The Facing Difference Challenge

We’re joining forces with Students Rebuild, CARE, and Global Nomads Group for this year’s “Facing Difference Challenge.” Through the challenge, students are empowered to overcome differences and invest in peace through art projects. Each piece of art created will be matched with a donation from the Bezos Family Foundation to our “Naija Youth Unite!” project in Nigeria.

The Challenge

The Challenge will empower young people to reflect and take action toward building understanding, empathy, and peace. By joining the Challenge, students will learn about identity and opportunities created from facing difference, connect and build understanding with global peers through live webcasts, and create a meaningful self-portrait that reflects their sense of identity and commitment to peace. Each portrait submitted generates funding from the Bezos Family Foundation—up to $600,000—to support Search’s Naija Youth Unite! Project in Nigeria and programs run by CARE, helping youth on different sides of conflict build peace and understanding.


“When we work together, our differences can galvanize new ideas to solve our most pressing problems. Youth can play a key role in building safer, more productive societies – not just for tomorrow, but for today,” said Shamil Idriss, President and CEO of Search for Common Ground. “We look forward to working with Students Rebuild to empower Nigeria’s youth with the skills and confidence to enact meaningful peace projects in their communities.”

The Impact

For the last decade in Nigeria’s Plateau State, violent clashes between Muslims and Christians have led to deep divisions and have claimed thousands of lives. The Naija Youth Unite project will bring together Christian and Muslim boys and girls from this region, training them in leadership and discovering nonviolent alternatives to resolving conflict. The camps will foster camaraderie through fun activities and empower the youth to organize peace projects in their own communities, together.

Mariya and Juliana were part of our pilot Naija Girls project several years ago. Hear their story about an unlikely, but powerful friendship.

The Action

It starts with you! Empower youth like Mariya and Juliana abroad and give young people in your family and community the skills to tackle difference and build understanding together!

Do you have or know kids? Invite them and their schools to join the challenge!

There are three simple steps:

1) Connect: Form and register your team to connect with Students Rebuilds’ global community of educators and students.

2) Learn: Dig into the provided resources, tools, and experiences to find learning opportunities for your students.

3) Take Action: Guide your students to create self-portraits that reflect their identities and experiences. Each portrait sent to Students Rebuild generates a $3 matching donation from the Bezos Family Foundation—up to $600,000—to support peace building programs in Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and the South Caucasus region of Eastern Europe.

We believe youth play a key role in building safer, more productive societies – not just for tomorrow but for today. We hope you join us!

Learn more about this amazing opportunity here.