When you start talking about peace, everyone stands for it, after couple of minutes it stops right there. I think it happens like this because “your work” is not to make it happen, is to let it happen.
I have the pleasure to be one of the participants of YMCA Europe’ Peace Work Institute and just want to shortly share with you what is it about to be part of this amazing experience. It started 8 months ago, when the first session was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. There was lot of information on unpacking conflict, conflict styles, media awareness, critical thinking, theory of change, digital activism and how we can contribute to the peace building, using all these ways. The first question I did to myself was: How do i promote peace? It’s not an easy question, peace is not related only to me; peace is related to all of us, we all together can build the paths to peace. It doesn’t matter how or which tool do you use to build and keep it; what is it important, to do it with all your effort, putting your positivism, energy and love in building peace. Even in really tiny, small things of our everyday lives, we can contribute and can change our lives, others’ lives.
During these sessions, through theories, best practices examples, experiences sharing, role plays and working in groups, we learn how to think better about what peace mean to each of us and why is it so important to stand for it. We learned how to have more friends, to gain more knowledge, to share informations and to be motivated by other’s stories on building peace.
The best was yet to come and we met on the second workshop in Berlin, one of the symbols of peace. Another amazing experience, friends, learning by the story of this city as well, and of course laughing. We were 30 young people from different EU and Non EU countries, and some of us have similar stories with this city. Everybody could feel that it was something different in the air, this city’ story motivated us more, throughout the session.
For me it was the first time to listen and to understand the “Do Not Harm” approach. DNH field assessments helps to understand conflict at a project or community level. With this you understand which activities divide or connect people, with the objective to minimise harm and support peacebuilding in local communities.
In the mean time, we were divided in Tandem Groups and will learn how to better work together through implementing a project for each group, through art and digital activism for peace! Let’s see what will happen with our group’s work in our communities.
In the end of this session we celebrated the graduation evening, and had our certificates. Wonderful moments with YMCA’ people, within YMCA big family in Europe.
Every day brings a choice, to practice stress or to practice peace! What is more healthy for me, for you, for the community? Let’s guide ourselves to go through walls, borders, to clear our sky.
Peace is it in your hands, you decide what to do, grow it or throw it away!
By Besnik Hoxha, YMCA Tirana – Albania