Kids to Kids is a worldwide programme dedicated to fostering goodwill and friendship between children of different cultures and nationalities. It was founded in 2002, by Sri Chinmoy, a peace-dreamer who initiated a wide variety of activities and programmes designed to support world peace.
Sri Chinmoy created Kids to Kids after receiving a
request from Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Advisor to Africa. Professor Gambari asked Sri Chinmoy to arrange to send needed supplies to the children of Angola, where a peace accord had just been signed after 40 years of civil war. Under the auspices of Kids to Kids, children worldwide were empowered to send thousands of packages of educational, medical and sports supplies, as well as toys, drawings and personal messages to the children of Angola.
Over the years, many of our other projects came into being at the request of Under-Secretary-General Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury. One of Ambassador Chowdhury’s responsibilities was for the Least Developed Nations, and it was he who asked Sri Chinmoy to serve the children of ten of the world’s most vulnerable countries, by sending educational and medical supplies, and Kids to Kids Kits, to children in those countries.
In all of his activities, Sri Chinmoy sought to embrace the highest ideals of the United Nations; the universal goals of the UN have motivated all of our projects. Inspired by the deep significance of the Bhutanese emphasis on happiness as a national goal, another critical activity of Kids to Kids has been to promote the International Day of Happiness, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. In recent years our activities have continued to link children of different nations in projects that create more happiness, by giving children the opportunity to express their friendship with others all over the world. It is becoming clearer every day that we live on one planet, and that humanity is one family. Just as we wish to help our brothers and sisters, every human being becomes a friend yet unseen.
Even though the concept of Kids to Kids is simple, its impact has been far-reaching. Teachers from many participating countries report that their students become happier, more confident and more caring towards others in their daily lives as a result of participating in our activities. Teachers say that when their students see the photos showing how their Kids to Kids gift-packs have thrilled children around the world, they feel tremendous satisfaction and fulfilment. They come to realize that they can make a difference with something as simple as a drawing, a message or a few school supplies. Even very young children can participate in these activities. Thus, the children learn the most profound ideals of the United Nations through their own actions.
Drawings of Love & Gratitude
In March, 2020, as a result of illness in friends and family members, and exposure to daily news about the spread of Covid 19, we began to see that children all over the world have become worried and stressed. This made us wonder whether there was anything we could do to help them. We then initiated the “Drawings of Love and Gratitude” project. Our experience in earlier Kids to Kids projects has shown that once children participate in making things better, they feel empowered and are eager to do more. We invited students, as well as their teachers, to express encouragement to others during the current crisis. They were invited to create a drawing or message of friendship to a child whose family has been affected by Covid-19, and to express their gratitude to doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, worldwide, who are serving Covid-19 patients. We are also creating vinyl banners displaying the children’s drawings, so that their art can be hung outside hospitals; and we hope in the future to arrange an exhibit of the artwork in New York City.