“Non-Violent Answer” Training Course that embodied values of Conflict Transformation
With an idea to foster a culture of peace and break circles of violence, the “Non-Violent Answer” training course on nonviolent conflict transformation took place from the 23rd to 30th of August, 2023, in the unique setting of the Bavarian city of Landshut. The initiative brought together youth workers, activists, and trainers from partner countries including Armenia, Belgium, France, Georgia, Germany, Kosovo, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, and Ukraine.
The main idea behind “Non-Violent Answer” was to equip 30 participants with the competencies in nonviolent conflict transformation and therefore create space for the creation of a sustainable culture of peace and respect for human rights. The participants, coming from diverse backgrounds, together designed a space where all principles and values on nonviolence and conflict transformation were embodied in the week of the training course.
The training program was based on the objectives that aimed at providing knowledge, skills and space for exploring values for nonviolent conflict transformation. Participants had a chance to explore topics such as peace, nonviolence, conflict, peacebuilding, human rights, and the theory of nonviolent conflict transformation. Besides that, participants were given a chance to explore further various conflict transformation tools such as nonviolent communication, active listening, empathy, mediation, facilitation, dialogue and nonviolence in practice. Besides that, participants had a chance to plan follow-up activities in actions in their local communities.
Doing something “small” but important for the culture of peace, wasn’t something that participants planned to do only when going back home. Their peace actions started already in Landshut. From portraits to support buying medicines in Ukraine, articles explaining the impact of nonviolent resistance, and experience of a peaceful community, to the postcards for peace, participants of “Nonviolent Answer” started being agents of peace from the first day of our learning journey in Landshut.
Furthermore, this six-day-long training course provided a special opportunity for participants to connect on an emotional level, creating a space to empathize and understand each other regardless of their identities and backgrounds. The training was characterized as an emotional experience that allowed participants to learn about different ways to deal with conflicts, especially on the interpersonal level.
Finally, the commitment to nonviolent conflict transformation didn’t end with the Landshut event. Participants were encouraged to further engage through e-learning and the YPAN Academy. This online platform offered participants modules covering conflict behaviors, nonviolence, reconciliation, mediation, emotional literacy, legal aspects of peace, and elements of a culture of peace. Besides that, it keeps giving them the space to stay in touch and exchange their peace paths, actions and experiences.
The “Non-Violent Answer” training course was more than just an educational initiative. It was a transformative, peaceful experience that offered space to young people from various backgrounds to unite around the idea of a peaceful life together. We are looking forward to seeing all those amazing humans inspiring others and by bringing change on their local level, slowly and nonviolently changing the world.
“Nonviolent Answer” is a project financed by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Programme.
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