Culture of Peace in Young People s View

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This project has been funded with support from European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. This publication reflects the views only of the authors and the donors cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


INDEX 1. Executive summary 2. Presentation of the project 3. The funding institution 3.1. Council of Europe 3.2. European Youth Foundation 4. Partners participants 5. Theoretical bases 5.1. Culture of peace 5.2. Youth participation 6. Workshop templates 7. Summary of the activities 7.1. Armenia 7.2. Hungary 7.3. Italy 7.4. Macedonia 7.5. Netherlands 7.6. Serbia 8. Conclusions 9. Annexes 10. Resources and websites 11. Acknowledgements


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The project “Culture of peace in young people’s view” was implemented in the framework of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (20012010), initiated by UNESCO1. The Decade is now at the end and the results achieved world-wide are already available in the dedicated website: This publication is the result of the activities done within the “Culture of peace in young people’s view” project. It is mainly directed to organizations working in the field of peace education, being a useful resource for youth workers and youth trainers whom plan to organize activities in this ambit. The second chapter presents the project and the methodology of work; chapter 3 introduces the reader to the funding institution – the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe – and to the project partners, in chapter 4. Chapter 5 gives an overview of the concept of culture of peace and culture of violence, which are central concepts of the work carried out in the project. It also introduces shortly youth participation in the framework of the construction of the culture of peace. In chapter 6, it is possible to read the workshop templates that were delivered by partners during the project life time and that are useful resources when implementing projects and activities with young people. Chapter 7 provides for the reader with a summary description of the interviews and workshops’ results by country. This chapter in followed by a conclusion (chapter 8) based on the summaries of each participating country. The publication is complemented with a DVD containing the interviews (in English or with English subtitles) of young people in each country. The DVD was created with the purpose of being used as an educational tool in international youth work (but not only) and as a stimulus to youth to reflect and learn in the realm of Culture of Peace and non-violence.


Official website: 3

2. PRESENTATION OF THE PROJECT The project “Culture of peace in young people’s view” was developed on in the framework of peace education. The main goal of the project was to contribute to create a culture of peace through the powerful tool of peace education. Peace Education refers to the process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behaviour changes that will enable children, youth and adults to prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural; to resolve conflict peacefully; and to create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an intra-personal, interpersonal, inter group, national or international level2. The project consisted in a research with youth implemented by 6 organisations from 6 European countries: Italy (coordinating organisation), Armenia, Hungary, The Netherlands, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. The main aims of the project were: 1. To understand young people’s views about the culture of violence and the Culture of Peace in countries where conflict and violence take different forms. 2. To listen to young people’s views, opening a space of true communication, on the main actions they can take at personal, social and political levels to contribute to the growing of the Culture of Peace. 3. To introduce in young people’s life positive values such as peace, hope, cooperation, etc, at the same time that the reflection on these values is encouraged. 4. To raise in young people the feeling they can change the future by supporting them for developing positive images of future. 5. To do a cross-country-culture study that can give the bases to develop on country specific approaches in future projects about these themes. The research lasted for 6 months (January-June 2010) during which were carried out simultaneously in the 6 countries interviews (Annex A – interview schedule) and educational workshops with 121 youth people:

Armenia Hungary Italy Macedonia


Total 15-30 32 24 10 22

Female 20 11 4 11

Male 12 13 6 11

Peace Education in UNICEF: 4

Netherlands Serbia TOTAL

20 13 121

16 8 70

4 5 51

The methodology of the research consisted in the use of two main methods, interviews and educational workshops, used at two different moments. It was based on the assumption that interviews are an educational tool that trigger processes of reflection and understanding of the world that once activated can be stimulated through deeper educational activities such as the workshops delivered with all the groups. This structure provides for a deeper impact on the target and to the achievement of the objectives described. The whole process was evaluated at two levels: 1) general evaluation of the project with partners, 2) evaluation of the activities’ results with young people. The methods used were qualitative as those provide greater information and detail: 1) evaluation with partners was done through a final questionnaire, 2) evaluation with young people was done through diverse methods (each partner used the methods they found most appropriate) such as discursive sessions with the facilitators, sharing of opinions with the group, questionnaire, expressing in one word feelings about the experience. The final conclusions of the research are described in the chapter 7 and 8.




