When: 17 October 2015 – 25 October 2015
Where: Kobuleti, Georgia – Kobuleti
Category: Seminar

Description

Peace-building and conflict transformation are increasingly popular concepts in local and international youth work, particularly in post-violent settings in Eastern and South Eastern Europe, but adapted concepts also gain ground addressing community conflicts in Western Europe. Most of the approaches in use focus on people-to-people approaches bringing young people from conflicting communities together. However, they often do not address directly the violent past and the resulting deeply rooted negative imagines towards the other conflict party.

On the contrary, approaches to reconciliation and dealing with the past do particularly focus on this. The emphasis of reconciliation work is in creating space for changing and re-defining relationships of conflicting parties in a dynamic and adaptive process aimed at building and healing (Lederach 2001). Thus, reconciliation is a deep and wide process that focuses on all people directly or indirectly affected by current or past conflicts questioning attitudes and negative stereotypes about the “enemy” and believes about our history and the role we took/ take in the conflict.

Since only a few initiatives of this kind currently exist in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, the project would like to introduce this concept to youth based organisations from the East and West of Europe to trigger a process in which civil society organisations start dedicating their work to reconciling conflict parties using a grass-root people-to-people approach that is not looking at top governmental level but focuses on the people affected by the frozen conflicts in the Caucasus (Ossetia, Abkhazia, Karabakh) – with closed borders, propaganda and fixed enemy imagines taught in school, and even occasional shootings along the ceasefire lines. The project aims to contribute to sharing practises in the sphere of youth work and to raise awareness for the diverse nature youth work can take particularly in the challenging field of conflict transformation.

Objectives of the project:
– To empower educators/ youth workers and youth to critically reflect on the legacy of the past of their communities on their societies, daily lives and identities
– To foster commitment of youth workers and young people in shaping non-violent and participatory societies
– To inspire and empower young people to build bridges of mutual understanding among cultures and countries
– To foster intercultural competences of young people from different regions of the world
– To introduce approaches to reconciliation work and Dealing with the Past (DwP) as a concept in youth-led conflict transformation processes
– To enhance grass-root potentials for reconciliation work in the partner countries
– To plan youth-led follow-up projects dedicated to reconciliation work in order to strengthen grass-root conflict transformation processes

Content:
– Peace-building and conflict transformation
– Approaches to Dealing with the Past (DwP) and reconciliation work
– Project planning for reconciliation work on local, regional or international level

Profile of Participants
– At least basic knowledge of approaches to conflict transformation and youth participation
– Current involvement in an NGO or social initiative as a volunteer, educator, youth leader or staff member working on local or international level on social change processes or peace-building
– Readiness to participate in a mutual learning process in an intercultural environment
– Good level of English to follow the training course and readiness to fully participate in the course
– Young people to be aged between 20 to 27 years old

Practicalities

The EIDP can send five participants living in the Netherlands to this training. A 45 Euro participation fee to be paid in advance is required. 70% of the travel costs to the venue and back will be reimbursed by the organizers up to a maximum of 360 Euro*. In order to apply, send a short motivation and your CV to info@eidp.org before (TBD). To see the program of the training course you can go to reconciliationforpeace.wordpress.com.

* If the departure place of the participants differ from the seat of the organisation, and if this causes that the travel distance falls into a lower distance band, then the travel budget for the lower distance band applies.