Sofie: Letter to the Reader

Dear Reader,

I know the list of links for this Reader looks long and overwhelming, but all I’m asking you to do is to give it a chance, read a couple of articles, and make yourself aware. This reader is a collection of all the research that we, the six WorldLink interns at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, collected to provide you with all of the information that you will need in order to attend the Youth Town Meeting in January 2009. This reader should definitely educate you and make you aware of global conflicts such as xenophobia, racism, religious intolerance, gender inequality and economic development. Hopefully, after you read this you will be motivated to make a difference in our world for the benefit of future generations.  We all know that the youth of today is the future of tomorrow.

This summer I began this internship at WorldLink with only basic knowledge of what others have to go through on a daily basis in order to survive.  My task this summer was to become an expert on “Conflict.” I read over 40 articles that all included some sort of global conflict. I read all about causes and effects of war, poverty, child soldiers, the war in Iraq, and the list continues. But after researching and sharing my findings with the other five interns, I realized that all of our topics are intertwined with “Conflict.”

After my research I realized that there are children younger than me that have fought in battles, that have seen death, and that suffer from malnutrition. Many of us take what we have for granted. We all have once talked back to our parents, complained about homework, said we needed the new iPod Touch and we sometimes do not finish the food on our plates. I came to the conclusion that countries need to face their problems and work together with other nations in order to resolve conflicts.

It is time to make a difference. We need to step out of our comfort zone and speak out. We are the future of tomorrow. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves and be aware of the conflicts affecting our world. You can make a difference, and the time is NOW.


Sofie Casillas


Otay Ranch High School