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Kids working for peace

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One 14-year-old girl in Escondido, Calif., was motivated to start a chapter after her father and cousin were sent to prison for violence. She wanted to break the cycle of violence in her family and become a leader for peace.

Other young members are leading the way toward peace, too. "Everything we do comes from the children," says Ms. McManigal. "They say, 'This is what we want to do to create peace.' It's not adults directing it."

Kids for Peace also has a chapter in Australia and will soon have one in Greece. In all, there are about 400 members worldwide.

Global friendship

Kids for Peace believes that learning about different cultures is an important part of building peace. "Because once you know [people] on the other side of the world, they are your friend[s] and you won't hurt them," says Ms. McManigal.

The chapters hold sessions to introduce children to other cultures. One time, Peace Corps volunteers attended a Kids for Peace meeting to talk about living abroad. Another time, a family visiting San Diego from Kenya in East Africa was invited to speak.

Kids for Peace also likes to makes friends with children in other countries by sending them "Peace-Packs." These are hand-painted knapsacks filled with school supplies, toiletries, a toy, and a personal note of friendship.

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