The Training of Trainers on Transforming Narratives was a capacity building activity organized by the International Secretariat of UNOY Peacebuilders.
The Training enabled 20 (potential) trainers to improve their facilitation and training skills focusing on peacebuilding, conflict transformation and the creation of peaceful narratives through non-formal educational activities. In addition, they trained other young peacebuilders in their own communities after the training, seeking to empower them to take action in the field of conflict transformation and transforming narratives, ensuring a multiplier effect.
The training worked with the aim of building the capacities of young peacebuilders to build peace across Europe, and globally, by developing narratives that shape positive social relationships. To achieve this, we worked towards the following objectives:
Building the following among 20 youth peace trainers:
- Capacities (knowledge, skills and attitudes) to transform conflicts
- Knowledge of the ways in which narratives can influence conflicts
- Skills to work with their peers to construct and disseminate peaceful narratives
- Facilitation and training skills, to support their peers to engage with complex issues through non-formal education methodologies
- And, to strengthen networks of young trainers with expertise in peacebuilding across Europe.
There were several outputs and outcomes from the online and on-site trainings that were reflected in the follow-up activities implemented by the 20 participants.
- 20 participants planned and carried out one training session during the ToT (as part of phase 1 and 2).
- 20 participants developed an outline for their draft version of the action plan of a small-scale local training (as part of phase 3).
- Networks of young trainers with peace education expertise were strengthened (as part of phase 3).
- The participants developed their competences in analyzing and transforming conflicts.
- The participants, including UNOY affiliated participants, enhanced their competencies in planning, designing, delivering and evaluating peace education activities.
- The participants were enabled to use of narratives as a conflict transformation tool.
Phase 1 – Online Pre-Training (February 26 – April 7, 2018)
- the online phase consisted of 6 full weeks of online modules and group work. It prepared the participants for the face-to-face training, especially in the knowledge and theory-based aspects of the topic. The online phase also served as a platform for participants to familiarize themselves with each other, and team up in small groups and work together.
Phase 2 – On-site Training ( The Hague, The Netherlands April 8- April 15, 2018 )
- the on-site training was a skills-based training that included practical, inspiring and creative methods based on arts, communication, dialogue and hands-on practice. It ran for 6 days, and was divided into two parts:
- Develop knowledge and attitudes related to peacebuilding, the role of narratives and training using non-formal education methods.
- Improve facilitation and training skills through a series of participant-led sessions, where participants got hands-on experience in developing and implementing their own non-formal education activities. This practice session included a video analysis followed by well-structured self-reflection, debriefing and feedback sessions from the trainers and other participants. A co-learning environment was ensured during the whole process.
Phase 3- Local-Level Trainings (April 15- August 15, 2018)
- The final phase of the project was when the 20 young trainers returned to their home countries or regions, where they organised a small-scale local-level training on conflict transformation and transforming narratives themselves. Coaching was provided by the team of trainers, and fellow participants, throughout the development and implementation phase of this activity through regular online meetings.
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I van Kobelev is a senior trainer and trainers coach at ESN (Erasmus Student Network), an organization with complex trainers development infrastructure. As a freelance trainer and facilitator he’s been delivering trainings around Europe and Asia for youth from about 30 different organizations, but also teachers and adults, most often on learning design and facilitation, empowerment, intercultural learning, inclusion. He’s been part of Mainstreaming Peace Education program in 2015, facilitator at Young Peacebuilders Forum in 2016 and European consultations on UNSCR 2250 progress study. He believes in profound and holistic learning, integrating body, mind and heart, and being a constant learner.
As a social anthropologist Elena Russo entered the world of peace education with a research on a peacebuilding community; once found out observing was not enough, she jumped into youth Euro-Caucasian projects. First as a participant and finally as a freelance trainer and a project manager. Her focus is the empowerment of individual and group agency for both acquiring and spreading good practices of creative problem solving, intercultural awareness and conflict transformation. Elena’s slogan is ‘peace is made of small things’, because by daily steps we take, we can make the difference between whoever, wherever and whenever we are.
This training course was supported by a grant from the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. This whole program would not have been possible were it not for the generous support of the European Youth Foundation. We would like to take this opportunity once again to thank them for their support.
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