About Us

YourOliveBranch.org (yobo) furthers peace and sustainability through a robust, positive news portal, the creation of original content, and online social networking. It is made up of members and viewers focused on making the world a more peaceful and sustainable place through communication, respectful interaction, education, action, friendship, and shared community.

Yobo is administered by Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, a not-for-profit organization based in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA. Our focus at Karuna Center is on building sustainable peace. For the last 18 years, we have been working with deeply divided communities—especially in parts of the world that have experienced the ravages of war. We have seen, time and again, that people are capable of finding creative, nonviolent solutions because of a shared longing for peace and social change, now and for future generations.

Brief History

YourOliveBranch.org was created by Tom Willits and Jeff Mackler, who ran the project as an independent endeavor under its own not-for-profit status until the website found a new home with Karuna Center in 2012.

The project began in late fall 2008 as Tom and Jeff were developing a marketing plan for a new film, Soldiers of Peace, and brainstormed about the need for both an international social network and positive news blog site focused specifically on peace and sustainability.  Through relationships they have with organizations in these mission areas and their technology background in web development, they embarked on raising the money, designing and building the social network with the positive news feed, and arranging for partner members to participate as members and content providers. Thanks to the contributions of many devoted yobbers, YourOliveBranch.org launched to beta in December 2009.  In August of 2012, ownership of yobo was transferred to Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, a kindred organization that had long been active on the site.

How Can We All Make A Difference?

There is so much positive change occurring around the world.  There are so many wonderful accomplishments positively affecting peoples lives everywhere.  News of many of these activities and efforts never finds its way to the general public.  The stories of true inspiration never seem to make it out of the little hamlet or village or hidden city neighborhood they originate in. We can make a difference by connecting with others through yobo and sharing these successes.  We can educate each other and those beyond yobo who don’t realize the amazing efforts being made to create clean water, to grow sustainable food, to build schools and medical facilities, to create art, and much more.  We can post these great stories on the yobo news site and tell our friends what they can do to make a difference.

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