[3] India, Israel[4] and Northern Ireland.

After the Earth Summit in June 1992, Peace Child produced a children's version of Agenda 21, Rescue Mission: Planet Earth. The book was designed, edited and aimed at young people and went on to be translated into 23 languages. Since this point, Peace Child has focused mainly on sustainable development issues, and produced a number of further publications on the subject with UN agencies.

Peace Child has also shifted its focus to an emphasis on youth unemployment, developing a number of training programmes in Europe, Africa and India to increase employability skills in young people.

Current Projects[edit]

Be the Change Academy[edit]

The Be the Change Academy programme aims to educate young people in West Africa and India in entrepreneurial skills, from financial literacy to business plan writing, and offers finance through a revolving loan fund. There are Be the Change Academies (BTCA) in Paynesville, Liberia, Conakry, Guinea, Kenema, Sierra Leone and Visakhapatnam, India. Local young people who have a business idea can enrol in a BTCA and receive training from business experts. Upon completion of the course, these young people present their ideas to a panel that determines the amount of funding they can receive.[5]

Work the Change[edit]

The Work the Change programme is a peer-to-peer education course that aims to address the skills mismatch cause of youth unemployment. Through CV writing and job interview workshops as well as events, Work the Change improves employability for teenagers in the UK and prepares them for the world of work.[6]

International Youth Job Creation Summit[edit]

The 1st International Youth Job Creation Summit was held in London, Great Britain in September 2013 and was an urgent response to the global crisis of youth unemployment. Hosted at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the one-day event explored how job opportunities can be created for a billion young people entering the global workplace over the next decade.[7]

Enterprise YOU![edit]

Enterprise YOU! is an accelerator course that provides business, marketing, financial and life-skills training to aspiring entrepreneurs across Europe. The programme combines proven methods from seven organisations to achieve its goal of encouraging and promoting entrepreneurship among young people. The course also allows people from all over Europe to meet and network.[8]

World Youth Congress Series[edit]

Since 1999, Peace Child has organised the approximately bi-annual World Youth Congress (WYC), which aims to promote the role that young people can play in the field of sustainable development and the achievement of the UN's Millennium Development Goals.[9]

Hawaii, 1999[edit]

The first WYC, held in Hawaii in 1999, focused on establishing priorities for the new millennium for young people from all regions of the world, with the top worldwide priority being appropriate education.[10]

Morocco, 2003[edit]

The second WYC was held in Casablanca, Morocco, with the themes of tolerance, solidarity, and the role of young people in sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Delegates to the conference also spent time participating in action projects organised by Moroccan NGOs in all provinces of the country.[11]

Scotland, 2005[edit]

The Scottish WYC, held in Stirling in August 2005, explored young people's motivations to volunteer and had an overall theme of 'young people working for a sustainable world community'. As in the previous Congress, delegates spent three days working on a range of action projects throughout Scotland.[12]

Quebéc, 2008[edit]

The fourth WYC was held in Quebec City in August 2008 under the name Regeneration 2008. The Congress celebrated the role of youth in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, youth empowerment, and the 'co-management' model of equal partnership between youth and elders.[13]

Turkey, 2010[edit]

The fifth WYC was held in Istanbul in August 2010 with the theme of "Imece" (a centuries-old solidarity system used in rural Turkey, consisting of mutual aid and working together for the good of the community), and with three sub themes: Measuring and Evaluating Youth Led Development, the Post-MDGs Development Agenda, and the Climate Change Agenda after Kyoto and COP15.[14]

Rio de Janeiro, 2012[edit]

The sixth WYC was held in Rio de Janeiro in May 2012 with a focus on sustainable development. This Congress revisited the promises made by governments during the Earth Summit in 1992 (which was also held in Rio). The Congress was designed to tie-in with the Rio 2012 conference which was held in June of the same year.

European Youth Congress Series[edit]

Peace Child International also organises the European Youth Congress (EYC), a similar event focused exclusively on European issues. The EYC has currently taken place three times, at St Donat's Castle, Wales in 2004, Mürzzuschlag, Austria in 2007, and Izola, Slovenia in 2009.


  1. ^ "Peace Child International - Empowering Young People". Peace Child International. Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  2. ^ "About Us - Our History>". Peace Child International. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  3. ^ "UG Serbia History". United Games of Nations. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  4. ^ "Peace Child Israel". Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  5. ^ "Be the Change Academy". Peace Child International. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  6. ^ "Work the Change". Peace Child International. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  7. ^ "International Youth Job Creation Summit". Peace Child International. Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  8. ^ "Enterprise YOU!". Peace Child International. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  9. ^ "Our Work - Youth Congresses". Peace Child International. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  10. ^ "About the Congress". Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  11. ^ "About the Congress". Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  12. ^ "From Aloha to Alloa, World's Youth Comes to Scotland". Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  13. ^ "The Congress Theme". Regeneration 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  14. ^ "Imece". Turkiye 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 

Selected bibliography[edit]

Peace Child International Publications[edit]

Other Publications[edit]

External links[edit]