Students Rebuild, One Million Bones and CARE Partner to Raise Global Awareness and Funding for Crises in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo

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“A Path Forward” to Culminate in Art Installation of One Million Handmade Bones on National Mall; Will Serve as Visible Petition to Resolve Widespread Suffering

A Path Forward offers students worldwide a way to participate in solutions to the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time.

Students Rebuild today announced its partnership with One Million Bones, CARE and Global Nomads Group to launch A Path Forward, a new Students Rebuild challenge designed to galvanize worldwide support for the humanitarian crises in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), one bone at a time.

A Path Forward invites students and educators from around the world to make bones from clay, plaster, paper and tape, wood, fabric or other materials and donate them to a high-visibility art installation, slated to cover the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2013 with one million handmade bones.

The world will be watching as each of the million handmade bones raises awareness, commemorates the lives lost and honors the survivors of famine, armed conflict and mass atrocity. The installation will serve as a visible petition to resolve widespread suffering and a hopeful message of solidarity. Along with bones, students will contribute personal stories, photos and wishes, to be selectively included in a book and a short film.

In addition to the hands-on art project, Students Rebuild will provide multiple opportunities for students and educators to learn firsthand about the humanitarian crises in Somalia and the DRC through a series of free interactive programs offered by Global Nomads Group. Live webcasts, field blogs and interactive videoconferences will offer participants a rare chance to connect directly with their peers and relief workers in Somalia and the DRC, as well as other Students Rebuild participants.

A Path Forward will also raise funds through a challenge grant offered by the Bezos Family Foundation. Every 120,000 bones—100,000 physical and 20,000 digital—contributed to this campaign will generate $100,000 in funding, up to $500,000, for CARE’s work to improve livelihoods and advance educational opportunities for young people in Somalia and the DRC. Participants in the United States and Canada will mail in their physical handmade bones. To encourage widespread participation, students from other countries will have the option to e-mail digital images of their handmade bones.

“We hope A Path Forward will offer students worldwide a way to participate in solutions to some of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, including famine and ongoing conflict,” says Jackie Bezos, President of the Bezos Family Foundation. “Each handmade bone created by a young person in support of their Somali and Congolese peers will serve as a powerful symbol of our global connectedness, and our desire for a better future for all.”

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders,” says CARE President and CEO Helene Gayle. “Ensuring that they are connected to the world around them and aware of the sufferings and challenges faced by the world’s most vulnerable populations creates a future generation of passionate and invested leaders prepared to tackle extreme poverty in impactful ways.”

How to Take Action Today

  •     Visit http://www.studentsrebuild.org to learn more and sign-up for the challenge.
  •     Gather materials. Gather your clay, plaster, paper and tape, wood, fabric or other materials and make a bone for hope and healing. Make a bone in honor of the lives lost and in solidarity with those who have survived mass atrocity. Pair it with a story about why you were moved to participate or a wish of hope and healing for your peers in the DRC and Somalia.
  •     Bring friends. Call your friends and invite them to a bone-making event. Remember, the goal is 500,000 physical handmade bones submitted by mail and an additional 100,000 photos of handmade bones submitted by e-mail.
  •     Mail the bones. Students from North America will mail their contributions for placement at the National Mall.
  •     Mail photographs of your handmade bones. Students from outside North America will have the option to submit photographs of their handmade bones, which will be digitally woven into the final installation and incorporated into the film and book project.
  •     Share with the world. Download your photos and stories onto our Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/StudentsRebuild Visit often to see how students all over the globe are meeting this challenge.
  •     Learn. Dive deeper into crises in Somalia and the DRC through live webcasts, field blogs and interactive videoconferences with relief workers and young people in these countries.

“One Million Bones is excited to partner in the newest Students Rebuild challenge,” says Naomi Natale, the founder of the One Million Bones project. “A Path Forward combines knowledge with action – allowing students to make real the opportunity they have to genuinely make a difference in the world.”

More than a quick fix fundraising effort, Students Rebuild provides opportunities for young people and educators to see how they are connected to the global community while taking action, galvanizing friends and working together in creative ways to help those in great need. Since its launch in 2010, Students Rebuild has generated over 1M in support for school reconstruction in Haiti through young people’s grass-roots fundraising and inspired children worldwide to make over 2 million paper cranes, which triggered funding for Japan’s reconstruction.

About the Partners:

Students Rebuild is an initiative of the Bezos Family Foundation that inspires young people to connect, learn and take action on critical global issues. Learn more about Students Rebuild and the Bezos Family Foundation. http://www.studentsrebuild.org

One Million Bones is a large-scale social arts practice using education and hands-on art making to raise awareness of genocides and atrocities going on around the world, this very day. The one million bones collected from across the country and installed on the National Mall offer a visible petition, to remember victims and survivors, to bring awareness to the issue and to call upon our government to take much needed and long overdue action.

About CARE. Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE package, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year CARE worked in 87 countries and reached 82 million people around the world. http://www.care.org

Global Nomads Group (GNG) is an international NGO whose mission is to foster intercultural dialogue and understanding among the world’s youth. GNG engages and empowers young people worldwide using media, including: live-interactive videoconferencing, webcasts, social networking, gaming, and participatory filmmaking. GNG operates in the international and intercultural education sector, striving to serve as a vehicle for awareness, bridging the boundaries of cultural misconception and instilling in our audience a heightened appreciation and comprehension of the world in which they live. Founded in 1998, the organization has conducted virtual exchange programs in more than 50 countries on all seven continents, reaching more than one million young people. http://www.gng.org

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