Seeds of Peace teens work to end old conflicts - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Seeds of Peace teens work to end old conflicts

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Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2006 6:38 am | Updated: 3:31 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

These days, teens looking for ways to volunteer their time can choose from hundreds of options. But it wasn’t a hard choice for Aditi Ramachandran, 17.

“There’s a lot of good causes to volunteer for, but one of the biggest issues today is world politics, so it’s important to me to be involved in some way,” she said.

Ramachandran, a senior at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, has spent the past three years working with her school’s chapter of Seeds of Peace, an organization that helps young people from conflicted regions around the

world.

More than 25,000 teenagers from 25 nations have taken part in Seeds of Peace programs that bring members together at a summer camp to train them in conflict resolution.

The camps

Each year, more than 300 teens, mostly Arabs and Israelis, spend one month at Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine, living side-by-side with people they have been taught to hate. By taking part in recreation, sports, art and dialogue sessions they foster respect and friendships.

They then return to their homelands as advocates for coexistence.

Students are selected by their governments, based on academic performance and leadership ability.

Arizona chapter

The Arizona teen chapter was started three years ago by Desert Mountain High School students. They organize an annual fundraiser to help send teens to the camp.

“It’s really hands-on,” said co-chairwoman Sarah Sargenti, 18, of Seeds of Peace. “I think it’s important they face the enemies.”

Sargenti will attend New York University next year, where she will pursue education in international relations.

“Sending the kids to the camp is really paying off. They go back to their home country and tell their friends, who tell their friends,” Ramachandran said.

Fundraiser

When: 5:30 to 10 p.m Saturday

Where: Ancala Country Club, 11700 Via Linda,

Scottsdale

Cost: $150 per person

Information: (480) 860-8792 or (480) 510-4881 or e-mail

seedsofpeace@assadi.com

Program: The fundraiser will include presentations by two Seeds of Peace camp alumni who will explain how they are using their experiences to promote peace:

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