Founded in 1982, PCI is best known for its musical play, Peace Child, which helped resolve Cold War tension in the 1980s by bringing the first Soviet youth and rock bands to the USA on a Youth Cultural Exchange. In the 1990s, it became well-known for producing accessible, youth-created summaries of hard-to-read UN documents like Agenda 21 and the Global Environment Outlook. PCI has consultative status with the United Nations and has produced 28 youth-created books mostly for the UN and its agencies. PCI’s mission is to ‘ empower young people ’ – to encourage youth to recognise that they don’t have to wait until their 18th birthday to start addressing the global challenges that face their generation. PCI’s major programme is called “ Be the Change ” – drawn from Gandhi’s instruction to all citizens not to wait for others to make changes but to be self-reliant. PCI’s Be the Change Ambassador Programme informs young people about those challenges, and gives them the project management skills to address them. PCI also promotes Youth-led Development – financing small projects designed and managed by young people under 25. It organises the World Youth Congress series on youth and development under the slogan: “Give Youth a chance to make Poverty History.” It has member branches in 38 European states, some through the World Youth Citizens network which grew out of the 2nd World Youth Congress, and several through the Faith in Europe network – a current project PCI is working on with the Commission to promote confidence in European Institutions through intercultural dialogue. PCI is a youth-led organisation. With five other European partners, it produced the booklet ‘Co-management – becoming Equal Partners’ – promoting good practice in youth-adult partnerships for institutional and project management. It is currently working on TUNZA – the UNEP Youth Magazine, and a series of youth summaries of UNDP’s Human Development Reports on Sustainable Human Development. Based in a residential centre near Cambridge in the UK, the office is run by 10 young staff with 2 older professional staff.
More about Peace Child International can be found on www.peacechild.org