We all belong to a narrative, a story that informs who we are, where we come from, and what we stand for.
At BL4P, we believe in sharing our stories with one another and writing new chapters together. We are passionate about stories that acknowledge our common humanity and compel us toward a future of peace.
Change begins within ourselves. As we experience the power of forgiveness in our own hearts, we see how this peace affects our relationships with others. We believe that any conflict, whether big or small, can be overcome through love and forgiveness.
At BL4P, we strive to provide spaces where differences can be understood and opponents can be reconciled, so we can truly experience peace and unity.
The opportunity to meet and work with a diverse community of participants allows us to build something very special. It allows us to confront the stereotypes that divide us.
At BL4P, we see community as the building block for peace, a safe place in which we are encouraged to ask questions, to find common ground, to challenge one another's ideologies, and to learn from one another.
Creating a community of peace is just the beginning. It requires respect for one another as well as a willingness to learn from one another’s experiences and ideas that will move us to make a difference.
At BL4P we use creative and interactive activities to encourage each participant to contribute what they know and what they envision for their community as we seek to understand peace and find ways to move toward it.
Not only do we respect the diversity of those represented in the communities of peace we build, we CELEBRATE it. We celebrate the unique gifts, talents, and viewpoints of those represented and take every opportunity to learn about the beauty found within our exchanges.
At BL4P. we celebrate dance, music, art, and faith. We celebrate our shared humanity and the ways in which we look different. We celebrate the goals that we create and work towards together.
A leader is someone who demonstrates what is possible, and more specifically at BL4P, that peace is possible. As leaders of peace, we believe that everyone can be a peacemaker, so we boldly invite others into the peacemaking process. But before mobilizing others, we must first model peace in our own lives.
At BL4P, we are always looking for innovative ways to spur one another on toward working for peace.
Peace begins with understanding. We strive to model, maintain, and teach a learner’s posture, starting from a place of curiosity and a desire to learn from each other.
At BL4P, we believe in facilitating spaces where participants are free to ask questions, learn from each other, delight in this learning, and cultivate their own sense of curiosity about the world, and about all the beautiful people that reside in it.
We believe that peace is possible because everyone can be a peacemaker. It starts with individuals like you and me. But imagine if people from all nations, religions, languages and cultures came together with a common hope. T
At BL4P, the invitation is open to everyone. Join us today in working toward a future of peace.
In May 2014, Sam and Kendra traveled with a small team to Hatay, Turkey to visit schools for Syrian children who had fled from the war. Their hearts broke for these children who had grown up amidst violence and tragedy.
Sam and Kendra were also inspired by the teachers, many of whom were only 19-23 years of age and had chosen to sacrifice going to university and pursuing their careers to teach this next generation of Syrians. They saw how passionate these teachers were about helping these children not only receive an education, but also regain some sense of normalcy after the trauma of war.
Moved by their sacrifice, inspired by their determination, and humbled by their selflessness, Sam and Kendra wondered how they could support these teachers and an emerging generation of young leaders. Out of this experience, BL4P was born.
BL4P hosts it's first peace camp in southeastern Turkey, bringing together 75 young adults from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Armenia, Canada, USA, and Mexico. Participants spent the week learning and practicing five peace values: celebrating diversity, collaboration, conflict resolution, catalytic leadership through reconciliation and forgiveness, and changing the world.
After being immersed in these topics, learning from each other, and growing as a community, participants spent the last two days serving Syrian refugee children.
At the peace camp, cultural tensions were broken down, language barriers were overcome, and lasting friendships were built.
Peace camp participants from Anatkya, Reyhanli, and Gaziantep form local BL4P chapters in their cities. The goal of each team is to continue to build community with one another as Turks, Syrians, Kurds, and Iraqis, and to build peace in their local communities through acts of love and service. Their first initiatives include visiting orphanages, hospitals, and schools.
BL4P hosts its first Peace Camp in South America, near Cali, Colombia. It was a rich time of community with friends from Cauca, Choco, Bogota, Esperanza, and Cali. This was a pilot project where we gathered together with local faith leaders to dream and plan for a peace camp coming up in the summer of 2018.
BL4P hosted its second annual Peace Camp on the beautiful coast of southeast Turkey. With some old friends and some new, we had a transformative week together with just over 100 Turkish, Syrian, and North American young peace leaders.
BL4P teams up with a local NGO to host our first ever Peace Camp in Northern Iraq. This was a powerful experience of Yazidis, Muslims, and Christians coming together unified by their hope for a future of peace.
After our peace camps in the summer of 2017, four new chapters are developed by participants in Adana, Mersin, Urfa, and Izmir, Turkey, as well as in Duhok, Northern Iraq.
BL4P Leadership Retreat in Turkey and BL4P Peace Camps in California, Indonesia, Colombia, Turkey, and Iraq