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START student launches youth-lead peacebuilding effort

After conceptualizing and gaining support for his idea to create crowdfunding opportunities for youth-led countering violent extremism (CVE) programs, START student Ryan Garfinkel has taken on a leadership role with The Youth-Led Peace (YLP) pilot program. The program provides opportunities to accelerate youth-led peacebuilding initiatives through crowdfunding, with support and training along the way. 

As a student in the Community, Resilience, Engagement, and Dialogue (CRED) Fellowship at START, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, Garfinkel collaborated with fellow students and contacts in the DHS Office of Community Partnerships to create a taxonomy of domestic and international CVE programs. From his research on various program models, approaches and sponsors, he gleaned the importance of both youth-led and peer initiatives in the violent extremism realm, as well as the importance of funding for these initiatives. 

YLP is launching a campaign to raise funds for three groups – Initiative for Civil Society, The African Youth Development Forum, Bengls Centre – who are at the front lines of preventing violence, creating the foundations for sustaining peace in Georgia, Kenya and Ghana respectively. 

All three of the groups participating in Garfinkel’s crowd-funding program are reaching out to the public around the world to support their important work, seeking donations through the Global Giving fundraising platform.