Let there be Peace
Date du début: 1 août 2015,
Date de fin: 31 janv. 2016
In the core of all our actions is the goal to encourage young people to become active and responsible citizens, take part in shaping a more equal and sustainable world and to develop a sense of appreciation of cultural diversity, affirmation of social justice and human rights, as well as building peace.
In the autumn of 2015 we have organised a youth exchange, a peace camp in Trofaiach between September 15 and 24. Bringing together 35 participants, 5 countries - Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Turkey and Ukraine.
In the last week just before the exchange the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Judy Williams cancelled her trip to Austria due to death in the family. Therefore we had to reorganise the programme and make sure that the participants stay motivated after finding out that she is not coming. As the participants liked the rest of the programme very much, they kept strong motivation all the time.
This YE was already the second "peace camp" organised by our organisation in Stockschloss, and it should take place every year in order to have a strong impact on the community. The programme was based on our belief that in order to preserve and strengthen peace across Europe, we must foster peace within ourselves and our families (as they represent the smallest unit of our societies) only then peace can also be achieved in the communities and countries. Bearing this in mind and reflecting it to youth work, we believe that starting small, making an impact within a local community, spreading the idea further, is the path to success.
To start with, we all need social skills such as tolerance, respect for each other, compassion, self-esteem, forgiveness and reconciliation. Therefore, this YE focused on tolerance, respect, conflict prevention and reconciliation. Moreover, we believe that remembering the past and being aware of the long path Europe made toward peace as well as active citizenship are also important predispositions for peace. Furthermore we believe that mutual understanding and thus intercultural exchanges (helping us develop tolerance, respect) and international friendships are foundations for peace.
During the project the participants gained new skills, learned with and from each other in order to consider diversity as an opportunity for mutual enrichment, to grow together to become more tolerant and respectful and to use gained skills to prevent conflict. Participants did not only be gaining knowledge about multiculturalism, human rights, conflict management, but also skills to practice/transfer this knowledge in their organisations and groups as peer educators.
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