The Council of Europe3 is an intergovernmental organization with 47 member states (Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom). It is headquarters are in the Palais de l'Europe in Strasbourg (France). The Council of Europe is not an EU-Institution4. The Council of Europe covers all major issues facing European society other than defence. Its work programme includes the following fields of activity: human rights, media, legal co-operation, social and economic questions, health, education, culture, heritage, sport, youth, local democracy and transnational co-operation, the environment and regional planning. The Committee of Ministers is the Council of Europe's decision-making body and is composed of the Foreign Ministers of the 47 member states (or their Permanent Representatives). The Parliamentary Assembly is the Organization's deliberative body, the members of which are appointed by national parliaments. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe is a consultative body representing local and regional authorities. Governments, national parliaments and local and regional authorities are thus represented separately. By granting consultative status to over 350 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Council of Europe is building a real partnership with those who represent ordinary people. Through various consultation arrangements (including discussions and colloquies) the CoE brings NGOs into intergovernmental activities and encourages dialogue between members of parliament and associations on major social issues. The Council of Europe's work leads to European conventions and agreements in the light of which member states may subsequently harmonise and amend their own legislation to comply with them. For example: the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter, the European Cultural Convention, etc. Values Human Rights – Democracy - Rule of Law


Council of Europe website:


It might be confused with the European Council which is instead a EU-Institution. The European Council is the Institution of the European Union responsible for defining the general political direction and priorities of the Union. 6

These values are the foundations of a tolerant and civilised society and are indispensable for European stability, economic growth and social cohesion. On the basis of these fundamental values, the Council of Europe works to find shared solutions to major problems such as terrorism, organised crime and corruption, cyber crime, bioethics and cloning out of control, violence against children and women, and human trafficking. Co-operation among all member states is the only way to solve the major problems facing society today. Objectives The primary aim of the Council of Europe is to create a common democratic and legal region throughout the whole continent, ensuring respect for its fundamental values: human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Other aims include: •

to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity;

to find common solutions to the challenges facing European society;

to protect human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law;

to consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform.



The European Youth Foundation (EYF)5 is a fund established in 1972 by the Council of Europe to provide financial support for European youth activities. It has an annual budget of approximately 3 million Euros. Since 1972, more than three hundred thousand young people between the ages of fifteen and thirty, and mostly from Council of Europe member states, have benefited directly from EYFsupported activities. In 2007 the EYF supported some three hundred projects involving more than fifteen thousand young people. The purpose of the EYF is to encourage co-operation among young people in Europe by providing financial support to European youth activities which serve the promotion of peace, understanding and co-operation in a spirit of respect for the Council of Europe's fundamental values such as human rights, democracy, tolerance and solidarity. The EYF thus provides financial support to the following types of activities undertaken by nongovernmental youth organizations, networks or other non-governmental structures involved in areas of youth work relevant to the Council of Europe's youth policies and work: 5

European Youth Foundation website: 7

educational, social, cultural and humanitarian activities of a European character;

activities aimed at strengthening peace and co-operation in Europe;

activities designed to promote closer co-operation and better understanding among young people in Europe, particularly by developing the exchange of information;

activities intended to stimulate mutual aid in Europe and in developing countries for cultural, educational and social purposes;

studies, research and documentation on youth matters.

The European Youth Foundation provides youth organizations with funds for their international (and also local) activities. It not only offers financial support for a large variety of activities, but also provides administration grants for international youth organizations. All activities must have a multinational and intercultural dimension and must be prepared by young people themselves.


4. PARTNERS PARTICIPANTS ITALY – Coordinating organization Centro Internazionale per la Promozione dell'Educazione e lo Sviluppo - CEIPES


CEIPES is a non-profit international organization with seats in 4 European countries - Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Belgium. CEIPES is an independent organisation, without links to political parties, but nevertheless politically active and seeking the active participation of all. CEIPES’ work is inspired by the principles and values of Peace and non-violence, Equality in diversity, Human rights, Democracy and active participation, Respect to environment, Cooperation, Communication, Solidarity, Social inclusion, Respect, Tolerance and Interculturalism. CEIPES coordinates a local network called “Network CEIPES” that gathers together more than 20 organizations and public bodies such as CUD - University Centre for Disabilities, Human Rights Youth Organisation, Castelvetrano City Council, Santa Elisabetta City Council, ETHOS Department of the Faculty of Training Sciences of the University of Palermo and others. The aim of this network is to foster cooperation at local level and to facilitate access to European level opportunities, such as learning mobility and European cooperation. VISION AND MISSION

CEIPES is a non-profit global organization active at social and human development through education in a world of peace and equality where each person has own human rights fulfilled. The mission of CEIPES is to foster and support the sustainable development of local communities and individuals’ empowerment through education and training, human rights and international cooperation. OBJECTIVES

1. To promote education and development of all people at any age as tools to foster individual, community and world growth. 2. To fight all forms of discrimination with the aim of contribution to the development of community and integration of all individuals. 3. To encourage intercultural dialogue with the objective of promoting understanding and respect between individuals from different cultures; in the meantime create an awareness


of the intercultural enrichment achieved through the sharing of values, traditions and different modus vivendi. 4. To promote peace, non-violence and human rights as the only way to reach an equal and solidarity world in which all human beings enjoy their rights and dignity. 5. To conduct international cooperation activities in countries outside the European Community. ACTIVITIES

