Friendship is a Commitment
PeacePal is a classroom-based program for middle and high school age students. In most cases, students write 3 hand-written letters to a peer in a country across the globe, and receive 3 reply letters each school year. In the process of learning about your PeacePal's country and culture, you will also begin to learn peace building skills. There is no charge to participate in the program, but an open mind, your best effort and commitment to the process are expected.
We are not able to accept individual PeacePals at this time, and the teacher/classroom enrollment deadline for each school year is July 30th. If you would like to become a PeacePal, please talk with your teacher about joining our program and have them contact us. We recommend that teachers or group leaders contact us in the spring or summer prior to the start of a new school year to discuss our pen pal program.
When you write your first few letters to your new PeacePal, introduce yourself and ask them questions about their life. You can tell them your name, age, gender, where you live, who you live with, where you go to school, things you like to do, places you like to go. Stick to basic information and avoid talking about things like computer games, PlayStation/Nintendo, even current movies. Chances are they don’t have these things where they live. Be sure to express interest in knowing more about them.
After a few letters you can begin to bring up thoughts or experiences you have had trying to create peace in your life. Be honest, even if you are having a hard time with this. The goal is to be a true friend, which requires honesty and compassion. If you are part of a PeacePal activity group you can discuss this with your friends.
“I learned that your religion is different from mine, and it was interesting learning all the details about it, coming from a girl in Pakistan. I also learned how great it feels to have a friend on the other side of the World." -- From a South Valley Academy student to her Pakistani PeacePal
“I hope you will keep swimming and dancing and learning what it means to be kind and make a change in the world. I have learned so much from you, don’t ever forget that." -- From a New Mexico high school student to a South African PeacePal
“Even if I don’t get to write you again, you will always be a friend to me." -- From a South Valley Academy student to a Pakistani PeacePal
“I have enjoyed how your letter opened a window into your life over in south Africa and hope you learned something about where I live as well…Someday when we’re older, I might visit South Africa to see the celebration you spoke of in your last letter. Nelson Mandela is a great man and has done wonderful things. Your freedom and how you got your freedom is something to be proud of." -- From an Amy Biehl HS student to a South African PeacePal
“I’m still jumping up and down from your letter. When I saw that the letters were in I screamed. I’m so glad I have you as my pen pal.” -- From a Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School student to a Chinese PeacePal
“Ah, what a strange and sad world we live in. Fear, hatred and grief everywhere. That must be the point of this whole PeacePal thing, so we can understand what goes on across the world from our peers.” -- From a Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School student to his PeacePal in China
“I think it is very kind that you learn English and write to me in my language. Sometimes I wish that Americans would have to learn another language and write to people in different countries in the country’s native language.” -- From a Sandia Prep student to a Senegalese PeacePal
“Throughout this program I have learned much about another culture, and I am grateful for that.” -- From a Sandia Prep student to a Senegalese PeacePal
While most high school sophomores were making plans for their summer break, South Valley Academy student Maribel Rodriguez was helping students 9,000 miles away. After hearing about her pen pal’s struggling school in Uganda, Maribel took the initiative to organize bake sales and a car wash to raise money to support her friend's school. Maribel and her friends raised $180. Maribel is an inspiration and a shining example that Peace is a Verb! Thank you to Maribel and friends, keep up the good work.
— Mother Teresa