Operation Rise Recipient on World Peace Day
Photo by Jeremy Fokkens
The Peace Project is an international social movement powered by the belief that through creativity and community we can change the world – problems that were previously thought almost insurmountable can be solved and sustainable peace can be created in communities and countries around the world.
The first step on our journey is Sierra Leone, where a 10-year civil war – arguably the most brutal in Africa's recent history – resulted in 75,000 dead, millions displaced and thousands of amputations by machete and bullets. Many believe that the progressive political climate in Sierra Leone along with the recent progress, the country’s rich natural resources and relatively small population, make it a prime candidate for recovery – and that once this country is revitalized, it can be used as an example worldwide of how people working together can create peace.
The Peace Project was launched in July of 2010 when Lisa Schultz, founder of online creative community TheWhole9.com, asked "If one person can singlehandedly establish World Peace Day, what can an entire creative community do?"
This one question sparked an idea that inspired creative people around the world to take action for Peace. Within weeks of launching The Peace Project, over 700 artists from around the world stepped up and submitted visions of peace to The Peace Project's international art competition that culminated in a traveling exhibition. Simultaneously, Peace Walls were created in Sierra Leone and Los Angeles on World Peace Day 2010.
The Peace Project then embarked on an extraordinary initiative for 2011, Operation Rise, which was developed to help get the people of Sierra Leone on their feet. On September 21, 2011, World Peace Day, Operation Rise was successfully implemented and 10,000 pairs of crutches and repairs parts were distributed throughout Sierra Leone to amputees, war victims and children -- proving that great change can happen very quickly if people around the world join hands.
We're proud to share that since we launched The Peace Project less than two years ago, nearly twenty thousand people have donated time, money and resources which have transformed tens of thousands of lives in Sierra Leone.
Our future plans are equally ambitious and include numerous initiatives that are designed to be scalable and sustainable -- both inside and outside of Sierra Leone. We invite everyone to walk this journey towards Peace with us.
Through creativity and community, we can change the world.