Hosting International Teens Building Peace: 2 weeks in July
 
Creating Friendships for Peace (CFP) seeks hosts for teens on a peacebuilding mission for 11-14 days in July. Cypriot, Israeli and Palestinian teens will be coming to our area with the mission of building friendships with teens from the "other side" of the conflicts in their homelands. CFP volunteers have over 30 years of experience helping teens and their families form wonderful, lifelong bonds. Of 11 hosting opportunities, only 3 are open. Are you able to host: 
 
  • A pair of Cypriot boys or girls: July 16-28, or
  • A pair of Israeli-Palestinian boys: July 17-31,
providing them one bedroom to share, opportunities to attend CFP activities, a chance to get to know you and your family and a neutral, safe place for them to build lifelong friendships?
 
Please call or email longtime Woodside resident Becky Stirn (415-518-7744 or beckys@friendships4peace.org) by February 19 (if possible) with any questions or to apply. The CFP website is https://friendships4peace.org/.
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Brief Overview — For 30 years, volunteers from CFP, Creating Friendships for Peace, have brought teens from areas divided by conflict to the US during July in order to help them build friendships with their “enemies” in the long term interest of peace. This program began in Northern Ireland (during the bombings) and lasted for 20 years. Following that, Cypriots asked these volunteers to bring the program to Cyprus where it is in its 11th year. Since last year, CFP was asked to host teens from Israel and Palestine.
 
In 2015, my husband and I helped CFP find hosts for these teens in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wonderful hosts helped these teens to form lifelong friendships with their former enemies, and these friendships have spread to their families and communities. Extraordinarily strong friendships are also built between the teens and their American hosts. The Bay Area is well suited to this peace building effort—among many learnings, teens witness how diverse nationalities, ethnicities, races, cultures and religions can live together without a dividing, patrolled border, and they learn the values/skills of conflict resolution, forgiveness, differing perspectives, environmental preservation and community service. Teens are stunned that American hosts care and want to help them build long term peace.
 
In July, we seek hosts for 7 pairs of teens—each pair to include a teen from each side of a conflict.  Specifically, we hope to host 4 pairs of Cypriot teens and 3 pairs of Israeli-Palestinian teens. Over half of the hosting opportunities are filled; here is what we still need:
  • July 16-28: 1 pair of Cypriot girls
  • July 17-31: 1 pair of Israeli-Palestinian boys or girls
The main requirements of hosts are:
  • Provide one bedroom for the pair of teens to share
  • Provide meals not provided by group CFP events/activities
  • Provide adequate supervision to keep the teens safe
  • Model neutrality to the conflict where the teens live
  • Ensure the teens attend required CFP group activities (2 per week).
There is great flexibility in hosting —to spend more time with “your teens” or for them to spend more time bonding with other CFP teens. Your needs will be deeply respected in order to make hosting meaningful, heartwarming and fun.
 
I hope you will allow me to connect with you about hosting. I need to leave for Israel on February 19 to help with these teens. Ideally, I hope to identify all possible hosts before I leave. If you can help by hosting or providing suggestions, CFP teens will be forever grateful. I look forward to answering any questions you may  have.
 
My contact information and the CFP website are listed below.
 
Many thanks,
Becky Stirn
Coordinator, San Francisco Bay Area
 
590 Albion Avenue
Woodside, CA 94062 USA
Mobile: 415.518.7744