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Peace Seminar organised by UNOY Peacebuilders
an article by Lenka Valacsaiova

On February 4 and 5, UNOY Peacebuilders together with UPACT organised the seminar “Educating for Peace: Exploring Successes, Challenges and Opportunities in Youth Peace Initiatives”. The Peace seminar was held in The Hague, the Netherlands, and some 80 people took part in the event.

click on photo to enlarge

The event was launched by opening speeches from Matilda Flemming, the International Secretariat and Outreach Coordinator at UNOY Peacebuilders, from Emer Beamer from the Butterfly Works and from Celina Del Felice from Radboud University Nijmegen.

The participants could choose from four different presentations: the ‘Peace and Transmedia Campaigns’ facilitated by Emer Beamer from Butterfly Works; the ‘Peace education in the Philippines’ by Nikki Delfin from GenPeace; the ‘Peace of Minds Academy’ by Ariadne Asimakopoulos and Jalmar Pfeifer from Upact and the ‘ID Challenge’ by Stichting OIKOS.

I had the opportunity to attend the presentation of the ‘Peace of Minds Academy’. This presentation informed about the academy tailor-made for students in the Netherlands to get acquainted with peacebuilding. To provide challenges for interested students, UPACT together with UNOY Peacebuilders and Windesheim sought for bilateral partnerships with organizations in Argentina, Palestine, the DRC and Bangladesh.

“We only connected these people and they did all the work” said Jalmar Pfeifer, one of the coordinators of the academy.

After a delicious lunch, the seminar continued with workshops on peace education facilitated by Upact, Fundación Escuelas de Paz and Arab Education Institute. The day was rounded up by a discussion drawing conclusions of the day.

The following day was reserved for workshops. I joined the workshop on ‘Media Strategy for Peace Education and Videoconferencing’. It dealt with different options to involve new media in modern ways of communication and peacebuilding. Rahel Weldeab from the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS) explained involving active citizenship, citizen journalism – performed by regular citizens in social media - and the challenges connected to peace education in Eritrea. Afterwards, Meg Villanueva from Fundació Catalunya Voluntària demonstrated two different means of using video conferences to create dialogue between various religious groups - in broad public conferences or peer-to-peer education of students.

“It’s an easy and interactive way to learn about different cultures” Meg Villanueva said.

The evaluation of the seminar at the end of the day proved that the participants were fully satisfied and enjoyed the whole peace education weekend and that they are looking forward to new events facilitated by UNOY Peacebuilders and UPACT.


Question(s) related to this article:

Youth speaking to youth on peace, Do you know of other examples?

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Latest reader comment:

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This report was posted on February 29, 2012.