Global Journeys for Young People to Build Peace

Participants Speak Out

Matas Drukteims
“For me, ARK is powerful, organized and motivated. As a first year participant, I was taken in like a brother at first sight!” Matas has organized protest against discrimination of immigrants.

– Matas Drukteims, Lithuania

Mary Hannah Zreineh
“I have never had peace in my life. I am from Bethlehem. However, ARK has given me the courage to go home and talk about peace building to everyone. I found hope for my lifelong pain.”

– Mary Hannah Zreineh, Bethlehem, Palestine

Rudy Ajcalon Rosales
“I return home to make the necessary changes in my family, work and community. I will practice justice to do what is right and I will put the healing of peace on all I do.”

– Andi Akpe, New York University

Karen Sorensen
“ARK V created the framework for youth gathering for the purpose of creating and nurturing peace. Relationships across countries, religions, race and beliefs were encouraged and realized. The knowledge for participants to arm themselves with loving hearts and open minds was deepened. They committed themselves to long term peace efforts and pledged their lives to involvement.”

– Karen Sorensen, Yoga Instructor for ARK, Minneapolis, MN

Pablo David Castro Ajcot
“I have decided not to be silent when faced with the injustices and racism and violence that are very strong in my country. I will life up my voice to manifest my feelings in a peaceful manner. ARK is my model for living. I have been taught well.” Now works for an NGO ecology project.

– Pablo David Castro Ajcot, Guatemala.

Mark Rizk
“ARK has taught me to stand up and speak out for what is right for people. I know my journey toward being an informed advocate for justice is just the beginning, but I am on the path now!”

– Mark Rizk, Egyptian

Wongile Mbano
“ARK has taught me what I can do right now despite the fact that I have no money and am very little in size. With the knowledge I have acquired from this program I will be able to build a world that has been scarred and arred into a world of love, diversity and most importantly peace. I will do this with the support of my ARK family.”

– Wongile Mbano, Malawi

Lihn Huyan
“ARK has given me tools that empower me to be a servant leader, a listening agent, an advocate in the face of injustices and a voice for the voiceless.”

– Lihn Huyan, Vietnamese, graduate of Northwestern University. Currently training volunteers in Vietnam.

Chikondi Chabakha
“Because of ARK, I believe I can do something to change my world. I believe it really takes one person lighting a match to burn a whole forest.” Working with orphaned children who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS.

– Chikondi Chabakha, Malawi – my first name means love.

Favour Milowoka
“I am going to work caring for abandoned kids who have lost parents because of AIDS. I will let them know they have dignity and hope because someone cares about them.” Currently working in an orphanage.

– Favour Milowoka, Malawi

Aaron Beswick
“When all people and their meanings and choices can be validated, taken seriously and taken on by others, we can achieve the peace that ARK stands for.” Currently working in Project 8 housing in Chicago.

– Aaron Beswick, graduate of Northwestern University, Illinois.

Maddie Hodapp
“ARK is a top priority in my life. It has given me a global outlookthat I would never expected would be given to me.”

– Maddie Hodapp, Minneapolis, MN

Rashelle Ngando
“ARK has changed my life. I know that the entire ARK family would say the same thing. We believe we can join with others to change this world to be a better place for everyone.”

– Rashelle Ngando, Minneapolis, MN

Brittany Bodden
“Many times people like me are not given a chance and yet, ARK believed in me. ARK has empowered me to know that I can do anything I set my mind to. I will be part of building a better world of justice and peace.”

– Brittany Bodden, Minneapolis, MN

Evaldas Svageris
“ARK has planted and grown deep roots firming the plant of peace in my heart. It is now my responsibility to raise the values in my family, society and world to become a culture of peace.”

– Evaldas Svageris, Lithuania

Inga Kurtkute
“I will use all the opportunties I have to stand up for powerless people, for the environment, for human rights. It will not be easy, but I will be patient with myself and other people.”

– Inga Kurtkute, Lithuania

Emmely Garcia Coz
“ARK bought books that we will use in a peace sanctuary that ARK made down by our lake. I will go into this sanctuary and read to children every week and talk to them about their dignity and right to a good education and work. ARK has given me the courage to be the best I can be.”

– Emmely Garcia Coz, San Lucas, Guatemala

Jose Leonel Tun
“We have equal problems and others distinct, but above all we learn to love our neighbors and to share this love starting with the place where we find ourselves, in our family, our school or university, our job, or with the people from our community.”

– Jose Leonel Tun, San Lucas, Guatemala

Previous Years of ARK

Favour Mlowoka
“ARK helped me understand why I am here on this earth.”

