OSMTH: Bridge Building Partnership
Chev. Joseph Kotalik, USN, KCTJ
Prior XIV, Priory of St. Norbert

OSMTH, Generations for Peace, and the Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago, IL

Generations For Peace (GFP), a Jordanian-based international NGO, which OSMTH has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with has made its presence known in Chicago, Illinois. A team of trainers from Amman, Jordan traveled to the Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) located at 7200 South Ingleside Avenue, to initiate the Sports and Arts for Resilience (SOAR) program. Lama Hattab, program director, coordinated Generations For Peace’s effort with Aisha Williams, program director for the GCYC. Three trainers from Generations For Peace worked with nine volunteer coaches from the Gary Comer Youth Center to train on the tools for attitude and behavioral change, which GFP has developed worldwide.

The purpose of this program is to teach these nine coaches methods to communicate to the youth on how to respond to conflict, nonviolently, improving self-esteem and community based interaction. The goal here is to send out those nine coaches to implement sport and arts for peace activities. Beginning with one hundred youth between the ages of 16-22, this class will make the core of the youth target group that Generations For Peace has initiated for the Chicago area.

Generations For Peace, since its inception in 2007, has trained over 11,500 coaches worldwide, impacting over 500,000 youths across the globe. Working in conjunction with universities, the program methods have been tested, studied, and adapted to each particular cultural region.

Generations For Peace’s development and partnership director, Lindsay McClain Opiyo, chaired the meeting. After providing updates on the program, meet and greet with the coaches and center staff, and coordinating a tour of the facilities, Lindsay graciously thanked OSMTH for its continued support and for helping connect Generations For Peace with the Gary Comer Youth Center. She also personally thanked Grand Master Emeritus General Patrick Rea and Chancellor General Dale Starkes for their continued support of GFP’s efforts in the Chicago area.

Also present at the meeting were other members of the Grand Priory from the United States and host Priory of St. Norbert. Included were Prior Joe Kotalik, President of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, Juliana Taimoorazy, and the Senior Managing Partner of CCG Solutions and current postulant of the Order, Honorable Erick Nickerson.

General Rea commented that “the Gary Comer Youth Center project is a good example of how OSMTH is building bridges internationally.” He said that our MOU with Generations For Peace has allowed us to extend OSMTH’s footprint both nationally and internationally. Thus helping to connect GFP with similar organizations and like-minded individuals to bring the message of reconciliation and nonviolence to a wider national and international audience.

Prior Kotalik along with Chancellor General Starkes later met with the GCYC’s Director Ayoka Mota Samuels. Discussions were held and a tentative plan to organize a Christmas event at the center had been agreed upon. Celebrating the Flagship class of youth, Coaches, and Templars culminating in the ground breaking work accomplished by GFP in Chicago. Dialog is ongoing for support activities and additional events which will help strengthen the ties between OSMTH and Generations For Peace.


December 2019
Regular publication of SMOTJ GPUSA

In This Issue

  Words from the Grand Prior

  Required Minimum Distribution

  SMOTJ Scholarship Drive

  SMOTJ Jerusalem Mite

  ICRD Templar Update

  Operation Knight Flight Update

  Bridge Building Partnership

  Order of Merit

  Priory News

  Priory News (cont'd)

  Priory News (cont'd)

  Priory News (cont'd)

  GPUSA Calendar

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