President Eisenhower’s idea of achieving peace through understanding was the principle behind People to People International (PTPI). PTPI was founded on September 11, 1956 under the U.S. Information Agency as a personal diplomacy program, operating under three main principles: humanitarian work, cultural exchange, and global education. The idea of achieving peace without government interference, but rather with everyday citizens, was the foundation. As the president of Greater Kansas City People to People, Zahid Awan put it, “You cannot bring the peace without direct relationships with the people, like students to students, doctors to doctors, army officers to army officers, people to people.” On October 31, 1961, PTPI was taken into the private sector as a not-for-profit organization in Kansas City, Missouri, moving the headquarters from Washington, DC.
PTPI is the mother organization to Greater Kansas City People to People (GKCPTP). It is now one of more than 200 chapters located throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the United States. GKCPTP citizen ambassadors have a mission to promote international understanding by building bridges and establishing connections. One program GKCPTP is involved in is the International Military Student Sponsorship program with Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, a U.S. Army installation, invites a group of international military students from allied nations to participate in a 12-month training program. Each foreign officer and their family is assigned three sponsors, one being an officer from GKCPTP. These officers offer hospitality, comfort, and make Kansas City feel like home while building a mutually beneficial relationship.
GKCPTP and International Relations Council share similar objectives of building global awareness and education in Kansas City. GKCPTP’s ongoing vision is to expand by getting more individuals, schools, and universities involved in the organization. “I see great success in opportunities and good things ahead for this organization,” said Zahid Awan.
You can get involved with Greater Kansas City People to People by becoming a member, sponsoring an officer, or donating on their website: https://www.gkcptp.org/.
The IRC spotlights our members and their diverse work and interests in the international space. To learn more or to indicate interest in being spotlighted in an upcoming post, please visit: http://www.irckc.org/page/MemberSpotlight.