This is a reference for Sofya Piradyan

"Conflict Resolution through Dialogue

The training activity took place
in Yerevan, Armenia
organised by Global Youth Union and Youth in advance 18

Aims & objectives

The aim of the training is to empower and equip young leaders and youth workers with negotiation, intercultural communication, diversity management and conflict resolution skills on personal, interpersonal and organizational level to contribute to the culture of peace and cooperation. Discuss today’s political confrontations in Europe and neighboring countries , go deeper to self assessment, find the details of their cultural belongings and how the cultural and national identity and pride are reflected in each individual. Find common values and create negotiation and dialogue between participants. Foster them to emphasize the importance of bilateral and intercultural dialogue and the importance of Gathering to live together. Motivate the young individuals to come up with long-lasting project ideas to undertake in their home countries upon changing attitudes and fostering intercultural dialogue.

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

During this training course countries, which have been involved :

Training methods used & main activities

There was a preparation phase during which the team created a draft educational program, a Facebook page was created, participants met each other virtually, an e-learning task was assigned to the participants and session outlines were drafted. The team met two days prior to the start of the course to finalized the educational program, procure stationary materials and make final preparations. The program was structured so that, aside from the arrival and departure days, every day consisted of two morning session and two afternoon sessions followed by reflection groups and evening activities.
The first day began with the Official Opening. Participants who had arrived at the venue (the Balcony Villa Hostel) were able to start to know each other in person (names, where they come from, how they arrived at the venue, what is their organization etc.). This was done using icebreakers and name games. Then, a Welcome Space workshop provided an opportunity for participants to explore and discover, for themselves, all the various aspects of the training course (aims/objectives, expectations, needs, NFE methodologies, program flow, commitments etc.) working in small groups, and start taking responsibility for their own learning. A teambuilding exercise allowed the participants to better know each other and to break the ice. The next session explored the essence of human rights - the key features, and existing challenges and introduced the method of non-formal education. It was followed by an introduction to the YouthPass certificate – how to complete the application. In the evening, there was an NGO bazaar for networking.

On the second day, the training course entered the educational component, which began with presenting and explaining the concept of conflict – the link between language, identity and conflict; defining conflict; and two workshops dedicated to developing conflict analysis skills. On the third day, an icebreaker was used to build trust (Eye Contact). Then, participants explored conflict situations in their community using the Values Tree method. The day ended with two workshops on mapping conflict, during which participants were presented various conflict analysis tools and they were encouraged to use them to map conflict in their lives or communities.

On the fourth day, participants presented their conflicts using various mapping tools. This was followed by the session on conflict case studies. Participants had been given an e-learning task prior to their arrival, to do as country delegations/groups. They were to map conflict situations in Europe and prepare to share their findings during the training course. They were then asked to share these findings and their comments, in this session, working in country groups and using the World Café method. The second part of the day began with a session about violence (introducing the concept) – a participant contributed to this session by introducing Theatre of the Oppressed to the group. It ended with a workshop on conflict transformation using the exercise “Pass the Person”, which aimed to allow participants to gain a better understanding of conflict and the role of communication, especially intercultural dialogue, in dealing with conflict situations.

The first part of the fifth day was focused on further exploring conflict transformation (introducing the theories of John Paul Lederach) and a conflict management exercise was done after. This was followed by a session on conflict resolution. Participants completed a negotiation test to assess their skills in negotiating. In the afternoon was a field trip to Garni and Kerak where participants visited local archeological sites including the famous temple of Garni. There was a dinner out in a restaurant serving traditional Armenian/Caucasus dishes with traditional Armenian live music.

On the sixth day, participants discovered and explored types of nonviolence. After a brief presentation on the concept, they were given pictures and quotes about nonviolence and asked to share their impressions – individually and in small groups. After this was a session dedicated to Living Library – guest speakers were invited to tell their stories to the participants. The second part of the day was about youth sharing best practices in working with conflict - the Youth Peace Ambassadors Network and the No Hate Speech Movement campaign. One participant contributed to this session with a workshop on Crowdfunding. The day concluded with a workshop on project development in anticipation of follow-up activities for this project. Participants discovered how to use the Erasmus+ platform to write project applications and they were asked to work in groups to come up with project ideas for follow-up.

On the final day of the training course, a participant held a workshop on Active listening and then all the participants presented their project ideas. Another session was dedicated to making sure the participants had completed their YouthPass applications necessary for the certificate to be issued. Final reflection groups were held afterwards and then the final evaluation was conducted. The training course ended with a closing ceremony and participants received their YouthPass certificates before departing.

Outcomes of the activity

Participants could express their thoughts and feelings as well as provide feedback about their daily experience during the training course. They were particularly encouraged to comment on their learning process. The team also interacted with the participants continuously. This way, the team received useful feedback from each participant, and participants received the support and mentoring they needed. There is also ongoing support taking place via the Facebook page of the event.
The project, through its flow and program aims to work with the participants in all the three directions: knowledge, skills and attitudes. Having in common the fact that they all are involved actively in the partners’ activities, the participants of this training course were:

- be more aware of the conflicts in Europe and partner countries
- be more aware of the importance of the effective communication for providing a supportive learning for youngsters;
- understood better the mechanisms of conflict at the personal, interpersonal and external level in order to be able to resolve it in their personal and professional life;
- identified and defined one's own role in conflict within the working team and with the target groups;
- developed creativity and innovative thinking, as well as greater confidence in developing new resolution approaches for the conflicts;
- improved creative thinking skills on producing appealing campaigns for delivering information in their specific areas of youth work.
- learnt new conflict resolution approaches/techniques to working with young people and communities, especially targeting the fewer opportunities groups;
- get to know more about the conflict resolution approaches used in different countries and in different fields of activities;
- developed skills in using/experiencing new tools and approaches for delivering messages with specific content and with academic content.Participants have maintained contact since the training course via social media. They are also looking to cooperate in partnerships with their organizations and they are exchanging resources for youth work. The project has an impact on the European level because participants came from six countries. They expressed that they would be interested to work with one another (and their organisations) and planned to organise youth projects as partners

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I have been facilitator during this program.

I worked on this training for 7 days as a full time trainer.

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