This is a reference for Matteo Lombardi

Conflict: crisis or opportunity

The training activity took place
in Adamov-Brno- Czech Republic
organised by NESEHNUTI Brno

Aims & objectives

Promoting among young people a culture open to integration, multiculturalism in order to value different identities that coexist in Europe. The main aim of the organization and of the training was to develop a multicultural background through development of capabilities of the youngsters, but also trying to support the rise of more open, fair and just society.

Specific objectives
- reflect on the construction of individual and collective identity.
- strengthen management skills and the positive transformation of the conflict.
- develop the drama and other creative artistic processes.
- build a public performance as a tool for discussion and debate in conflict situations.
- share the work experience among all the partners.
- create a network for the exchange of good practices.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

Italy, Greece, Romania, United Kingdom, Czech Republic
The team of trainer:
Lombardi Matteo, Roberto Mazzini, plus team leader/trainer- from each country involved in the project: Greece, England, Italy, Czech Republic and Romania

Training methods used & main activities

The training comes out as an attempt to give and receive tools and answers concerning the context that are part of daily routine of almost all youth workers: a complex working environment, where the geographical origins, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds of the youth they work with are very different. This complexity often leads to conflicts where the clash between different identities, stereotypes and prejudices are main protagonist. Therefore, we perceived (and partners agreed) that there was (and still there is) a need to manage these conflicts in a positive and constructive way and to provide the youth workers with new and interactive tools that enable growth and collective reflection, tools of empowerment, e. g. the Theatre of the Oppressed.
Each partner organization had the responsibility to select four participants. (3 participants and 1 group leader). Goal and reason for this suggestion was to select motivated people who participated actively in the life of their organisation (volunteers, employees, occasional collaborators ...) in order to ensure continuity of the project after the end of the training and to allow the partners to be enriched with new knowledge.

Outcomes of the activity

Participants re-discovered in a new way, how to learn and they became the leaders of their own learning - realising what they want and need to know in order to be active part of change in their own communities and knowing where to look for it. Their social and cultural consciousness raised significantly, because they faced their own stereotypes, understanding from where they come from and how to deal with them which was lead to their better understanding of social inequalities. We aimed to provide them with situations that was challenge our participants’ viewpoints and encourage them to tolerate, if not welcome, ambiguity in knowing.

The training course aimed to support their self-development by increasing their cultural consciousness, they learned to understand each other, build on that understanding and in the long-run it will increase their employability - they learned how to look for resources within themselves, no matter how alienated the environment around them would be and raise of their self-esteem, awareness and active participation result in their better social integration and its promotion in their local communities. They felt the unity with humanity and striving to bring change not only to their local communities, but to Europe and the World as a whole.
We were working on the individual empowerment to make a change within their communities, but mainly to self-develop themselves in terms of more tolerance, cultural sensitivity and creativity as the way of changing the world around me in a creative way and through art and cultural events. Goal of the training was to provide the participants not only with the experience of making their own theatre of the oppressed, but at the same time gain the basic insights in how to make the similar event in their own community and add to the impact of our training course.

The training was structured in a way also to provide a theoretical and practical part about the creation of identity, the origin of stereotypes, prejudices and the consequent discrimination from which derive the various strategies that we create in a process to set up a conflict. This part, was addressed in the first day, and also by the sharing session organized by the Italian Organization Casa per la Pace Milano.
The interactive and experiential methodology that we used, was one of the tools we offered to the participants, in order for them to reproduce this dynamics and exercises in their country of origin and in their field of work with young people.
Other partners brought their respective areas of expertise and improve the abilities and skills of the participants in ways of using non-violent communication or humour as tools in youth work.
The second fundamental aspect of the training was the theatre of oppressed, in particular the potential of the method bound to the different forms of artistic expression of youth. The participants in the training had the opportunity to experience new games and exercises that they learned in a safe and reassuring environment.

It was also important for us to reflect on culturally specific aspects of knowledge and work together in order to break down cultural barriers and space that separate different countries. We aimed and succeed to create the feeling of belonging to broader and shared categories, where the differences are an added value, a resource to be used and applied in different contexts.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

My role was to lead/facilitate the whole workshop. It was divided in two parts: the first part of 5 days was organized in order to create the group, working on group dynamic and share the different approach on the issue, main topics and tools. Shared the information from the partners organizations through the support of the Team Leader. Each National group/partner organization was asked to prepare a lesson of 3hours where to expose/share their work and their point of view on a specific issue. The second part was to coordinate all the needs, following on the idea from the first part and create, with the support of the other trainer Roberto Mazzini final performances, showing the results at the University of Brno.
My area of expertise was to support the creation of the group, group dynamics, the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology and the tools connected with.

I worked on this training for 9 days days as a full time trainer.

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