Another key Roots international activity just completed… Peace Work Institute Session in Tbilisi, Georgia with 25 participants, 12 countries, 1 week of continuous learning, networking, cultural exposure and fun are facts, figures and demonstration of dimension that have already become common to any Roots for Peace event – but there was one aspect which stood out during all the days we have spent together during December 03 – 09 that deserves to be highlighted…
What I observed lately (about 3 months ago in Budapest at another key Roots international activity and now in Tbilisi) is that events organized while these challenging times that we all live in are different… People value and cherish the opportunity and moments spent together so much more!
What we almost took for granted just a few years ago has become almost a luxury and those that are able to partake in face-to-face encounters are living them to the fullest!
Yes, online meetings can be easier to organize and more convenient to attend, but they can never take the place of human interaction, live learning and sharing, especially in Peace Work!
And when the company of like-minded and motivated young people is led through the week with a relevant learning scheme and a balanced combination of theory and practice – the success of the activity is already there.
Facilitated by Dr. Wolfgang Heinrich, globally acclaimed expert in peace building, conflict transformation and political analysis – and a great friend and mentor of so many Roots generations, the Session program focused on key points of Do No Harm (DNH) Methodology and their practical application upon two Roots Tandem projects set to happen in 2022:
- “Then, Now, and Later: Together towards a Composite Memory” to take place in Netherlands and
- “Promoting Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance and Civic Engagement among Young People in the North Caucasus Region” to be implemented with German NGO “Dialogue for Understanding”,
both set to engage dozens of young people from different countries, regions, ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds.
Employing the DNH tools, such as Reflecting on Peace Practices (RPP) Matrix, Dividers & Collectors Analysis, Resources Transfers & Implicit Ethical Messages – the facilitator made sure that participants were constantly involved in Individual and group work, with a follow-up debriefing, feedback and analysis.
As a result, both projects have a solid platform and implementation plan to be further fine-tuned and applied in practice in due time.
There was still time to analyse and set forth the roadmap for Roots small projects designed during Budapest ProFest in September and to happen next year – the proposals from YMCA Romania, YMCA Georgia, YMCA Ukraine and Team Europe (YMCAs of Scotland, Albania & Spain) are expected to secure the institutional support from their sending organizations – with Roots committed to contribute as pledged.
The exposure to the rich Georgian history and culture, as well as the exceptional cuisine was another highlight for the Session that has already made an immense impact on participants as the immediate reaction evaluation on a final day was a vivid proof of it – but the best is yet to come, we have a long journey ahead of us!
P.S. Of all the keywords asked to describe the Session best at the evaluation session, “The Relationships” was a clear frontrunner… This is all what it’s about in the end, isn’t it?!…
By Revaz Shavladze
Check out the full photo album below.