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Bridges to Understanding

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Education, Educational Services, Student Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Bridges to Understanding empowers and unites youth worldwide, enhances cross-cultural understanding and builds global citizenship through the art of storytelling and the use of digital technology. Humanitarian photographer Phil Borges founded Bridges to Understanding in 2001 to give youth around the world the tools to share their vision, hopes and dreams. Bridges connects hundreds of middle and high school students in the northwest United States with their peers in South Africa, India, Guatemala, Peru and other countries through teacher-guided online dialogues, curriculum-based programs and the creation and sharing of digital stories. Students from radically different backgrounds across the globe get a unique opportunity to learn directly from each other, ask questions about each others lives, and ultimately develop cross-cultural understanding and creative problem solving. We envision a harmonious, inter-connected world in which youth are actively engaged as responsible global citizens.

Geographic areas served: International

Programs: The organization provides an online program which connects middle school students in the developed world with their contemporaties in indigenous communities. Central to the program is digital storytelling mentored by professionals and created by students. The organization provides tools and training that enable the students to tell stories from their own lives and communities. These stories are shared through the bridges website where the students can engage each other, ask questions about each other's lives and collaborate to create multimedia stories exploring their cultures.

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