A know-how toolkit of The Roots project, Peacework Guidebook was published as the YMCA movement celebrated its 175th anniversary. Subtitled “Peace Roots: From Seeds to Fruits”, this handbook was intended to be available and easy to use for a wider public; so in order to extend the geography of its practical application, we decided to translate it into Russian – one of the most shared languages in the post-Soviet countries. The YMCA Europe Roots team is now happy to announce that this work has finally been done!
As the inspirer and coordinator of Roots for Peace Vardan Hambardzumyan says, “We never let the flag of Peace lie on the ground”. This Peacework Guidebook has proved that YMCA is a unique cross-cultural and cross-language platform that helps to build friendships and collaborations. An international team of believers and colleagues made a special and – at times – challenging journey, which resulted in the beautiful book.
The Piecework Navigator, as it is entitled in Russian, is not about conflict avoidance or finding a quiet and peaceful place to hide away from the world’s turbulences. On the contrary, this book inspires one for active and dedicated steps towards critical thinking, intercultural dialogue, breaking of stereotypes, and making friends worldwide.
The Peacework Navigator in Russian was officially presented at a joint event between YMCA Europe Roots for Peace and the German NGO “Dialogue for Understanding” that took place in Yerevan in October 2022. This collaboration has made for further expansion of the Roots peace work methodology, such as Do No Harm and others, and we are grateful to our partners for this shared journey.
Our Peacework Guidebook is:
- A reflection on the Roots’ history and development, key components, and activities;
- A testimony of Roots participants’ impressions about the project and its impact on their lives;
- A comprehensive summary of the unique know-how and all the tools that have been fundamental to the Roots’ peace work success;
- A treasury of valuable references for peace practitioners and activists.
The Peacework Guidebook e-copy in Russian consists of six parts and is available here.
Part one begins with a case study based on the Roots for Reconciliation (Previous title for actual Roots for Peace project) Project peacebuilding experience. It focuses on the project’s best practices and know-how, particularly its Peace Work Institute. We hope it will inspire individuals, organizations and institutions interested in and – more importantly – implementing conflict transformation and peacebuilding projects with young activists worldwide to learn from our Europe-wide practice.
In the second part, the Guidebook offers an overview of the knowledge and skills the Peace Work Institute participants acquired and later applied in cross-border ‘homework’ projects of their own design. These projects were implemented in their respective regions and communities, using their own resources.
While the third part shares the Peace Work Institute participants’ and stakeholders’ personal stories, part four provides a brief statistical overview of their learning, activism, and professional journey.
The Guidebook ends with a comprehensive list of resources with references to practical training and activity tools used in the Peace Work Institute curriculum design and implementation.
In the words of Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it is done!” the Peace Work Institute people – its participants, staff, and various contributors – are living proof of these inspiring words.
We hope this Guidebook will inspire its readers to action. Feel free to share it and let us know about your experience with it.
“I believe that just saying that the translation and publishing of the Peacebuilding Guidebook into Russian and Croatian lasted from mid-2021 till nearly the end of 2022 speaks volumes about the complexity and significance of such an endeavor. Although we were aware of the potential these two publications brought to their respective regions and readers, none of us, I believe, expected that the tides would turn quite the way they have, making the Guidebook as actual and needed as it is today. The Russian translation was done under especially challenging circumstances, so I consider its publication an especially valuable achievement of peacebuilders brought together by the Peace Work Institute of the Roots for Peace Project of YMCA Europe. I feel honored and humbled to have been a part of the team behind the entire process, the significance and impact of which is yet to be seen.”
One of the authors of the Peacebuilding Guidebook
Links to all Peacework Guidebook versions: