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Conflict vs. Connection: A Practical Training for Young Peace-Builders
Start date: Dec 31, 2016, End date: Jul 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Training Course “Conflict vs. Connection: A Practical Training for Young Peace-builders" will take place in Yerevan, Armenia between November 02 - 07, 2016. It will involve 36 youth workers from the European Union Member States (Germany, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Poland) and Partner Countries (Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey). The course will be focusing on diversity, conflict transformation and emphatic communication. Seeing diversity as a barrier instead of appreciating its enrichment has been playing a substantial role in both the national and international debates and politics in each of the participating countries for decades. The transformation of the conflicts starts from us: our hearts being in war or in peace, our way of communication. When we grow in peace with ourselves, we can continue to bring the transformation to our surroundings: our interpersonal relations, the way we connect and relate to our families, friends, acquaintances, strangers, communities. All these topics will be brought to attention in the TC.Within Europe there is a great variety of cultures, languages and religions. But this does not stop at the borders of the EU. We are surrounded by number of counties who might not be members of the EU, but who have a strong connections with it through culture, language, religion and shared historical events. Taking into account the very recent extremist movements in Europe and Neighboring countries,the refugee crisis, existing political conflicts in Eastern Europe and Caucasus, we consider it highly important to gather youth workers and activists from EU and non-EU countries to talk about what connects us, to practice non-violent communication and as well share some practical tools how to transform and manage conflicts.Getting a better understanding in how we, people, function and what gets us together and keeps us walking the same direction is crucial for youth workers and peace builders of today. This will be done by promoting non-violent approaches leading to actions on peace-building and promotion of Human Rights. Moreover, young leaders will discuss the significant role of youth participation in grass-root peace-building initiatives.The objectives of the Training Course are the following:-To develop awareness about personal concepts and believes one has about conflict and habitual ways to react to the conflict;-To identify effective methods that help to prevent and/or transform conflict through fostering non-violent communication;-To gain knowledge on key concepts, such as conflict management, conflict transformation, conflict resolution, inner belief systems and non-violent communication;-To gain tools for non-violent communication and conflict transformation;-To exchange best practices in relation to youth work and conflict, inter-religious and cultural dialogue;-To help participants reflect on the competence needed for using different tools to develop dialogue;-To raise awareness of risk factors under which conflicts tend to arise;-To facilitate networking between participants;-To raise the visibility of the Erasmus+ program as a tool for development.Variety of non-formal training sessions will help us to achieve the above mentioned objectives. Through non formal education methods the participants will get to know each other and will be given a space to exchange experiences and forge new friendships, across any barriers that may exist. All the topics will be brought to attention in the training using the 'learning by doing' methodology, where the participant becomes the protagonist of the learning experience, gets new insights and learning after observing and reflecting over his or hers behavior in different exercises, games, processes and role plays offered by the trainers and gets a possibility to try out new approaches, ways of communicating and actions in a safe environment of a group setting. The participants will acquire the skills and knowledge to transfer the used methods to concerned parties outside of the project. The trainers and invited experts will share practical and theoretical knowledge on the topics, through plenary sessions, workshops, processes & interactive exercises and other non-formal educational methods. The input and experience of participants will be also vital part of the program.Through exercises, discussions, presentation of examples of good practices in the field of conflict transformation and promoting diversity as an enriching concept, we want to encourage peer learning and inspire youth workers to discuss follow-up and take action in their own countries following the Training Course. Moreover, during the TC special attention will be paid to developing skills and competencies of the participants that are needed when working with young people, especially people with fewer opportunities and empowering them to make real change in their local communities and societies.
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