In my own backyard
In the last 6 months the parking lot behind my building has become filled with children playing. In March, there was no one for my 6-year-old daughter to play with, and now there are 12 children, always up to something!
As more children have moved in, there has been a lot more bullying, name calling, lying about each other, etc... I've become quite disturbed by how often someone is hurt or left out and how many fights (sometimes physical) they get into.
So the other day I thought about starting a Make a Difference Club...since they are always trying to form clubs. Instead of a boys club and a girls club, what if they all came together and learned and did things for others? How powerful could it be if they were all working together on something? I was thinking we could alternate weeks, one week where'd they'd learn something about life in another country (of course through a story from World Pulse :) ) and the following week they would do some sort of action to help others. Whether they have a lemonade stand to raise money for the flooding in Pakistan, rake a lawn for someone who is unable to, or spend time with a person new to Canada to make them feel welcome, they could be learning from each other and finding a purpose beyond tormenting each other.
Anaya, my daughter's 8-year-old friend seemed really excited about the idea. Her first comment was "we should read the black and white book." And then told me about how blacks and whites had to use separate water fountains and the ones the whites used were better.
I have almost no evenings free to do this with them, but even if we start every other week, and we can get them learning from each other (perhaps learning something on their own in the week and sharing), then possibly some powerful forces for change could grow right in my own backyard.