Help our Newtown kids turn this tragedy into resilient strength!
You can make a huge difference in the lives of the kids in Newtown in the months and years ahead when the cameras are gone, but the needs still exist.
All of our hearts have been broken by the senseless cruelty of the tragedy in our hometown of Newtown, CT. We know that the greatest strengths come from the greatest adversities. Based in Newtown, the Unity Project is working with the schools to help the kids there turn the grief of this horrific event into resilient strength and compassion.
The Unity Project has been empowering kids since 9/11 when agencies of the City of New York asked it to develop resilience building programming for kids across the city. Then, it moved on to New Orleans and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Recently, the Unity Project has launched its unique resilience-building program in Uganda working with former child soldiers to turn crisis into strengths. Ironically, the Unity Project is based in Newtown! We never imagined our services would be needed among our own neighbors.
We already work in Newtown:
We've been asked by the School District to launch our resilience-building "Transformation Process" in the schools in Newtown, starting with Newtown High School. Our plan is to engage young people as the agents of change in helping the town heal through large numbers of student inspired service and arts projects. These projects "Mine the Gems" of the students' natural capacities. We then engage the students in the Unity Project's unique and highly effective Transformation Exercises that "Refine the Gems" into personal resilient skills. The students then are guided to "Share the Gems" to build a stronger community. Students grow into resilient role models committed to the welfare of others and competent and compassionate global citizens.
Older students who have gone through our resilience building programming will mentor younger kids in the other schools in town and help strengthen them, their families and community bonds. Instead of viewing these kids as victims, we see them as potential role models of resilience.
This event has united a world in grief and care. It has the potential, if we respond wisely, to be the catalyst for engaging youth internationally in a process of becoming compassionate and capable global citizens. We intend to link Newtown students with peers in schools internationally so they can learn to view crisis as something that can bring out their best and unite us all globally and not something that creates despair, hatred and division.
The world has responded with a kindness of heart that proves our common humanity. Now is the time to seize this opportunity to help our young people begin to heal our world. We can turn this tragedy into a movement for a peaceful and united world. Let's help those who have gone through the most lead the way!
What We Need
This work will extend out over an extended period and be the most comprehensive and systematic effort to build resilience in kids in Newtown, and through their example and the Unity Project network, others around the country and the world. The work will spread out across several Phases over time and as resources are available
Phase I: The Launch in Newtown School:s 18 months duration.
We need these funds to train and provide stipends for Newtown School District teachers so that teacher resilience training and supports can be put in place in a sustainable way. ($41,000)
To provide funding for student inspired service "Action Teams:" ($50,000)
To link Newtown Students, Ugandan and international students via a unique resilient strength supporting social network: ($32,500)
To support student-led mentoring between older and younger kids: (27,500)
To link student-led service activities with the curriculum: $37,000)
To track outcomes in order to refine and revise the Unity Project's Transformation Process so that outcome goals are met: ($24,000)
To develop capacity for students to share their experiences and learning with students around the world so that a global movement of young people dedicated to healing our ailing planet can be launched: ($25,000)
Impact: With this project in full gear, this terrible tragedy can be the ground from which the best of these kids can be shown to the world giving hope and encouragement to them and struggling kids everywhere. We can see these kids as role models and future leaders instead of psychological casualties.
We have already launched a similar project in Uganda with the school with the highest percentage of former child soldiers in the country, a school for the survivors of the worst massacre of the war and the school with the largest percentage of girls that had been abducted to be sexual slaves. These kids (numbering about 2,000) have already completed a district wide reforestation project and launched our youth movement. The Newtown students will join them.
Other ways to help:
If you can't give financially, that's ok.
- Help spread the word! Post this link to your Facebook page. E-mail friends.
- We're launching Unity Project chapters across the country. Start one in your school, university or youth organization. Write us at email@example.com to ask how.
- We can help you by sending you hand crafted jewelry and crafts made by skilled craftswomen in Uganda who have recently returned from displacement camps. These can be sold to start your own Unity Project chapter and support the kids in Newtown while helping people in Uganda make a living!
- Help create a culture of kindness and peace and stop the culture of violence. Join many others to commit to three acts kindness this week. Post your commitment on “The Unity Project” Facebook page.
That’s all there is to it. Join us. Together we can launch a youth movement that can build hope and confidence and resilient strength in these kids from Newtown.