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8 - 14 April 2019 Toledo, Spain


Roots for Reconciliation is a YMCA Europe initiative for stronger youth activism towards peaceful transformation of conflicts in Europe.


ABOUT ROOTS FOR RECONCILIATION YMCA Europe Roots for Reconciliation project is ongoing since 2007, and so far has been implemented in three phases: Phase 1: 2007 – 2010 Phase 2: 2012 – 2015 Phase 3: 2016 - 2019 The original aim of the project was to strengthen and extend the YMCA in the region of South Caucasus as a mass-membership movement standing for peace, justice and integrity of creation. Central to the way the project worked at that stage was through enhancement of camping programme as a shared activity that connects young people across socio-political and cultural dividers, with added value for the YMCA sustainable development. “The Roots for Reconciliation project had been very successful in devising a process that creates a safe space for relationship-building based on Do No Harm principles. They have done this on the basis of what can be characterised as a deep love for their fellow young men and women. It is this ability to engender love across cultural and political dividers that represents the main achievement of the project.”(YMCA Europe Roots for Reconciliation Project Report of External Assessment, June 2015, page 4.)

Starting with the second phase of the project its overall aim shifted further towards the external impact, which is empowering youth activism towards prevention and peaceful transformation of conflicts in Europe, the region of South Caucasus especially considered. “The project has been highly relevant to the values, mission, and strategic priorities of YMCA Europe, as well as to the interests of its youth participants, particularly those coming from conflict-affected or post-conflict countries. It has provided a coherent framework for the promoting peace building and cross-border dialogue into the work of local and national YMCA organisations and across the YMCA Movement.” (YMCA Europe Roots for Reconciliation II Project Outcome Evaluation, July-October 2009, page 5.) So far the project has managed to built 3 YMCA camp facilities / community resource centers (all of them highly operational), and run 40 various international residential events all over Europe with around 1500 participants representing over 30 countries worldwide. It has been a constant journey through unfolding emergencies; swift changes of plans due to force majors; critical thinking and creative solutions.

ABOUT PEACE WORK INSTITUTE Roots for Reconciliation has developed its identical safe space methodology, based on Do No Harm approach. It has elaborated number of best practice conflict transformation schemes, such as the Peace Work Institute, a best practice initiative piloted during the Roots for Reconciliation phase 2, then repeated during the project phase 3. The aim of the Peace Work Institute it to empower youth opinion leaders in acting for change in their sending organisations and respective communities as multipliers of peace culture and movement. It assumes a two-year training and practice scheme including: Ÿ Peace Work Institute Mentors session; Ÿ Peace Work Institute Training Sessions (two or three, with

approximately six months interval in between); Ÿ Peace Work Institute Individual Homework (in between the training

sessions); Ÿ Follow-up Tandem project by Peace Work Institute graduates; Ÿ Peace Work Institute Reunion.

ABOUT PEACE WORK INSTITUTE REUNION Peace Work Institute Reunion will bring together both generations of Peace Work Institute alumni and serve for them as a platform to share, learn and reflect on what Roots for Reconciliation Project has been for the them. The Reunion is a concluding activity within the Peace Work Institute scheme, where the best practises are shared, results evaluated and future plans conceptualised. It is also planned that this event will serve as focus group forum, bridging with the Reflecting on Peace Practices process of the Roots for Reconciliation initiative. Through the above-described training and practice process the PWI Handbook will be further tested and tailored. This work will be outsourced to a competent expert, with the final version of the Handbook as an output published and available for knowledge sharing in conflict transformation work with large. Place of the event: Toledo, Spain Dates: April 8th to 14th 2019. Arrivals on the 8th, departures on the 14th. Costs: Board and lodging for the entire duration of the event will be provided by YMCA Europe Roots for Reconciliation. Travel costs will be reimbursed in cash during the event. All travel arrangements must be agreed priory the booking with us. Participation fee: 50 Euros - to be paid in cash or deducted from the travel costs. Visa: If you need visa for travelling to Spain, please click here and fill in the form as soon as possible. Then send it by email to Deadline: February 1st 2019 Experts and agenda: We are preparing a solid agenda with different topics and a pool of facilitators and experts that have rich experience and long-time connection with Roots and YMCA. Updates will follow in January 2019, including info on how to reach the venue.


THE CITY OF THREE CULTURES With over 2000 years of history, the city of Toledo has the special designation of being a melting pot, a place where the various cultures and eras of Spain have converged and congregated, and which together comprise a rich model of the country’s history.

It was conquered by the Romans in 192 BC, then the Visigoths made it their capital in mid-6th century and it became Spain's religious center and political power.

The Moors arrived in the 8th century but the Jews and Christians continued to live here and were free to practice their respective religions.

Spain's Alfonso VI of Castile reconquered it in 1085 and became the Spanish capital until 1560. Yet, after all of these wars, the three religions and culture of Christians, Jewish and Arab co-existed peacefully for centuries here, in the “City of Three Cultures”.

These three cultures lived and thrived, working together to create a unique city, which they called home - an example of co-existence, peace and reconciliation.

Today Toledo is one of Spain’s most popular cities from a tourist standpoint. It was named the capital of the Autonomous Community of Castile-La Mancha in 1982, and in 1987 it was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations, due largely to its concentration and wide variety of historical monuments, most of which are religious in nature and demonstrate the city’s diversity over the centuries.

San Servando Castillo Because of its strategic location, it is supposed to have been fortified very soon, either as a bridgehead, or for the control of the Roman road and aqueduct. Later it was a visigothic monastery and then an Arabic fortress. Once the city of Toledo was taken in 1085 by King Alfonso VI, he refounded a monastery into the fortress, dedicated to the saints Servando and German, in gratefulness for having saved his life in Sagrajas' battle. The monastery lived years of abundance with the continuous possessions granted by the kings, until the year 1099 when it suffered the first assault by the Almoravids. Other assaults followed during the first half of the following century, which caused its abandonment as a monastery. After the war of the Navas de Tolosa (1212), because of the decline of its strategic importance it was abandoned. During the fights between Pedro I and Enrique de Trastámara (sec. XIV), it regained, once again, its military importance and Archbishop Tenorio ordered its reconstruction. The works ended in 1386 and the remains of the building that have come to us belong to this period. In 1857 it was turned into a magazine. In 1873 it was auctioned and since it faced the possibility of demolition it was declared National HistoricArtistic Monument in 1874, being the first castle bearing such a title. It was rebuilt again in 1959 and since then it has been a private school, university residence, headquarters of the Parliament of Castilla la Mancha and nowadays a hostal accommodating groups and conferences.



Peace Work Institute Reunion 2019  

Toledo, Spain 8 - 14th of April 2019

Peace Work Institute Reunion 2019  

Toledo, Spain 8 - 14th of April 2019