This is a reference for Karen Pong

Peace Is...

The training activity took place
in Senderiz, Galicia
organised by Youth Peace Ambassadors Network
27/09/2015 - 04/10/2015
Reference person

Agata Stajer

(Co-trainer, organiser)
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Aims & objectives

The project aimed to empower youth workers coming from conflict-affected communities to improve their skills in coping with the conflict situation and to promote the culture of peace and peaceful ways of conflict transformation in their everyday life and in their work.
The objectives of the project were:
- to gain a better understanding of what is the culture of peace and how can it be implemented in our everyday life on personal and on a professional level
- to find a common point of being European through the culture of peace
- to empower people to develop the sense that peace starts from the individual level and the ways to project it to the community
- to empower youth workers through introducing or gaining a better knowledge of tools like nonviolent communication and non-violent actions
- to make sure that our working methods are in line with our understanding of the culture of peace
- to plan and discuss how to implement the new methods into our daily life and work creating a sustainable impact
This activity was implemented as there was a need to discuss the culture of peace, and how to use nonviolent methods seems to be more and more urgent just reading the news from across Europe. The armed conflict in Ukraine, the constant moves alongside with frozen conflicts between Russia and Georgia or Azerbaijan and Armenia are just examples of the European conflicts. Also raising radicalism across Europe is frightening when we see Europe from a minority perspective. We believe that fundamentalism and radicalism are producing continued, unrelenting attacks on underrepresented people who suffer from the suppression of their right to self-determination, ethnic and cultural abuse and the violation of their cultural, language and religious freedoms. Ethnic, religious and racial intolerance and nationalism are among the principal sources of modern armed conflicts. The lack of democracy and just global governance at all levels of society are causing conflicts and replacing the rule of law with the rule of force.
Promoters of the project are members and partners of the informal network - Youth Peace Ambassadors (YPA) that tries to create an impact starting from personal and local level. We run projects in conflict-affected communities in Europe - also facing the issues around the world through refugees and economic influence.
The YPA network was created to bring human rights values and conflict transformation to our communities. We try to support each other with specific methodologies, solidarity actions, and by raising awareness about different conflicts. We have noticed the need to empower youth workers working in the conflict-affected communities to explore the culture of peace as a guideline in our everyday work and to learn and exchange specific methods such as nonviolent communication, nonviolent actions, inner peace and conflict transformation.

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

Partner countries: Spain, Turkey, Hungary, Greece, France, Poland, United Kingdom, Former
Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Participants: 36 youth workers experienced in working in different conflict-affected communities
5 team members from Poland, Ukraine, France, Spain, Hungary

Training methods used & main activities

Non-formal educational methods were used - icebreakers, teambuilding exercises, discussions, group work, creative workshops. Participants were asked to fulfil the preparatory tasks through e-learning modules, which gave a basic knowledge about concepts of the culture of peace and the most important international organisations and enabled the participants to speak the same language of human rights and peace. This part included articles, interviews, short movies - participants also worked in small groups.
The program was divided in three main parts. It was dedicated to exploring the concept of the culture of peace and was done through discussions, simulation games, experimental learning and using analytical skills. The methodology of meditation was introduced and practised throughout the activity. In YPAN, we believe that in order to transform society, it is necessary to start from changing our lifestyles and ways of working in nonviolent ways, and meditation is a tool to achieve it.

Outcomes of the activity

Participants learned new techniques of nonviolent communication and nonviolent actions that could be used in their everyday life. This was done with a special focus on experimental learning through simulations and sharing best practices and analysing case studies.
The most notable achievement was the impact on the personal development of the participants, such as the development of their skills, knowledge and attitudes related to peace field. Participants of the project were eager to be future actors and ambassadors of bringing change in a peaceful way. 4 participants from this project joined the YPAN. When analysing the impact on the partner NGOs, it is worth emphasising, that they gained the
possibilities of future cooperation and making the impact of their work more sustainable, as well as will gaining activists with new perspectives for the youth work who will be able to multiply knowledge gained. The participants also created two videos as a follow-up and outcome of this project. They can be found on the following links: and

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Assisted in drafting application for funding from Erasmus+, planning, organising, implementing -
recruit participants, manage online social media platform, prepared inputs for the programme content, running workshops, evaluation - drafting final report and supporting participants in the follow-up activity of making a video for International Human Rights day 2015

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

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