From 10 th to 17 th of April, Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) in partnership with TeachSurfing

(Germany) hosted 45 youth workers from 12 different countries; Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia,

Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. They were hosted in Armenia to

participate in the eight-day international training course “Conflict vs Connection: A Training for Young Peace

Builders”.

The implementation of this international Training Course in Armenia was due to the existing conflicts in

the region, which in their turn negatively impact both Armenia’s and the neighbouring countries’ development. The

course focused mainly on the topics of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building and conflict

management, which are very relevant in the participating countries. As a result, participants of the course have

learnt to consider cultural, ethnic and religious diversity as an opportunity and not an obstacle.

The ambition to build peace has been among the political and diplomatic circles of the participating

countries. However, many of the conflicts are still unresolved, influencing young people living in those countries.

More often, young people are the ones who become victims of violent conflicts and wars.

Within the project, a public “Human Library” event was organized. Local and international participants of

the event had heard a lot about Muslims, Buddhists, people of different nationalities and groups, but never had a

chance to meet and talk to them, ask them about their daily life, ambitions, aspirations and concerns. “Human

Library” was a great opportunity. Human Library works as an ordinary library: readers came to the library, choose

a book and read it. The only difference is that books are humans, and the reading is a real conversation.

During the Training Course, 45 participants had the chance to participate in lots of interactive exercises

and non-formal educational activities, identifying the reasons of conflicts, possible solutions and the role that

young people can play in conflict resolution processes. Additionally to discussing the cross-border and

international conflicts, they discussed also interpersonal conflicts and learnt about effective strategies to

overcome them.

The International Training Course was organized by Armenian Progressive Youth (Armenia) and

TeachSurfing (Germany). It’s been a unique project with its wide geographical scope and the relevance of the

subject. The project was funded under the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.