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“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

That's How It Really Is

*Christian International Peace Service
With over five decades of global experience in conflict zones, CHIPS is dedicated to fostering peace and reconciliation. We empower communities to instigate enduring grassroots transformations for restored peace.

Since 2014, we've been actively engaged in Brixton, UK, focusing on countering youth violence through constructive avenues for young people.

Filmmaking has proven to be a powerful avenue for Brixton's youth, teaching teamwork, collaboration, unity through the art of storytelling. In 2021-2022, our youth crafted the poignant short film, "That's How It Really Is," shedding light on subjects like young carers, self-harm, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and child molestation.

With support from Westhill Endowment, we are able to orchestrate eight screening events nationwide, encouraging dialogue, support, and proactive engagement among young people. These screenings provide an opportunity for the youth involved in the film to shape, develop, and facilitate critical conversations on these complex subjects, ultimately offering a platform for vulnerable exploration of the contemporary youth experience.
CHIPS aims to empower communities, instilling lasting grassroots change and fostering sustainable peace. 
Our work is underpinned by four values which inform all that we do:

1. We only go where we are invited by the community – peace cannot be imposed upon communities in conflict.

2. We live in the heart of the conflict - so our teams can fully understand the challenges faced by the community.

3. We build relationships with both sides – we seek to understand everyone’s perspective.

4. We are committed for the long term – sustained peace takes many years to build.

We do not bring change ourselves. Instead, we empower the community to effect lasting grassroots change.

In our experience, this is the most likely means of building lasting peace. We are not prescriptive in the tools we use; we involve affected populations in every decision-making process to ensure that the practical projects we do are meeting their most prioritised needs, then we interweave key tools and theories of peacemaking and of bringing divided communities together with these practical projects.

Since 2014, we have been actively engaged in Brixton, UK. Our work primarily focuses on addressing the pressing issue of youth violence by providing young people with constructive opportunities. Among the successful projects is filmmaking, which not only imparts technical skills but also teaches essential values like teamwork, collaboration, unity through the power of storytelling.
In 2021-2022, we produced a short film, “That’s How It Really Is." This film was written by and starred young people from Brixton.  “THIRI,” as we call it, dives into the complex realities faced by young people in Brixton, shedding light on topics such as young carers, self-harm, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and child molestation. It serves as a powerful platform for these young voices to express their experiences and concerns.
Our approach with filmmaking aligns with our vision to put young people at the centre stage, offering them a voice to express their concerns, fears, and hopes. At a time when young people face a myriad of challenges, including those intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising cost of living, and limited resources, it's crucial that they have the opportunity to share their experiences. The filmmaking process along with the subsequent screening events provide a unique platform for young people to ask questions, engage in meaningful conversations, and explore what it means to be a young person in today's world.
Our impact extends beyond these events. We've witnessed how participation in filmmaking has helped some of the young people we work with open up further, and in some cases, even led to exciting opportunities, such as working on a Netflix show and studying at the acclaimed Brit School. We aspire to continue building on these opportunities and nurturing the potential of the young individuals we work with.
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