Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Tools for Tolerance

Project #
Lewis & Clark College
  • Samantha Stein

Tools for Tolerance

Samantha Stein and 10 fellow Lewis and Clark students spent the summer building and staffing a human rights cultural center within the framework of a local educational complex in the impoverished district of Hay Mohammadi in Casablanca, Morocco. With a target audience of seven- to 13-year-olds, the center consists of classroom space, a computer lab, and a library stocked with human-rights-related materials. Over the course of the summer, the Lewis and Clark students not only constructed the spaces, but also worked with local educators to develop curriculum, deliver workshops, and tutor children in the community, reaching more than 300 children.

One unique aspect of this project is that it was conceived as an ongoing opportunity for Lewis and Clark and other college students whereby volunteers will continue to staff the center every summer. Volunteers do their own fundraising to cover their travel and living expenses, and are expected to return to school and home and share their experiences. A steady stream of student volunteers will mean the center will become an ongoing source of educational enrichment for children in the community. A by-product of this effort is the inevitable shift in cross-cultural understanding, as Arab youth meet and befriend American students and discover tolerance and shared values.