CEIPES tries to achieve the goals pursued through various types of activities. Some of these activities are: educational and cultural activities, research, learning mobility, capacity building, youth exchanges, voluntary service, training courses, workshops and conferences, awareness-raising activities, information activities, e-learning courses. CEIPES coordinates a Centre for Human Rights Education (CEDU)6 located in Palermo. CEIPES also coordinates a web radio totally managed by young people, the Youth Protagonists web radio7. We have recently created a department for adult education that offers educational opportunities to adults in the region. TARGET

CEIPES works with youth and adults (including seniors) from all origins and backgrounds at local and international/European level. We also work with local NGOs, local institutions and public authorities. CONTACTS

Ana Afonso Via G. La Farina 21 - 90141 Palermo, Italy Tel.: +39 091 7848236 - Fax: +39 091 6197543 E-mail: Website:


CEDU website:


Youth Protagonists web radio: 10

ARMENIA World Independent Youth Union - WIYU


World Independent Youth Union (WIYU) is a self-governed, non-profit, non-governmental educational organization. WIYU was founded and has been managed by alumni of the “Leadership Management and Conflict Prevention” training courses of Armenia. The organization was formed in 1999 and was officially registered with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia in 2000. For the past nine years WIYU has implemented a number of educational, benevolent and intercultural projects and activities aimed at fostering values of democracy, humanism and global citizenship. MISSION

The mission of WIYU is to develop and promote mechanisms of dialogue and co-operation among the members of civil society through international activities and the consolidation of a “Culture of Peace” in our region and in the world. OBJECTIVES

Promotion of a civil society at the national and regional levels

Promotion of youth initiatives to improve society

Development of the political and European awareness of Armenian youth

Promotion of youth involvement in political decision making


Training courses and seminars for young people on increasing their political awareness, European integration, leadership and organizational management skills

Completion of projects in the frame of Youth in Action (Action 2 and Action 3.1)

Surveys and analyses

Facilitation of international dialogue and assistance for Conflict Resolution


Tatevik Margaryan


Raffi str. 51/26, RA, Yerevan, 0064 - Armenia Tel: (+37491) 32 42 50 - Fax: (+37410) 72 84 05 Email:

HUNGARY Foundation of Knowledge


The Tudás Alapítvány (Foundation of Knowledge) was formed in 1994. It is an association which dedicates its activities to different purposes through the knowledge and work of various participants, such as artists, workers, volunteers, etc. It is based in Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary. OBJECTIVES

To sponsor young artists, researchers, art exhibitions, book prints, scientific, artistic conferences and Hungarian Culture.

To form and deepen the contacts of Central European nations.

To finance the studies of talented students.

To help students, lecturers, researchers and farmers learn more about rural development and agriculture, thereby giving them an advantage in a competitive market.

To sustain cultural and natural values and help their augmentation by supporting the creation of new works of arts (such as statues, paintings, books, theatre performances, literature and music), and the establishment of parks, shrines and traditional memorials.

To preserve historical traditions and to support the exploration and preservation of traditional culture.

To promote a healthy way of life and a healthy attitude towards life.


The Foundation takes part in various activities in different fields, mainly cultural, educational and social. Some of the activities we do are: to support the creation of works of art, to organize creative/artistic camps, to support the study, preservation and maintenance of folk culture, to support scientific activities and the publications of university students and academics, to help the


participation of scientific researches and development, to teach a healthy attitude towards life, to present and promote contributions of knowledge, to support economic development in rural regions, etc. TARGETS

The Foundation works with different targets, such as young artists, talented students, lecturers, researchers and farmers. CONTACTS

János Palotás 2 Holló Street - 6800 Hódmezővásárhely - Hungary Tel.: +36 30 2483431 - Tel. / Fax: +36 62 240001 E-mail: Website:

MACEDONIA Center of Intercultural Dialogue - CID


The Centre for Intercultural Dialogue (CID) is a non-governmental, non-profit youth organization that works on a regional level in Macedonia. It was formed in May 2006 by active youth leaders and youth workers from Kumanovo. CID is a non-governmental non-profit organization formed for young people by young people. All major CID activities as well as the existence of CID as an organization depend upon the voluntary involvement of all members of the organisation. CID is a member of SAVA working group of Service Civil International, UNITED against racism, European Network of Animators and actively cooperates with YEU International. MISSION

The mission of the Centre for Intercultural Dialogue is to promote and support intercultural understanding and cooperation, peace and solidarity through active youth participation in society, and especially through volunteer involvement on local and international levels. OBJECTIVES


Objective 1: Promoting and supporting active citizenship by youth, also including networking with institutions and supporting their development of active participation mechanisms. Objective 2: Active work and contribution to intercultural dialogue through capacity building and information services for youth. Objective 3: Enhancing voluntary involvement of young people, aiming to primarily promote the SCI work camps, EVS, and other local volunteer opportunities. Objective 4: Promoting peace solidarity and human rights as a culture of living; organising outdoor activities, festivals, panel discussions, international exchanges, intercultural meetings, etc. ACTIVITIES

