“Where can peace be found? Can you legislate it? Can you build it through economics, politics, or diplomacy? No. You have to change the hearts of men.

When we live for the sake of others, we are building a new cultural paradigm and breaking down barriers, not with words, but through action. In the process of breaking down those barriers, we transform ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, our nation, and eventually the world. This is how you find peace.” 

Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, 2002, Service for Peace Rally, Washington, D.C.

This week the Global Peace Foundation announced that their Mongolia chapter’s online volunteer community, “My Club,” was recognized for “Best Voluntary Activity of 2014” by the Network of Voluntary Organizations at a special program hosted at the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme of Mongolia on International Volunteer Day.

International Volunteer Day is an official United Nations International Day designated to recognize central role of volunteer efforts in securing peace and development.

As the quote above points out, volunteering is not just about tackling a shared social or economic issue, it is about a transformation of the heart. Service is an act that affirms humanity’s connection to each other and taps into a divine ability to put others before oneself.

The Global Peace Foundation-Mongolia has engaged young university students from all parts of the nation in creative projects to address literacy, environmental sustainability, and elder and family care.

Local university student volunteer reads to kindergarten students before naptime in Mongolia.

Local university student volunteer reads to kindergarten students before naptime in Mongolia.

The eye-catching photo on the report is from the “Desk Book” project. It depicts a university student reading to local kindergarten children right before nap time.

According to the Service for Peace approach, the short time the university student invests is not only about increasing the children’s literacy, but about acknowledging the kinship between she and the children. The simple act of reading to children she barely knows says, “I may not know you, but I care about you, because we are all family.” For the children, it is an affirmation of the larger national and global community that is concerned for them.

Take a moment, 10 minutes, to serve, and reflect on the transformation that occurs, the small piece of peace that emerges as one puts the good of humanity first.