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How to talk about war. Facilitating learning in the face of crisis

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“How to talk about war” is about how to face crisis situations and make it a topic in non-formal education events, especially if you work with interculturally mixed and transnational groups.

Aims of the tool

Together with Dagna Gmitrowicz and Marta Brzezińska-Hubert we tried out and put together various ways to bring the topic of war to non-formal education and search mutually for ways to handle it within our workshops, seminars and training courses. This small publication is a work-in-progress and an attempt to find first answers and practical ways to talk about war in a non-formal setting.

Description of the tool

“Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
- Brené Brown

War February 24th 2022. When the Russian army crossed the border and invaded Ukraine we were in the middle of an On-Arrival Training for volunteers in Poland. In our group were participants from all over Europe, including Ukraine and Russia. We had our programme in the context of a terrifying war, and a refugee crisis, that was just about to unfold. Since then, we have been involved in various events with interculturally mixed groups, always challenged by the impact of this war and the question of how to find a balance between individual needs, the group process, the content within a crisis that was escalating more every day.

The War in Ukraine suddenly brought the war to our doorsteps. It opened our eyes to other wars that are currently happening in the world, wars that are happening far from our borders. Wars we tend to ignore and look in a different direction.

“How to talk about the war” became a question that haunted us. Together with our colleagues, we tried out several things and we posed ourselves several questions:

How to address the war? Do I have to talk about it?
How can I prepare talking about war?
How can I inspire small actions?
How can I support self-care and build resilience?
How can I support those who are especially in need?
How can I strengthen the group/community?
How can I take care of myself?

Since then, we have tried out various ways to bring the topic of a war to non-formal education and search mutually for ways to handle it within our workshops, seminars and training courses. This is a work-in-progress like this article, an attempt to ask the right questions and an attempt to find first answers and practical ways to talk about war in a non-formal setting.

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Disclaimer

SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

How to talk about war. Facilitating learning in the face of crisis

http://toolbox.salto-youth.net/3219

This tool is for

Trainers, facilitators, educators

and addresses

Voluntary Service

It is recommended for use in:

European Voluntary Service
Training and Networking

Behind the tool

The tool was created by

Dagna Gmitrowicz, Marta Brzezińska-Hubert, Michael Kimmig

in the context of

TEC European Solidarity Corps

The tool has been experimented in

TEC European Solidarity Corps

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Michael Kimmig

and last modified

7 April 2022

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