This is a reference for Erik Ghazaryan

Train of Tolerance

The training activity took place
in Pristina, Kumanovo, Leskovac, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Novi Sad
organised by Youth for Exchange and Understanding

Aims & objectives

The tour showed participants work and results to local communities and “left” it to them to use them afterwards for resolving the hate speech situations or improving the intercultural dialogue with their neighbors. The idea of the activity is to show that all border and boundaries can be crossed and overcome, that we are not born with hate and that it is just a work of an uneducated and closed mind.

d. Objectives

-To play the theater performance and street action in 5 different countries on the same topics (5 plays in 10 days in total)
-To promote the idea of peace and conflict resolution around the Balkans
-To promote no hate speech, understanding and tolerance and search for potential solutions together with local communities
-To display the impact conflicts have on everyday life of youngsters
-To show the causalities of conflicts in participating countries realities
-To send a message as contribution to conflict resolution and fight against hate speech

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

This programme is set up to develop capacities of youth from (post)conflict areas to act as multipliers in their local communities in processes of peace building, intercultural dialogue and struggle against all forms of hate speech in neighboring regions.

Together with 25 youth activists and their youth organisations from 14 (post)conflict countries project team worked on improving intercultural dialogue and respecting the differences of others, developing competences to use creative, innovative approaches and participatory theater methodologies and motivating youth to act as role models to fight hate speech.

Training methods used & main activities

This training was not a standard training with sessions provided by the trainers. The main role of the trainers was to coach the participants in preparing and executing the performances, to direct the plays and facilitate intercultural and interpersonal exchange. All performances were developed in Cyprus by the participants themselves, an example of how non-formal education can contribute to skill development, empowerment of youngster and taking ownership of your own learning.

To motivate the participants we implemented several energizers, short group discussions and moments of celebration during the whole tour. To assess the needs and of opinions of participants we organised an interactive midterm evaluation and a final evaluation, including individual reflection time, sharing in small groups and plenary sessions.

Outcomes of the activity

The programme had a logical flow and the amount of travelling time varied. We started with a preparation days in Pristina to get all participants at the same level concerning the performance and to create a good group atmosphere as a basis for the rest of the tour. The three following days consisted of rehearsing in the morning, performing in the afternoon and evening and travelling afterwards. Halfway through the tour we had three days of intensive travelling, including visiting key places to understand the conflict in the Balkan countries. At the end of the tour we staid some extra days in Novi Sad where besides performing we also dedicated a day to evaluation and follow up sessions and an official closure of the entire programme.

Through regular check inns with the different working groups and individual conversations we made sure that participants felt comfortable and supported to perform. In the third city we executed a midterm evaluation, asking the participants for things to keep from the first days and things to improve. Trainers and organisers discussed how they could incorporate the main points and reported back on this to the participants. At the end of the tour we did the final evaluation of the tour and the entire project, including collecting recommendations for future projects.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

In the frames of the training I implemented several tasks. I was coordinating parts of the Street dance performance and the Photo-Exhibition. Among my responsibilities were several sessions implemented during the first days of the training.

I worked on this training for 10 days as a full time trainer.

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