ENGAGEMENT 2.0: Building a Sense of Initiative and Intervention

- Community Social Peacebuilding -

IMPRESSIONS ​FROM THIS TRAINING

Background:
Youth are the cornerstone of the presence and the future. Their social participation must be enhanced and their vital social role should be strengthened. Hence, our training "​Social Grassroots Conflict Transformation" for 25 local participants from Vienna will train them on how to analyse community issues and design and implement initiatives to tackle a grassroots problem to achieve a positive change. Issues can be environmental, social, civic, political or any other conflictual area that affects the society. As a participant, they will choose a specific issue to focus on and tackle during this training. The range of possible issues to tackle varies from environment, inclusion, diversity, education, digitalisation, human rights, gender, integration, equality, solidarity, discrimination, justice, culture, and youth empowerment, to topics such as poverty, employment, social public services, sustainability, politics, and climate change. All these diverse topics can be understood, in the framework of visible and invisible violence. Therefore we choose this framework as a method of finding solutions and developing transformation skills and tools to address these topics in a constructive way to achieve a positive change in the community.

Learning experience:
During this local training, 25 participants first learned about the framework of visible and invisible violence, including major concepts such as "violence", "conflict", "peace" and "transformation" to build a common understanding amongst all. Further, the participants were introduced to tools to analyse an existing conflict and think about possible solutions. As a next step, participants worked in small groups to design their own initiatives that address any topic that they wish to influence. Participants were supported during the training to design a comprehensive local initiative with an actual implementation plan. All groups presented their initiatives (problem, solution and intervention) and got feedback. After the training, all groups have been further supported by the organising team to implement these newly designed initiatives as a follow-up to this training on the local level. The initiatives are a civil education workshop on inequalities, a community garden, an event about mental health, and a Vlog about issues of students.

Practicalities:
This training was from 9 to 14 April 2022, in Vienna, Austria for young leaders between 18 and 30 years old who are based in Austria (both citizens and residents) with at least an English level of B1 and who were eager to learn new skills, methods and tools to improve their conflict transformation capacities and better engage in the civic society. Teamwork, cooperation and mutual respect were the core principles shared by all participants. The training was free of charge. It has been financed by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. Thanks to this generous fund, we covered all the costs for the training, materials, content, meals, breaks, and transportation. For successful participation, the participants had to first fill in an application form to apply, then commit to at least 80% of the training program, sign the learning agreement, and implement the follow-up initiatives.

 Project outputs and results? 

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Umwelt WORLD Environment Day.jpg
Mental Health Talk.jpg
Discrimination.jpg
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 What do the participants say about this training?