We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends
Times are tough for families, and our youth often bear the brunt of overworked parents, homelessness, and violence at home and in the streets. Bay Area Peacekeepers is here to offer an alternative for children and teenagers who might otherwise find solace running with gangs, or a rough crowd. Our objective is to win hearts and minds, to restore hope, strengthen confidence, and prepare for a future that is brighter than today.
What we do
“Mind the Gap” is the famous phrase that warns riders of London’s subways to be wary of the space between the platform and the train. Children and youth today are confronted with so many deficits, or gaps, in their daily lives —poverty, gangs, homelessness, violence in the home and on the streets—that it can be dizzying. Things can, and have, gone horribly wrong.
We intervene, we teach, we prod, we feed, we coddle, we negotiate, we hug; we do whatever it takes to get youth through the day and on to the next with a clearer vision of all that is possible if they stay the course.
“Hurt people” as the saying goes, “hurt people” and with parents increasingly working longer hours, resources are stretched thin, and family time together is harder and harder to come by. Wounds are slow to heal. The hurt settles in, and festers. Bay Area Peacekeepers fills that vacuum in an effort to provide a kind of backup, or surrogate family. Working with parents, schools, and the police, we keep youth focused on the tasks-at-hand, which include staying out-of-harms way, learning, growing, and becoming good citizens.
Defunding police departments is a topic of much debate today across the U.S. Bay Area Peacekeepers don’t have a dog in that fight; we are far more interested in empowering people by strengthening relationships through dialogue, helping youths make informed decisions, and building confidence in themselves and each other. “Luck,” the old saying goes, “is preparation meeting opportunity.” Our work is centered around a simple message: “Be Ready!”
Our big idea is akin to scaffolding. Similar to a structure, we’re building communities atop a strong foundation of healthy, confident young people. Young people who learn to stand up for themselves, and who hold themselves accountable, can then stand up for each other, and hold their friends and neighbors accountable. It is, in effect, an extension of the old African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes strong children to sustain a village. Rinse and repeat.