“Building peace from the inside out“ – course start in Jordanian refugee camps


An article from the Berghof Foundation

A powerful „su“ fills the library container of Relief International’s educational centre in the Jordanian refugee camp Azraq. Once the sound of their voices had faded, the 18 participants of the course conducted by Berghof Foundation shake out their arms and legs in relief. The joint exercise helps the Syrian women and men to release straining and stressful emotions, feelings, thoughts and experiences. All participants are Syrians volunteers working for various international organisations. The course supports them in their oftentimes challenging work. They are active in the fields of education, child protection and psychosocial support under a cash-for-work scheme in both Azraq and Zaatari camp.

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

During this first part out of four, the peace educational foundations are being laid. Following a joint discussion of basic terms and concepts such as peace, violence and conflict the participants explore the links between those and “the human being”, comprising body, mind, and emotions and feelings.  The combination of methods from peace education, theatre pedagogics, mindfulness and self-care has proved to be a viable approach that seems, for now, to be unique among offers of international support programmes for Syrian refugees active in the camps.

Organised by the Berghof Foundation’s programme Peace Education & Global Learning in cooperation with Relief International, the 12-days course takes place for the second time in the two Jordanian refugee camps Azraq and Zaatari between April and October 2018. The course is held by Dagmar Nolden together with a team consisting of Prof. Dr. Hannah Reich and Prof. Dr. Vladimir Kostic. As part of the project “Nonviolent education in Jordan” the activity is supported with means from the cultural unit of the German Foreign Office.

(Thanks to the Global Campaign for Peace Education for bringing this article to our attention.)