– Favour Mlowoka, Malawi, Africa

Caroline Magombo
“I am thankful that out of all the countries in Africa, my small, poor country was chosen to be part of ARK. It is my responsibility to go home and share what I have become – a peacemaker.”

– Caroline Magombo, Malawi

Dr. Rueben Chirambo
“In a world full of violence, plagued by AIDS, we cherish the opportunity to work for peace. ARK gave us the opportunity to talk and listen to each other about peace across borders, languages, cultures and religions. We began to hope for peace in our time. The investment made in ARK has made a difference in our lives and we know we can make a difference in the world.”

– Dr. Rueben Chirambo

Lucy Al Qassmany
“ARK is amazing. I go home as a peace maker and leader. In my community there is no peace. But in ARK I learned peace can start one by one. I am that one.”

– Lucy Al-Quassrawiy, Bethlehem, Palestine

Lara Muallem
“ARK has grown peace in my heart. I need this in my community. ARK gave me new hope that peace is possible.”

– Lara Muallem, Bethlehem, Palestine

Inga Kurtkute
“In ARK I learned about the culture of other countries. Their stories, their music, their problems. We became a close family. ARK is our guiding star, which shows us the way towards truth and peace. I go home to pay more attention to the environment and the problems of my country and other countries.”

– Inga Kurtkute, Lithuania

Adomas Seputis
“All different, yet all equal. It is because of ARK that I truly got an understanding of what this means.”

– Adomas Seputis

Mohammad Kansor
“it is nice to know, in a world so full of trouble, that there are people who search for peace. People who don’t just think of themselves and really want to solve problems. This is what ARK is.”

– Mohammad Kansor, Lebanon

Hala Goussous
“ARK worked miracles in our lives. We came to learn peacemaking. We left as peacemakers.”

– Hala Goussous, Jordan

Rand Algudsie
“ARK gave me the chance to be someone and to do something. I grew in my mind and spirit in truth and peace. ARK believed in me so I can believe in myself.”

– Rand Algudsie, Jordan

Lourdes Tereta
“ARK is like a tree of peace. It has been planted and taken root inside of us. I will bring the fruit of peace. You will see and taste it.”

– Lourdes Tereta, Guatemala

Candelaria Chumil
“ARK has changed our lives. We are different people. We go home to share what we have become.”

– Candelaria Chumil, Guatemala

Pablo Castro
“The commitment ARK has made is a great one. ARK has planted the seed of peace in a new generation. We are a great family of young people who want to change the world.”

– Pablo Castro, Guatemala

Teresa Capecchi
“ARK has provided me with material and knowledge to grow into a globally conscious person. I try to make every day of my life modeled in the ARK fashion of peace, justice and unity. I read the news; I stay current with political issues; I realize that everything that occurs ripples across the world and affects everyone else for better or for worse. ARK will be my life work.”

– Teresa Capecchi, Minnesota

Andi Akpe
“ARK made me step out of my comfort zone. Each time I did I was rewarded with knowledge, love and compassion. ARK, for me, was a life-changing experience. ”

– Andi Akpe, Minnesota

Steve Chinavasso
“I saw miracles happen in the lives of young people. I saw miracles happen in my own life. I saw peaceful ways practiced. I heard peaceful language emerge. When I traveled to Guatemala, I witnessed young people returning home with a new energy, a new vision, a new passion to build a better world starting with their own lives, families, school and community.”

– Steve Chinavasso, California/Guatemala

Issa Sacann
“I have learned a lot of things during the ARK project, like cooperating with people and doing things their way. It is really hard to walk in other people’s shoes, and also discrimination is really hard on people. Without ARK, I would not have been able to remove these things from my heart.”

– Issa Sacann, Bethlehem

Carli Jo Warren
“There’s going to be peace in the world. We don’t realize it yet, but everyone has a heart, and they will eventually care, respect and hold hands. They’ll look into each others’ eyes and open up to the world. This happened to me because of my ARK family.” Personal vision: International Law.

– Carli Jo Warren, Native American

Douglas Dayani Rocche Coz
“I am happy to have been included in this project where we hold the idea that all the world might have peace and love for one another, and to be happy and walk with love. If there was no ARK, I would no doubt be alone.”

– Douglas Dayani Rocche Coz, Guatemala

Kate Wolff
“There is so much greed, violence and hatred in the world, and everyone at ARK has
experienced the effects of these forces. Yet we come togeher to stand against these
forces and break down cultural barriers. We realize peace is not merely the absence
of violence, but actions of respect and love. Everyperson at ARK takes home these
positive messages and transcends them into their daily life.”

– Kate Wolff, Minneapolis

    ARK V Photos
    June 2011
    See more on www.flickr.com