through Prayer and Aid
Action for Peace
Three Power Projects Toward Fostering UN MDGs by Youth:
UN ECOSOC Consultative Status NGO
Action for Peace through Prayer and Aid (APPA), UN ECOSOC special consultative status, differentiates its strengths from other NGOs through its influence and impact over the young adult population. As the ones to lead our new generation, APPA works to educate the future leaders about the issues plaguing our society, especially the UN Millennium Development Goals. Founded in 1996, APPA has introduced three major projects that have brought about positive impacts: Flower Power Project (FPP), Poster Power Project (PPP), Fasting Power Project (FPP).
Flower Power Project (FlPP):
Since the inception of the Flower Power Project (FlPP) in 1999 by Action for Peace through Prayer and Aid (APPA), the slum areas in Washington D.C. significantly transformed for the good. To this day, approximately three thousand high and middle school students actively participated in this project by cleaning the streets and building street gardens. Just in Washington D.C., the student volunteers have created one hundred street gardens and annually cared for fifty street gardens.
Over the years, student volunteers actively assumed responsibility over the project, independently designing, building, and maintaining the flowerbeds. Each year, more than three hundred teenagers volunteer over the weekend, spring break, and summer vacation to positively impact the community.
Sang Jin Choi started this project as a response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots to better the soured relationship between the Koreans and the African Americans. Moving into the slums, Sang Jin Choi attempted to open the closed hearts and minds of the African Americans by demonstrating his desires to help make the slums a better community by ridding of weeds that infested the grounds, planting flowers, and maintaining them, ultimately transforming the slums into a more beautiful community. The African Americans, witnessing the changes in their communities, slowly accepted him and thanked him for his efforts. Sang Jin Choi's actions helped untie the knot between the two races. Thus, the Flower Power Project was born. Since then, Sang Jin Choi has expanded the FlPP, creating and caring for many more flowerbeds with student volunteers, their families, high school clubs, and churches.
APPA has received much praise, recognition, and awards from local authorities for transforming the slums into an eco-friendly community and fostering racial harmony.
Poster Power Project:
In 2003, APPA launched the Poster Power Project (PPP), a project perfect for targeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and spreading awareness among young adults and adults. Since its beginning, more than 2,500 students have created posters on issues such as extreme poverty, universal education, gender equality, child mortality, deadly diseases, human rights, environment sustainability, and nonviolence.
The teenagers volunteering at APPA's UN camps research on the UN MDGs that most concern them and present their findings by creating eye-catching posters. These students then display the posters in the DC area for pedestrians, drivers, and policy makers. The volunteers also take pictures and upload the posters on a social networking website such as Facebook in order to further reach out to a greater population.
The project holds two pronged benefits: The volunteers are educated about the UN MDGs and the educated inform their friends and family members, through a social network, by uploading the posters. In addition, the volunteers are able to reach out to many individuals, especially the policy makers, to raise awareness of the MDGs and to ultimately bring about positive changes desired by United Nations.
Fasting Power Project (FaPP):
Over 2,900 students have participated in the Fasting Power Project since its beginning in 2000. In this project, students fast a meal per week and instead ask their parents to donate five dollars, money that could be spent on the meals. Over a month, approximately 20-25 dollars are accumulated per student volunteer. With this money, APPA provides the homeless with food, clothing, and basic necessities. The students who participate in APPA's UN camps over the summer fast with the homeless people on park benches to gain a perspective of their hunger and loneliness. Through this project, APPA has used approximately $500,000 to benefit the homeless people.