The Civil Forum implements a multinational, 2 year non-formal education project Share Your Peace
“Share Your Peace” aims to strengthen the competences of youth workers in peace education and provide them the necessary tools as learning resources to empower young people to become pro-active agents of peaceful change via local community initiatives addressing societal conflicts.
For centuries, Europe was a continent of war. However, after the Second World War, the European Union (EU) has become a most successful peace project, being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012. Today peace building and conflict prevention are at the heart of EU action. The EU aims to “promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples” (TEU Art 3(1) as amended by the Lisbon Treaty) and to “preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security” (Article 21(2)). Nevertheless, in the last years the EU’s ability to promote and preserve peace has been challenged by the proliferation of violent and complex conflicts as shown by the cases of Syria, Libya or Ukraine which consequences remaining devastating. Indeed, these conflicts together with the consequent refugees and migrant crisis contributed to raise the social tension and sense of insecurity among EU citizens, creating a fertile breeding ground for xenophobic, populist reactions.
In order to tackle these challenges, one of the way thought by EU has been to promote youth in peacebuilding and foster EU policy on Youth, Peace and Security (High Level Conference – “Promoting Youth in Peacebuilding”, May 2018). Yet, young people’s leadership and roles in preventing and resolving conflict, violence and extremism are rich resources essential to building sustainable peace. However, promoting the participation of young people in peacebuilding is not an easy mission, and a social approach that connects young people to civil society, and provides them with opportunities, training and support for their active engagement and participation in peacebuilding is needed. In this sense youth work can play an important role in developing young people potential and their possible role as peacebuilders. Indeed, educating the community, and particularly younger audiences, about the challenges and importance of living in a peaceful society is part of each youth entity core mission.
Moving on these premises, before to applying for this project all consortium partners (which include also youth entities of Georgia and Ukraine which experienced war in recent past) conducted a needs analysis in order to find out more about the needs and challenges of youth workers in relation to peace education and so build the bases of the project. The needs analysis was conducted in each partner country and the relevant data were collected through focus groups and online questionnaire; all the respondents of the needs analysis were youth workers/youth leaders. The results of the needs analysis confirmed that in all partner countries at level of youth organisations, there is an increasing need to update youth workers knowledge and competences in the field of peacebuilding as well as there is a clear lack of materials and tools as learning resources and training materials for youth workers and professionals in the field of peacebuilding.
The direct target group of the project will be youth workers involved in youth learning who will upgrade their skills in peace education, whereas the indirect target group are young people, who will benefit from youth workers through the provision of high quality youth learning.
The project will include the following activities:
-Four transnational meetings.
-Four Intellectual Outputs.
-Four Multiplier events.
-One mobility activity (Short-term joint staff training event).
-Local dissemination activities.
The project will have direct, positive effects on the different participants as they will acquire more specialized knowledge on peace education and understand the importance of having competences in peacebuilding and conflict prevention for transferring them to youth with fewer opportunities, and through the peer-learning among youth workers there will be concrete opportunities of intercultural contact as well as upskilling professional competences, adding comparative assessment and rating of the results, the perception of a professional growth and greater social recognition of educational mission by stakeholders.