LEWISTON – Students from Barry Rodrigue’s Western Civilization I class at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn campus are working on a project called Pennies for Peace to raise awareness for an organization that brings wartorn teens together at a camp in Otisfield.

Their goal is to create awareness and raise $2,500, enough money to send one adolescent to the camp for three weeks in the summer.

The Seeds of Peace, a locally represented organization, was started in 1993 by John Wallach to teach adolescents how to coexist with one another.

Student Celia Whitten of Lewiston said, “A lot of people don’t know this camp exists in Maine, and with the current global conditions we felt this was an appropriate project.”

The camp’s funding comes from corporate and private donations, as well as grants from USAID. The teens are selected by their governments to attend the camp.

A day at camp might consist of conflict resolution activities, cooperative teamwork and other enrichment activities, including sports, hiking and socializing. A second focus is for the campers to observe each other’s religious practices, in hopes of relieving fear and creating a shared understanding.

At the end of each session all of the campers take a trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the nation’s capital and meet with government officials.

The class is accepting donations in Pennies for Peace jars located in area businesses and by mail until May. Anyone wishing to donate is asked to make checks payable to Pennies for Peace and mail to: Pennies for Peace, USM LAC, Attn. Celia Whitten/Barry Rodrigue, 51 Westminster St., Lewiston, ME 04240.

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