Project Common Bond
Project Common Bond brings together teens, ages 15 - 20 from around the world who share a 'common bond'--the loss of a family member due to an act of violent extremism and war. Launched in 2008, Project Common Bond has so far brought together over 308 teenagers from seventeen different countries and territories to turn their experience of losing a loved one into positive actions that can help others exposed to similar tragedy. New countries this year include Algeria, France, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Participants echo the mantra of our program to "Let Our Past Change the Future." Teens gather for a ten-day healing and peace-building symposium in a safe and supportive environment, where they engage in dialogue and community-building activities that acknowledge and respect their differences while promoting friendship and understanding.
Project Common Bond is building an international community of young people whose lives have been transformed by terrorism. They strive to become global ambassadors working toward peace, positivity and empowerment.
Project Common Bond is the only international program uniting children directly impacted by acts of terrorism. In August 2010, we held our annual Project Common Bond symposium for the first time outside the U.S., in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
For children whose lives have been directly touched by violence and war, the sudden, and public nature of their loss becomes an overwhelming and defining characteristic of their lives. As reported by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, the incidents of terrorism targeting civilians is increasing rather than decreasing. In the ten years since 9/11, nearly 112,000 more people have been killed or injured as a result of a terrorist act. This number is increasing annually as various parts of the world become less stable places in which to live, drastically increasing the number of families, including children, experiencing loss and disability, changing families forever.
Currently, there is no mechanism to bring together young people who have experienced similar tragedies to build their resilience and strength. These children, in many cases, remain isolated. In a comprehensive document, entitled "Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror," Psychology Beyond Borders--an international non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to assisting communities and individuals impacted by natural disasters, incidents of terrorism and armed conflict--states that a major strategy to enhance resilience includes "building programs and structures that facilitate community and individual bonding." Creating community with peers who share common experiences is a powerful tool for healing and positive growth, especially for young people. The lack of community building forums after 9/11 inspired Tuesday's Children to seize an opportunity to develop programs which created community for families and children, thereby improving their attitudes, awareness and coping abilities.
The idea for Project Common Bond came from our own experience and knowledge of the 9/11 adolescent population along with extensive research in collaboration with mental health experts and family members who have actively participated in Tuesday's Children's programs and services throughout the past decade. Wanting to reach out to others worldwide who have experienced a similar loss and common "bond," Tuesday's Children created an internaional community fostering positive personal growth and community action.
"This project taught me a lot of things. I started to trust people without thinking that they may lie to
me or betray me. Due to this project I realized that
I can overcome any problem. I started to understand and trust people. I see the world differently; it's
a totally new world for me now. People who participated in this project taught me how to live
in a better way. I started to appreciate my life
and I am very thankful for my changes."
The American Ireland Fund
Asociación De Ayuda A Las Victimas Del 11-M
Douglass Ellenoff, Esq.
Jacob Marley Foundation
Koby Mitchell Foundation
Manhasset Community Fund
Marsh & McLennan Companies
Mr. and Mrs. John Powers
Santa Maria Foundation
Mr. Aidan Smyth
Twin Towers Orphan Fund
Mr. John C. Whitehead
This year, Project Common Bond will be held 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia, PA at Bryn Mawr college July 24 - August 2.
Application Part 1:
International participants, please download the
Application Part 2:
ALREADY ACCEPTED into PCB 2012?
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PCB 2013: Continues to Be A Success
Seventy-three teens from around the world that have the unfortunate common bond of having lost a family member to an act of terrorism joined together for a week long alliance from July 12 - 20th, 2012. Project Common Bond, now in it's fifth year, continues to change the lives of young people around the globe.
To date, young adults representing Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, France, Pakistan, UK and the United States have come together to heal, explore the concept of dignity and the role it plays in conflict resolution, and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
News outlets such as The Washington Post, BBC, Telemundo, USA Today and NY1 were able to come and capture a part of the experience to share with the world. Visit our Media Gallery for this coverage. This was another successful year in continuing Tuesday's Children's steps towards fostering collaboration, peace-building and global stewardship. Some participants were returning for their third of fourth year, while other participants were the first time representatives from their country to attend Project Common Bond. The first day was spent in team building exercises that encouraged trust and communication and ended around a bonfire making s'mores and learning line dances.
During the week, the young adults participated in an interactive curriculum that introduced the Dignity Model, developed by Dr. Donna Hicks of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, at Harvard University. Monica Meehan McNamara, Director of Curriculum, and a team of facilitators skilled in both conflict resolution and psychology, led three-hour morning sessions. Exploring the concept of dignity offers an accessible and applicable message of hope and transformation. Dignity is inherent in all human beings and to act with dignity is to extend to others what we would like for ourselves. We cannot always bring about resolution in conflict, but by recognizing that conflict is about the violation of an individual's dignity, we can take immediate steps to address our own dignity and that of each other. Our motto for the week was, "we can do better."
Project Common Bond works with respected organizations in nations affected by terrorism that help the young adults who have experienced loss. In addition to family support organizations that screen and select adolescents, program partners consist of Project Common Bond's curriculum providers:
Association of Victims of Terrorisms
Beslan Relief Fund
C Global Consultancy
Coleman Raider International
Columbia University Center for the Study of Trauma and Resilience
Embassy of Sri Lanka
European Network of Victims of Terrorism
Families Moving On, County Omagh
Harvard Law School Negotiation & Mediation Program
Haverford College Center for Peace and Global Leadership
International Foundation for Terror Act Victims
International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies
Mothers of Beslan
New York State Psychiatric Institute
Northern Ireland Phoenix Project, County Armagh
NYU Child Study Center
The Peaceful Education Community Center in Tulkarem
The World Foundation of Music and Healing
Queens University, Belfast
Russian Children's Welfare Society
South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEEF)
Unforgotten Children of Beslan
United States Institute for Peace
WAVE Trauma Center, Belfast
Women Without Borders
Youth Peace-Building Network