In 2000, Seeds of Peace adapted its internationally-recognized conflict resolution and youth leadership program to launch its first domestic project, focused on intercommunal tensions in Maine. Historically one of the more homogeneous US states, Maine is now home to growing communities of refugees and asylum seekers, primarily from Africa and Asia. In 2011, Seeds of Peace partnered with Say Yes to Education and InterFaith Works to bring the Maine Seeds model to Syracuse, New York, a city facing challenges arising from changing demographics.
Both Maine and Syracuse Seeds begin their experience with a two-week session at our Camp in Maine followed by year-round local programs that enable them to develop strong relationships built on mutual trust, and the skills needed to engage others in their schools and communities to promote religious and cultural understanding.
The American Seeds Program offers American youth an incredible opportunity to learn about international conflicts and cultures firsthand as delegates to the Seeds of Peace International Camp. Alongside their peers from the Middle East and South Asia, American campers take part in daily dialogue sessions focused on history, identity, politics and communication skills. American delegates also help to create bridges between campers from conflict regions.
Year-round programs focus on four of the most important assets and abilities that leaders need to create meaningful change: strong relationships across lines of conflict; a sophisticated understanding of core conflict issues; practical skills in communication, critical thinking, and change-making; and the ability to take action on behalf of peace.
Key activities include:
Fall/Spring Retreats: Each Fall and Spring, American Seeds gather for three days to focus on the role of the United States in the international community and on issues at the heart of the conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia.
Online Language Courses: American Seeds have the opportunity to learn Hebrew and Arabic through online courses led by Israeli and Palestinian Graduate Seeds.
Bayti (“my home” in Hebrew and Arabic): Seeds of Peace hosts a two-week summer trip through Israel and the West Bank for American Seeds that enables them to experience the region through the eyes of Israeli and Palestinians rather than through the lens of a tourist. Local Seeds of Peace graduates help design each facet of the program that gives participants a rare glimpse into everyday life in Palestinian and Israeli schools, communities, and governments. Learn more about our American Seed Program ››
“Seeds of Peace gave me the confidence to believe that I can do something for the world. Every one of us has the ability, but very few ever use it. I want to be one of those few.” — Jack (Maine Seed)