Global Peace Exchange (GPE) is a not for profit student-run international development organization at Birmingham-Southern College which looks to promote education, engagement and empowerment. It was originally founded in 2006 at Florida State University. It aims to establish relationships with international non-governmental organizations in order to allow students to work on sustainable development projects at the grassroots level. We hope to foster mutual understanding between differing cultures through service, sustainability, and education. On the fall of 2013, Saurav Bhandary and Wesley Chambers, BSC ’16, founded Birmingham-Southern College’s GPE chapter.
To engage, educate and empower students and communities to serve in projects around the world and to create a grassroots movement on campus and in the local community focusing on sustainable development initiatives.
The mission was simple enough—to create sustainable, grassroots development projects through student exchanges. The effect would be two-fold: Not only would local communities receive benefit at the grassroots level, but students would also be exposed to opportunities in the humanitarian field. Building upon a network of linked universities and partners, students travel and work on projects with partners in the various regions of the world. They also participate in activities to provide them with a knowledge of global issues and development ideology. The hope is that students achieve a shared understanding of the common human struggle to survive, a moral and ethical education about the issues affecting a particular area or culture, and a more complete understanding of the challenges of the development field. The best way to achieve these goals among the youth of today lies in service, as actions will always speak louder than words. This group is for anyone interested in humanitarian work, sustainable development, volunteering, poverty relief, global health issues, or making a difference in general through global action and cultural exchange.
In the past, our projects have had focus areas such as education, business, the environment, health, and women and youth empowerment. Since our inception in 2006, over 100 volunteers have traveled to 8 countries around the world. We have had projects in Rwanda, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Ghana, Uganda, Moldova, and Guatemala.
We welcome BSC students and Alumni of any major or career path to become a member of our organization! Our projects have a vast array of focus areas. There is something for everyone in GPE.
Malala Yousafzai — ‘One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.’