Ideas to Help Stop the Violence

Organize a “Day/Days Against Violence” at your school or after school center. It can be in a classroom or at a meeting or assembly. Organize with other kids to have a panel or workshop and discuss issues that are real in your own school or neighborhood. (ie. racism, drugs, guns, tracking, sexism, children’s rights, exclusion in school sports, military recruitment, etc.)
Have a debate in your school about the issues of violence. (Debate if you think hunger or immigration rights or gun control or health care for sick kids are issues that the US should take more responsibility for.) Do some research on the issues. Find out more about the Convention on the Rights of a Child.
Help to get the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified and enforced. Find out more about children’s rights and what you can do to help other kids in your neigborhoods, your country and the world.
Create your own club/activity in school that would be dedicated to helping create a better atmostphere in your school and neighborhood. This club could do positive things around the community. (Food Drives, Playground and Parks Clean Up, Block Parties Against Violence, Informational Sessions on Important Issues, etc.)
Get adults involved in issues against violence. Have a parent-teacher night where you talk about children’s rights.
Have a film day where your whole school is invited to see films on people who have worked against violence and for fair treatment for everybody. (ie.”Eyes on the Prize”, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, youth organizations such as Kids Meeting Kids or do your own research on films that promote peace with justice and help stop violence, etc.)
If you feel something is going on in your neighborhood/school/city/country/world that you think is unfair, write a petition or letter to change the situation. Have students and adults who want to sign it and send it to the Congressperson or Mayor or w#@$%ver is responsible.
Have a Bullentin Board where you put up quotes on peace and fairness from people who have worked against violence like Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Cesar Chavez, John Lennon, etc. Or they don’t have to be just from famous people. Ask student in your school to make up quotes for the bulletin.
Have art exhibits. Make a mural in your neighborhood or at the entrance to your school. Ask students to draw how they’d like things to be or what’s going on in their neighborhood and what they think violence is. Next to the drawings, write down what kids can do to help stop the violence.
Want to increase community unity and pride? Try “Operation Fix Up Your Neighborhood.” Get a group of kids together and hold a neighborhood sweep up/clean up or develop a lot into a community center, or a playground or a garden. If it’s a garden send the extra produce to a soup kitchen for the homeless. Get people thinking of ways they can help each other out, live in a prettier place, be kinder to each other.
Make your own theater group/club. Sometimes people listen better to what you have to say through performances. Sing, Dance, Write a play or poem. You can give a performance in your school or around your community. Send out positive messages that people can change things and can “keep hope alive” like Jesse Jackson says. See what happens. Are you a member of a club or church choir? Then get the group to perform around your community to promote peace, justice and unity.
Make your own “Stop the Violence” newsletter to let kids know more about what’s going on around them and what they can do to help. Pass them out around the neighborhood. Other kids might want to get involved, once the word gets around. Do you know of a newspaper where you and your friends can write articles? Maybe you can start by writing letters to the editor.
Create a large banner to display outside your school or smaller ones in school hallways. The banners can focus on one or more problems now facing the area. For example: Drug Free School; Increase the Peace; End to Violence; Equal Rights; Help the Homeless.
Set up a Safe-Haven program in your community by having businesses and homes agree to place Safe-Haven Signs in their windows – at least one or two to every block. Kids can go for help there when they are lost, sick, being followed, or threatened with harm.
Have an “International/Multi-Cultural Festival” in your school or community where each group provides traditional food, dance, music, games and dress to be enjoyed by all. This enables everyone to appreciate, understand and respect each other in the community.
Organize a Walk Against Violence in your community.
Organize a Candlelight Vigil to remember victims of violence.
How about starting a Buddy-System, which links youth to travel together, providing safety going to and from school and which provides kids home alone with buddies to call. How about teaching kids non-violent but safe street wise manners?
Create a video promoting peace and fairness. Get your friends to help you. Show it around. See what happens.
Talk to other young people who have the same interests that you do. Join Kids Meeting Kids. Network with other youth organizations, clubs, schools, churches that have already effectively created a positive change in their communities they can definitely help you get started.
Ask your neighbohood hospital, clinic and other health care and social service groups to help you sponsor a “Kids Health and Kids Help Fair.”
Kids can help their communities by making all sorts of suggestions that adults can do to at work/school – like having a blood drive or a coat drive for the homeless, recycling regularly, etc. You can think of more ideas.
Be the icebreaker in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors or welcome new ones. Sometimes kids can bring adults together.
Be slow to anger, slow to accuse. Don’t hit anyone, “dis” anyone, or put people down.
Work for Justice.
Support programs and projects that make people’s lives better.
Learn what it feels like to walk in another person’s s#@$%s.
Speak out against hate and bigotry and prejudice. Say “no” to jokes that are racist, sexist, or put people down.
Practice conflict resolution. Help make it happen in your school, your family and community.
Boycott violent, racist, and pornographic movies, tv, music, magazines, etc.
Make schools weapon free zones and bullying free zones.
Work to convert the military budget to peaceful purposes. Rid schools of military programs.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Be a peace maker wherever you are, on the playground, in school, at home, in your community and the world.
Get to know people from different cultures who were raised very different from you.
Kids can help stop violence on a large scale. Kids can carry petitions and write letters to government leaders to help meet and further the needs and rights of kids around the world. Let’s ask each other to stop war, spending money on weapons and war, and sending people to war, especially children.
Kids can learn more about human rights and especially, children’s rights and help other kids learn more about them.
Support battered women’s shelters and programs for men who batter.
Work for community safety and against police brutality.
Support drug and alcohol rehab for all who need it and alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenders.
Support positive programs by rings of calling tv networks to oppose shows that promote violence and bigotry.
Organize a Peace Fair.
Support a living wage that can cover the basic costs for people of living, housing, food, transportation, education, recreation, health care, etc.
Support gun control and disarmament efforts in your school, community, country and world.
Oppose arms trading in your school, community, country and world.
Take good care of victims of violence and bullying. See that those who harmed them are brought to justice.
Oppose the death penalty. It is wrong for anyone to do violence to another.
Oppose war as well as violence, and bullying.
Remember, get those signatures on letters and petitions asking governments to ratify and enforc the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for all children – Everywhere!
Use a computer to search the Children’s Rights Network on Internet. Find out about what’s happening to kids in the world. Give help where you can.
Write and find out more about kids’ needs and rights. Write to friends/penpals and tell each other what you’re doing to help in different parts of your country and in different parts of the world. Talk about what grownups can do to stop violence and meet the needs and rights of children.
Help kids who need help in your neighborhoods, city and towns. Do what you can to see that they get their rights and are treated fairly.
Get involved in helping to make things better in the world. Get people to help you.
Be kind to one another to make your world fair and peaceful. CARE!
Think of three other things you can do. You can probably think of lots more. Do them.
This world belongs to everyone and it’s up to all of us to make and keep it just and peaceful. Contact us if we can help you in any way. Remember kids meeting kids can make a difference.