Monthly Archives: Грудень 2018
Equalize: Youth Peace and Security

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” (Preamble of UNESCO Constitution, 1945)

This was the first thing that came to my mind when I decided to design a project on the role of young people in the peacebuilding processes. Everything begins in our minds and our thoughts create the reality we are living in.

When people ask me what I like most about Ukraine I always reply that I am happily amazed by the activism of young people and their will to improve the society. In the last 8 months I met several representatives of youth-led organizations and their commitment to create positive change in Lviv made me feel optimistic that good things are going to happen. However, they are often not recognized and their voice is not heard at the high-level tables.
For this purpose the United Nations Resolution 2250 has been created: to encourage UN member states to acknowledge youth contribution in the creation of peace and give them a greater voice in the decision-making.

The Youth Peace and Security Initiative that I coordinated aimed at raising awareness about this important resolution among young students in the 3 main universities in Lviv and involved them into discussions around 3 main topics:

– Youth Peace and Security as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
– Women Peace and Security
– Preventing Violent Extremism

The Initiative ended with the final event “ Youth Talks”, where young leaders shared their experience and showed that youth have the right to represent their concerns about peace and security.

Working for the Youth Peace and Security Initiative is one of the highlights of the year, and  a great personal achievement. The process for the realization of the full project has been challenging  but has been important for the professional growth I was aiming for.
I have learnt that not everything is under my control and that sometimes I have to let things go. I have learnt to believe in myself and that my skills go beyond what I thought.
But above all, I have learnt that when I feel like giving up  that is the time to keep going. Even if you are scared of the obstacles you could encouter in the path, keep in mind that you have to reach the top of the mountain,no matter what. Wear good shoes and  climb!

Valentina

Call for participants

Society Initiative Institute is pleased to announce the call for participants to take part in the long-term learning program “Strengthening Capacities for Youth-Led Peace Initiatives”, organised by UNOY (United Netwoek for Young Peacebuilders) in collaboration with 7 member organisations.

Background
Peacebuilding and conflict transformation are of increasing relevance in contemporary Europe. The adoption of UNSCR 2250 in 2015 consolidated the importance of the work of youth and youth-lead organisations and initiatives in the processes of peacebuilding. The follow-up Progress Study submitted to the General Assembly of the UN in March 2018 presented recommendations to the member states to increase these efforts and gave new directions for the inclusion of youth in peacebuilding processes. Nevertheless, conflict and potential violent up-raisal are present at many levels all across Western Europe, and groups and movements embracing violent ideas are growing among EU societies, mostly as a reaction to complex challenges such as the migratory movements, the economic struggle of youth, the regression in democratic and participation rights, among others. The frozen and hot conflicts in the post-soviet world have no positive developments or reconciliation processes in the last years.

Aims and objectives
This project aims to bring together youth workers and youth leaders willing to improve their competences in triggering youth-led peace-building processes at community level in their countries. Thus, this project will develop the capacities of youth leaders and youth workers to engage other youth in positive, nonviolent approaches to working with community conflicts. Specifically, the project aims at the following primary objectives:
● To strengthen youth workers conceptual understanding of peacebuilding and conflict transformation, specifically in the context of youth-led peace work
● To strengthen the competences of youth workers in planning, monitoring and evaluation of youth-led peacebuilding activities
● To empower youth workers to guide their local peers in the collective planning and implementation of youth-led follow-up projects dedicated to peace-building in order to strengthen grass-root conflict transformation processes
● To strengthen ties between people engaged in the field of youth and peacebuilding across different European regions

Project timeline
In order to reach these objectives, the youth leaders and youth workers will participate in a training series. It is expected that the participants commit for the total duration of the project and participate in each of the activities. Only with a full participation participants will strengthen their capacities in working with young people on peacebuilding initiatives in their communities.

Project activities overview

Activity 0: E-Learning preparation for the participants: The learning process starts with an e-learning module of 4 weeks on peacebuilding and conflict transformation. The expected amount of work per week is around 3 hours.
Location(s): Online
Date(s): January 14th until February 10th

Activity 1: Training course on peacebuilding and conflict transformation: 24 youth workers and youth leaders from the EU and the Caucasus, the primary participants of the project, attend an initial training on peacebuilding and conflict transformation in youth work.
Location(s): Georgia
Date(s): 11- 19 February 2019

Activity 2: Community needs assessment: Back home, participants will conduct research at the community level to deepen their understanding of the conflict context in which they would like to place their youth-led peacebuilding initiative. The scale and scope of the respective participants’ researches depends on the outcomes of the sessions on context analysis in the 1st training course. In particular, participants will be asked to intensify and deepen their knowledge about the local conflict context in the following areas:
– Reasons and effects of the conflict
– Involved actors and affected communities
– Relationship between the actors and their power relations
– Positions, interest and needs of the identified main actors in the conflict
– Existing resources, interventions and stakeholders of peace in the conflict context.
Location(s): Spain, Germany, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia, Macedonia, and
Netherlands
Date(s):February/April 2019

Activity 3: Training Course on project planning, monitoring and evaluation: The same group of youth workers and youth leaders comes together to learn about inclusive and youth-led planning of peace-building initiatives on local level.
Location(s):Georgia
Date(s): 13 -21 May 2019

Activity 4: Local activities: Building on their learning from the two training courses, the 24 participants are supported in finalising the planning of their youth peacebuilding activities and implementing them locally. The format of these activities will depend on the participants in connection to with the initiatives developed during
the 2nd training course.
Location(s): Spain, Germany, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia, Macedonia, and
Netherlands
Date(s): May – August 2019

Activity 5: Online evaluation meetings: The primary participants come back together after implementing their local activities for a final moment of reflection and evaluation.
Location(s): Online
Date(s): September 2019

Criterias for participation:

  • Young people (18-30 years old);
  • Citizens of Ukraine;
  • Basic knowledge and understanding of peacebuilding and conflict transformation, and of the specific conflict contexts in their communities;
  • Priority will be given to candidates, who have some experience in peacebuilding and conflict transformation work;
  • Good level of English to follow the course and to contribute to it;
  • Available and motivated to take part in the entire program (from the Online Training in January 2019 till September 2019, including participation in 2 face-to-face training courses);
  • Strong priority will be given to youth workers who work with young people that have fewer opportunities, including refugees and young people living in conflict-affected communities.

Application form

In order to participate please fill in the application form by 23:59, 10 of December. Only pre-selected participants will be notified by 13th of December and invited for the skype interview. Accomodation, food and training materials are covered by Erasmus+ program. 70% of the travel costs of the participants will be reimbursed.

In case of any questions please contact us via projects@sii.org.ua.