Roots for Reconciliation is a YMCA Europe initiative for stronger youth activism towards peaceful transformation of conflicts in Europe.
- Peace Work Institute: designed for capacity building of youth opinion leaders from all over Europe, the conflict affected regions such as the Caucasus, and the Balkans especially considered.
- Regional ProFests: or in other words programme festivals, are annual activities primarily designed for the YMCA Movements in the South Caucasus and their international and local partners. The ProFests are aimed at facilitating joint service learning and sharing best practices.
The Roots for Reconciliation project was established in 2007 with the objective to strengthen and extend the YMCA Movement in the region of South Caucasus, as a mass-membership, ecumenical network standing for integrity of creation, peace and justice. Central to the way the project has worked is the enhancement of camping programme as a shared activity that unites young people across socio – political and cultural dividers, with added value for the YMCAs sustainable development.
Within the project, during 2007 – 2011, three YMCA camps were constructed which already generate income. Those are:
YMCA Camp Lake Sevan in Armenia (500m2)
YMCA Camp Aramian in Armenia (360m2)
YMCA Camp Orange in Georgia (600m2)
Through the project first phase 19 different regional or international service learning activities were held, enrolling 800 participants predominantly from Armenia, Georgia and Nagorno Karabagh, yet also from more than 20 counters all over the world ranging from Iceland to Russia, from the USA to Bangladesh.
The 2007 – 2011 project phase budget was EUR 873’000, with the following key donors:
Aramian Family (through the YMCA of the USA)
Council of Europe EYF External assessment
In 2009, in coordination with the project stakeholders, YMCA Europe commissioned an external assessment, which was led by Bruce Britton an independent consultant from Framework (UK)
“The Roots for Reconciliation project has been very successful in devising a process that creates a safe space for relationship-building based on ‘Do No Harm’ principles. The young people have used this space to build relationships across cultural divides.
They have done this on the basis of what can only be characterized as a deep love for their fellow young men and women. It is this ability to engender love across cultural and political divides that represents the main achievement of the project”.