Active Citizens for Reconciliation (Caucasus)

Erasmus +

Dates: March 2015 – February 2016 | Venue: Georgia
Funded by: Erasmus+ programme, German National Agency
Activities: one international training course hosted in Kobuleti, Georgia  (6-14 June 2015) and one international youth seminar (18-26 October 2015)

Follow the blog of the project at: https://reconciliationforpeace.wordpress.com/

Conflict transformation is of crucial relevance for all modern European societies as diverse conflict cleavages exists on international, societal and interpersonal levels in all European countries. Many of those cleavages have their roots in the legacy of the past and cannot be seen disconnected from the heritage of past authoritarian regimes or from former territorial and ethnic conflicts.

While many peace-building processes already start to integrate a people-to-people approach going beyond the mere institution building, they often do not address a direct confrontation with national remembrance traditions, enemy images and the legacy of the past. Reconciliation work and Dealing with the Past (DwP) addresses particularly this aspect of peace-building by aiming to foster a critical but constructive dialogue about the past and its legacy among people from conflicting communities.

Against this background, the project „Active Citizens for Reconciliation – Building Peace Together through Remembrance“ would like to offer a project that aims to strengthen personal and organisational capacities of youth stakeholders in making a contribution to reconciliation work and Dealing with the Past (DwP) on local and European level by educating both, youth and youth workers on grass-root people-to-people peace-building work.

The project is composed of two main educational activities: 1) a training course for 24 youth workers, NGO workers or teachers from the EU and the Caucasus on reconciliation work and Dealing with the Past as an approach in youth work, and 2) a youth seminar for 30 youth activists (24 young leaders, 6 youth workers) from the EU and from the Caucasus on developing youth-led follow-up projects dedicated to reconciliation work in order to strengthen grass-root conflict transformation processes.

The applied methodology of both courses is based on non-formal education and will make use of a wide range of educational tools such as workshops, exercises, simulation games, debates, refection groups and study visits.

As a result, the project will have trained 55 youth workers and youth leaders on peace-building, specifically reconciliation work, created at least 5 follow-up projects in the involved partner countries or on European level, six public presentations on reconciliation work and Dealing with the Past will have been organised, and a brochure outlining the place of Reconciliation work in peace- building processes will have been distributed in the six partner countries.

Both activities will take place in Georgia, and will bring together youth workers, youth educators, and youth leaders from Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Objectives of the project:

  1. To introduce approaches to reconciliation work and Dealing with the Past (DwP) as a concept in youth-led conflict transformation processes
  2. To empower educators/ youth workers and youth to critically reflect on the legacy of the past of their communities on their societies, daily lives and identities
  3. To foster commitment of youth workers and young people in shaping nonviolent and participatory societies
  4. To create inclusive and youth-led follow-up projects dedicated to reconciliation work in order to strengthen grass-root conflict transformation processes

Themes addressed by the project:

  1. Conflict transformation and peace-building
  2. Dealing with the past and reconciliation
  3. Democratic and inclusive participation
  4. Youth empowerment

Partner organisations:

1- Academy for Peace and Development, Georgia
2- Bridge to the Future, Youth Public Union, Azerbaijan
3- Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly of Vanadzor, Armenia
4- Vicolocorto, Italy
5- European Institute for Democratic Participation, The Netherlands
6- European Intercultural Forum e. V., Germany (coordinating)

Schedule of the project:

> March-May 2015: Preparation and launching of the project blog

> 6-14 June 2015: Step 1 – Training course “Approaches to reconciliation work”, Kobuleti, Georgia

> July – September 2015: Step 2 – Research in all partner countries on community needs for reconciliation work

> 18-26 October 2015: Step 3 – International youth seminar on developing youth-led follow-up projects dedicated to reconciliation work, Georgia

> November 2015: Step 4 – Public presentations in each countries

> December 2015 – January 2016: Evaluation and reporting

Report of the training course

Find here the report of the international youth seminar held in Georgia in October 2015.

Photo Mosaic – Training Course “Approaches to reconciliation work” held in Georgia, June 2015

Photo Mosaic – Youth Seminar held in Georgia, October 2015