About Us

Creating Friendships for Peace, Inc. is a volunteer grassroots organization whose mission is to promote and strengthen friendships between teens from divided communities and extend those friendships to their families and friends.  The friendships are developed through home stays with American families.  Each family hosts two teens – one from each side of a conflict.  The teen pair shares a bedroom and learns about each other, understanding their different perspectives and realizing that friendships can develop despite significant political and cultural differences.  With friendship, an atmosphere is created that allows for mutual respect and understanding – a key ingredient for peace.

CFP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in the United States.  Our volunteers were active in Northern Ireland from 1987 until 2007.  We are currently active in Cyprus since 2009 and Israel/Palestine since 2018.

In our efforts to maintain neutrality, we do not accept government funding and rely solely on gifts from individuals, charitable foundations and businesses who wish to make a difference for peace in the world.

Creating Friendships for Peace believes in self-determination and peaceful conflict resolution for all cultures and nations. 

To honor this year’s International Day of Peace 2022, we at Creating Friendships for Peace (CFP) extend a genuine thank you to all of our volunteers, supporters and courageous teens and families from the divided lands we serve.  In the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, “Peace is a noble and necessary pursuit, and the only practical pathway to a better, fairer world for all people.”   By actively reaching across racial, ethnic, and religious divides in our homes and communities, by connecting one-on-one with our hearts and minds open, we commit to what is good and essential among us​ ​— each other.

“I know if everyone had a sister/brother/sibling on the other side that they felt close to as much as I did to my pair, we would all be so much closer to peace.”  Summer ’22 CFP Teen

Latest News

Houston Area Coordinator:  Melanie Dozier Coe

Melanie has spent her career in higher education. She has taught college courses in Speech Communication and Business since 2003 while also working in operations management.  Melanie holds a Master’s of Arts in Communication Studies and a MBA in Management. As a professor she enjoys designing curriculum that includes coverage of cultural diversity, intercultural communication, and conflict communication.   Melanie is an avid traveler and lover of the arts. She shares these passions with her two teenage children and husband.  Her family has hosted yearlong exchange students from Bremen, Germany and Madrid, Spain. These relationships have continued and they consider …

Middle East Coordinator: Yasmine Masri

Yasmine Masri is an Israeli- Arab/ Palestinian English teacher. She has been an English teacher since 2011 in Deir Al-Asad Comprehensive school. She finished her English Master’s in Tel- Aviv university in TESOL. Since 2015 she has participated in the Access program, which develops English language skills amongst economically-disadvantaged youths. It introduces and exposes them to the American culture and society through enhancement activities. In 2018, Yasmine was selected by the staff of the U.S embassy in Israel to participate in IVLP exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, participants (English teachers) had professional meetings that reflected their …

Middle East Coordinator:  Debbie Roth

Debbie Roth is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and has been living in Israel for over 11 years. She holds a BA in Portuguese and German Literature and Linguistics from University of Sao Paulo, and an MA in English Linguistics from University of Haifa. She lives in a kibbutz located in the Northern area of the country, and teaches English and Diplomacy in a local High School. Debbie believes that the key for building a better society is coexistence and cooperation. She has become involved with CFP through an enthusiastic friend who promotes MUN in Israel. Debbie is looking forward …

Tribute to Creators of Northern Ireland’s Good Friday Agreement

As we near the 25th anniversary of Peace in N. Ireland, two stalwarts of the Good Friday Agreement and  Nobel Peace Prize winners have sadly passed away. John Hume died in August 2020, and now two years later, David Trimble.    Their passing reminds us of their work’s importance in securing peace in N. Ireland. Both men, at high risk to themselves and their families, took on seemingly impossible challenges with considerable strength of character, intellectual acumen, and complete integrity. Despite the achievement of the Good Friday Agreement, their respective parties suffered an electoral decline; however, as evidenced at the …

Desmond Tutu

Tribute to Desmond Tutu

Creating Friendships for Peace (CFP) mourns the loss and celebrates the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu CFP was blessed and privileged to witness and benefit from the wisdom, moral power and personal warmth and charm of Archbishop Desmond Tutu during our early years in Cyprus from 2009 – 2011.  He made indelible impressions on two CFP teen pairs, when he, UN Envoy Lahkdar Brahimi, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, representing The Elders, visited Cyprus to create a documentary film on Cypriot reconciliation.  In addition to financial support from the The Elders, Archbishop Tutu graciously provided the following encouragement to CFP’s …