In the late 1990ies, Luke Dowdney, a social anthropologist and former amateur boxer, went to Brazil to do research for his master’s dissertation on violence and the lives of street children. He fell in love with the country, became involved in the human rights movement and established Fight for Peace, which deals with social problems in a rather unconventional way.
Every year around the world, more deaths and injuries are suffered in communities affected by crime and violence than in the majority of war zones in the world. This violence has a major effect on the lives of young people, as it is a barrier to improving their lives. Fight for Peace’s mission is to support young people to realise their potential, working with them to prevent violence in their communities.
The organisation believes the choices young people make are based on opportunities and the support they have access to as well as how they see themselves, how they relate to others and how they see their future.
Hard work and dedication
That’s why Fight for Peace invests in young people, offering integrated and holistic programmes in a safe environment. Using a public health approach to preventing violence, the organisation uses non-traditional methods, where conventional strategies are not working. Through boxing and martial arts, young people build the strength and discipline, gain self-respect and learn that success comes from hard work and dedication.
Fight for Peace also offers formal vocational training programmes for those who have dropped out of school and employability support and training to provide access to the job market.
Through support services, youth workers and mentors help young people overcome issues they may have in their lives. And youth leaders shape the direction of the organisation, help to design programmes, develop strategies and make decisions at every level.
‘Fight for Peace alliance’: expanding the programme globally
Fight for Peace wants to support as many young people as possible by continuing to expand its programmes across the world. Using what is learned by implementing programmes that directly support young people, Fight for Peace shares this knowledge with other organisations working in communities affected by crime and violence: to date, more than 150 organisations in more than 25 countries have been trained. It is called the ‘Fight for Peace alliance’: global communities working together for peace.
And in urban hotspots, they implement safer communities programmes, teaming up with local partners, governments, international agencies, donors and the private sector to bring positive change.
Fight for Peace now runs academies and programmes in Brazil, as well as in the UK, Jamaica and South Africa. This alliance is working for young people all over the world to help bring peace and stability in their communities.
Vocational Training – one of the three core areas of the Julius Baer Foundation
Following its repositioning in 2016, the Julius Baer Foundation focuses on three core areas, one of which is Vocational Training. The Foundation is committed to providing guidance to underprivileged youths (aged 15-24) through solid educational programmes for them to become self-reliant and responsible adults securing their livelihood independently and shaping their own environment positively.
After thorough evaluation of the above-mentioned project, the Julius Baer Foundation has decided to support Fight for Peace between 2018 and 2020, as the organisation’s concept is fully in line with the Foundation’s goals.