The Embracing Project, with a mission of “Healing the World Together,” founded the Center 4 Peace in Las Vegas, NV, as a collaborative model for serving young women ages 12 to 18 affected by violence. The unfortunate truth is that in many cities, especially those with pronounced gang activity, these girls’ environments put them at risk from lives of low literacy, economic disadvantage and lost hope. Research shows that, often, these girls are treated as either victims or offenders.
We create and deliver programs of inspiration, compassion, empathy and peace that show girls they are important and can make a difference in local communities and the world.
Through the #OperationGirl challenge, we will fund scholarships for eight high-potential graduates from our FREE to Choose and Compassionate Healing programs, as well as two chaperones, to travel for humanitarian service in Africa. The girls will participate in projects serving orphans and at-risk children. The Embracing Project and Center 4 Peace Executive Director Esther Brown has been involved in service projects in numerous countries, including war-torn Liberia. She will lead the project.
The trip will take place in Spring/ Summer 2015. The scholarship cost for each participant is $5,000 with a total program cost of $50,000 including service and cultural training, travel, and a “Pay it Forward” program after returning home.
Participants will be required, coached and facilitated to visit detention centers and community groups as mentors to other at-risk girls. In 2009, we took our first group of high school girls to Liberia where they volunteered at orphanages, schools and clinics. They returned home leaving alcohol, drugs and petty crime behind, with new mindsets of mentors and peace ambassadors.
As a lead-up to the humanitarian service travel in 2015, the selected scholarship recipients will complete a FREE to Choose workshop of self-development and goal-setting for girls in detention centers and an extended Compassionate Healing program at our Center 4 Peace. These activities are already funded, and we are also receiving wonderful in-kind support to keep the program costs reasonable. WANT Expeditions, a respected international travel group, has helped us find the best travel routes, airfares and discount housing/hotel arrangements. We are a member of the Global Project Network of nonprofit Mothering Across Continents, which is devoting in-kind services to help us with various details of this learning journey.
And – if we are so fortunate as to go over our #OperationGirl Charity Challenge goal (!), we are designating 100% of any additional funds to adding more scholarship recipients.
Now, we just need you.