Community and Global Engagement
The Community and Global Engagement Program at the Gandhi Center prepares children and youth to appreciate the value of nonviolence, the potential of nonviolent action to address conflicts, the value of social responsibility, the interconnected nature of human experience and the planet's natural environment. Some of these programs include:
1. Summer Camp
Taking place the week before the beginning of fall semester, this volunteer-run peace camp advocates lessons of nonviolence and morality to children aged 6 to 13. Last year, about forty of the approximately one hundred campers were on scholarship as members of the Harrisonburg refugee community. To enroll, please complete the 2015 Registration Form and Boys and Girls Club Policy (featured in English and Spanish). More information about volunteering and enrolling in the peace camp is available here.
2. Refugee Resettlement
Managed by the Church World Service of Harrisonburg, the refugee resettlement program has accomodated transitioning refugee families since 1988 from Iraq, Eritrea, Cuba, Colombia, Ukraine, and other war-torn areas within a 100-mile radius of their office. The Gandhi Center works with Church World Service to organize forums for the adult Eritrean community, where individuals are invited to discuss domestic violence, employment discrimination, acculturation, and other issues facing the community. The center also offers a half-day peace camp for the children of these families to attend during the conversation. In addition, community soccer games are held so that volunteers can interact with and mentor refugee children.
3. Boys' and Girls' Club After-School Program
This is a program held on Friday afternoons at the Harrisonburg Boys' and Girls' Club in which volunteers mentor and play with children of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
4. Journaling for Peace
Volunteers conduct peace segments at various elementary schools and students reflect on each lesson by writing in a journal in what becomes a cumulative meditation on peace.
5. Student Conference
A research-based panel through which JMU students can share academic discourse exploring the subjects of peace, justice, and nonviolence from the perspective of multiple disciplines.
6. Student Online Journal
The center is working with volunteers to begin an undergraduate academic journal for nonviolence.
7. Supporting Local Justice Initiatives:
The Gandhi Center is engaged in service, research, and advocacy work with local criminal justice reforms and alternatives
8. Bring Your Own Idea
Apply your unique skills in designing a project or program!