A Communities Without Boundaries Global Initiative
Interact, learn, engage, change - Communities Without Boundaries International’s Youth Without Boundaries program provides opportunities for youth, ages 18 to 35, from across the globe, to develop their leadership skills through nonviolence training, international exchange and social entrepreneurship.
Enable: The Youth Without Boundaries Program provides individuals and groups of youth from across the globe with a platform upon which they can create positive change in their communities.
Amplify: YWB projects are based at the local, regional, and international levels, enable local communities, and amplify the capacity of the local people, in order to achieve global change and realize peace and development.
Communities Without Boundaries International, Inc. is an international, non-governmental organization with offices in Washington, DC and Atlanta, Georgia. Our mission is to foster peace through development and effect the empowerment of communities using the philosophy and principles of nonviolent social change. Youth Without Boundaries is one of CWBI’s flagship programs, developed to foster the youth of today into the leaders of tomorrow capable of taking on the challenges of the 21st century through nonviolent means.
Youth Without Boundaries (YWB) brings together youth ages 18 to 35 from across the globe, providing them with unique and fulfilling opportunities to travel to each other’s countries, experience each other’s cultures and lifestyles, and learn and experience the challenges and opportunities that their peers the world over face. YWB is designed as an experiential learning program, and establishes projects in countries around the globe where participants live, serve, participate in dialogue, collaborate and learn side-by-side. The program recognizes the integral role of young leadership in redressing conflict and building peace, whether regional or local, through means rooted in nonviolence, civic responsibility, and intercultural collaboration. Its model is aimed at developing members’ leadership skills in a manner consistent with nonviolent philosophy, while expanding their vision of the world’s realities and possibilities.
Each YWB deployment involves certain core components:
- training in nonviolence and peacebuilding leadership development
- cultural awareness, information on the history, culture, and issues faced by the host country and its people
- service-learning projects
- cultural-enrichment activities.
The program also strongly emphasizes the need to become change-agents in one’s community, by engaging in direct, nonviolent action that redresses poverty, builds community and fosters peace. Prior to being eligible to participate on a trip, YWB members are required to develop a service project proposal and implement it in their home community. These projects can be as large or small as the member chooses, ranging anywhere from a small tutoring project at a local school, to a large-scale conference on peace and nonviolence. Programs are required to be consistent with CWBI’s peacebuilding, community building and community development goals.
What is in it for me?
YWB prepares you as a leader by assisting you in discovering your talents and empowering you to be a positive influence in your community. Benefits include:
- Developing strong leadership capacity
- Connecting with other young leaders and forming relationships with cultures around the world
- Increasing understanding of all aspects of international conflict
- Acquiring first-hand knowledge about diverse countries and peoples
- Learning leadership development skills & lessons about nonviolence, peacebuilding, community building and development
- Gaining international experience that helps to apply efforts in your local community
- YWB members are granted varying levels of membership commensurate with their amount of participation and commitment. Each level coincides with different responsibilities, as well as access to different levels of support from CWBI staff and leadership. For example, new members are required to complete one YWB trip within their first year, complete an introductory nonviolence training, and satisfy all CWBI requirements both during and after the visit.
Who is eligible to apply?
Young leaders between the ages of 18-35 who are passionate about peace, nonviolence, and development, and ready to make a difference in their communities and around the world are eligible to apply to the YWB program.
Note: Young people residing within a country visited by YWB (e.g. Kenya, Israel) who attend or participate in a Communities Without Boundaries International event, do not automatically become a member of YWB. However, such individuals who decide to officially apply for the program will be given priority by CWBI staff.
What is required of me?
- Since the primary goal of YWB trip is to provide meaningful international leadership development experiences, travel is an integral and important component of this program.
- Members are required to go on at least one trip per year. Upon returning from a trip, participants must submit a written debriefing report that outlines their lessons learned while abroad.
- Members must submit a proposal for their community project. Every new YWB member is required to apply their lessons learned by crafting a proposal for a practical initiative to implement in his or her own home community. These initiatives, which can be as large or small as the individual member chooses, must address one or more aspects of CWBI’s core mission—redressing poverty, building community, and fostering peace through nonviolence.