The program Peace Ambassadors originated from the Youth Center L'Azymut Est-Ouest of St-Nicolas/Lévis in Québec province. In April 1999, the Columbine School shootings showed the world it needed to act. Richard Proulx saw that the youth are our most precious and powerful tools against violence, and developed the Peace Ambassadors program in 1999 to help empower them to live in peaces.
Violence is not an intrinsic characteristic of today’s youth. Many, having become aware of the violence in our societies, have met it head-on; they are already taking action to promote peace and nonviolence through programs like the Peace Ambassadors. The mission of this program is to promote peaceful attitudes and behaviors and strategies for conflict resolution. This is accomplished by the transmission of values such peace and respect at a very young age.
During the first Peace Ambassador experiments in May 1999, it was shown that young children preferred presentations from older children to those of adults. This is the heart of the Peace Ambassadors program. When elementary students are given advice by those whom they look up to, high school students, they are much more receptive to those messages. These teenagers are setting examples for the young children who are in desperate need of positive role models. The youth of today are laying the foundation for peace and nonviolence for themselves, and it could not have come at a more critical time.