June 8th, 2016
By Aura Jgamadze, Ludmila Andrade and Marjolein Kok, edited by Soraya Atmani
In the long-term training Education for Peace – Developing Competences for Peace Education in the Youth Field, 20 young peacebuilders are coming together to learn about peace education from each other and from UNOY Peacebuilders’ member organisations Academy for Peace and Development and coordinated by the European Intercultural Forum e. V. (Germany).
The three of us – Aura, Ludmila and Marjolein – are glad to be part of this amazing group. We are all activists from one of the network’s newest member, Horizons: Global Youth for Justice and equality, a Dutch-based global youth movement. Horizons works with youth on building just, equal societies by means of intercultural dialogue. While striving for more inclusive and equitable societies, Horizons challenges ahistorical, ethnocentric, paternalistic, and de-politicized patterns of engaging with one another. Merely understanding the root causes of oppression and exclusion is not enough; a change in how we engage with one another is of crucial importance.
At the first on-site training in Georgia last April we explored a holistic approach to conflict transformation and peacebuilding which involved explorations of inner peace, social peace and environmental peace, and how peace education can support those. The theoretical background was supported by a method of experiential learning, which includes simulations, role playing and other activities. All the participants were challenged to leave their comfort zone and embrace a participatory and rich experience. However, we did find that there could have been more emphasis on complex conflict situations and analysis, going beyond the surface of peace education.
We also had the opportunity to share our own projects and experiences, as well as to create partnerships and cooperations. As a follow-up, we will develop a project on peace education in order to share our findings with the Horizons team and practice our newly acquired competences. When developing the peace education project, the team at Horizons deems it crucial that one be aware of and act upon the possible inequalities in power structures, representation, knowledge production, ethics, which are not, either consciously or unconsciously, being noticed.
All in all, it has been a rich, positive exchange of beliefs, cultures and experiences. We look forward to a more in-depth experience during our next training in June, during which we will work on curriculum development and facilitation skill building. Peacebuilding is a lifelong learning process!
To learn more about the training course, please visit the website of the training course itself.
Photos by Alex John (Asha Centre – UK)
We are a global network strengthening sustainable youth-driven peacebuilding. We connect 70 youth peace organizations across 45 countries.
Our goal is to create a world where young people have the opportunity and skills to contribute to peace. We work to strengthen youth-led peacebuilding initiatives, facilitate a safe space for dialogue and conflict transformation, develop the organizational capacities of our members and to bring the voices of young people to policy makers on a regional and global level.