United States Institute of Peace is currently accepting applications for youth leaders from Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Central African Republic and Syria for the Generation Change Fellows Program. The U.S. Institute of Peace and His Holiness the Dalai Lama have partnered to build bridges between international leaders and youth peacebuilders. In support of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, this partnership will create a space where constructive, intergenerational conversations can occur that begin to lessen the divides separating the work of youth leaders and more traditional leaders. The program will bring a group of 28 youth peacebuilders to Dharamsala for two days of conversation with the Dalai Lama to discuss ways in which youth can partner with international leaders to build peace. Selected youth will come from some of the world’s most conflict-ridden areas.
Few world leaders can understand the experience of youth peacebuilders as fully as His Holiness, who, at age 15, was thrust into the leadership of his people as they faced the traumas of war. Like some of the youth participants in this program, His Holiness fled his country as a refugee and has lived for years in exile. In Dharamsala, the youth leaders will share their experiences and will discuss with His Holiness ways in which youth leaders and world leaders can cooperatively build peace. The very engagement of youth with His Holiness will serve as a model for the youth on how to bridge intergenerational divides. The conversation in Dharamsala will provide a platform for greater international advocacy for youth priorities in peace and security and will expand the global impact of youth leaders.