Offering to young people various type of information about volunteer possibilities, training opportunities, as well as other relevant information

Offering non-formal education for young people and youth workers as well as for other organizations

Promoting voluntarism and active involvement in international projects such as exchanges, trainings, art/sport projects and especially work camps and long term volunteering

Dedicated to promote interethnic and intercultural cooperation in Macedonia thus organizing regularly multiethnic extracurricular activities to bridge the cultural divide in North East Macedonia

Supporting youth active participation especially by creating local youth councils, youth cooperation bodies and contributing to policy documents regarding young people

Organizing leisure activities for young people- festivals, exhibitions, visits aiming to raise awareness about the value of cultural differences and to facilitate understanding and acceptance of diversity


Ivana Davidovska Vera Kotorka 39 - MK 1300 Kumanovo, Macedonia Fax: +389 31 421 330 - Tel: +389 78 350 177/166 E-mail: Website:


THE NETHERLANDS United Network of Young Peacebuilders – UNOY Peacebuilders


The United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY Peacebuilders) is a global network of young people and youth organizations active in the field of peacebuilding. Our main areas of action are networking, training, and empowerment for action/support to youth projects, campaigning and advocacy, and practical research on the role of youth in peacebuilding. UNOY Peacebuilders is a non-political, non-religious, non-governmental organization that welcomes youth peace initiatives/ organizations and young peacebuilders regardless of gender, ethnicity, social class, religion or any other distinction. MISSION

Youth committed to build together a world in which peace, justice, solidarity, human dignity and respect for nature prevail. Part of our mission is to link up young people’s initiatives for peace in a global network of young peacebuilders, to help their capacities empower and to help the effectiveness of their actions increase. OBJECTIVES

UNOY regularly holds training sessions in the Netherlands to build the capacities of youth in peacebuilding skills. Among their objectives are: • To bring together youth organizations working on peace, multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue across Europe. • To raise awareness on gender issues in Europe, especially among youth organizations, to analyze and debate the role youth organizations can have in addressing gender issues in a multicultural society. • To introduce participants to gender concepts and the importance of gender and equality in peacebuilding, intercultural dialogue and their work • To help participants develop the adequate skills, knowledge and tools needed for gender analysis and gender mainstreaming, in order for them to be more gender sensitive • To share effective practices and lessons learned


• To promote community and solidarity as Europeans, and to fight intolerance, prejudice and racism ACTIVITIES

The main activities of the organisation are: capacity building, advocacy and campaigning, supporting activities, networking, sharing of information, advice and support through a pool of resource persons, research, fundraising and administrative support. TARGET

The main target groups are civil society organizations, NGOs and youth organizations working in the field of human rights promotion, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction and so on. In particular, the participation of youth will be emphasized by promoting the initiative among schools, universities, academies, students’ associations, youth centres and youth cultural groups. CONTACTS

Lillian Solheim Laan van Meerdervoort 70 - 2517 AN, The Hague, The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)70 364 7799 - Fax: +31 (0)70 362 2633 E-mail: Website:

SERBIA Balkan Initiative for Tolerance - BIT


Balkan Initiative for Tolerance (BIT) is non-governmental and non-profit organization positioned in Belgrade, Serbia. BIT was established in May 2010, when group of youth leaders and trainers decided to join services and work together on developing active participation in Balkans through tolerance, understanding and creativity. Although it is formed in 2010 our team is composed of youth workers, program managers and trainers who have been working for years in various civil society organizations and who are active in the field of civil engagement. We have organized and participated in numerous projects in Serbia and abroad. MISSION 16

Our mission is to encourage active participation of citizens in social life of their community through civil education. Our vision is empowered citizens as force of change in the society! We are working mostly with young people, from diverse ethnic background on issues such as participation, human rights, European citizenship, and inclusion. We want to encourage people, especially youth to recognize problem in their society and help them to start the initiative and to develop projects that will make a significant difference in their community. BIT takes assignment to help young people recognize their powers and abilities, using non formal learning methodology and lifelong learning to coach them how to think critically and act efficiently. Especially, we are interested in creative methods of work such as photography, dance, writing, theatre as an alternative ways of learning and expressing yourself. Having that in mind we foster cooperation with cultural institutions. OBJECTIVES

Development of civil society in Serbia

Promotion of active citizenship

Special emphasis on youth

Promotion of non formal education and lifelong learning

Promotion of tolerance

Promotion of intercultural dialogue

Promotion of peace and human rights

Integration of ethnic minorities

Inclusion of people with fewer possibilities

Regional and international cooperation

Promotion of creative methods of work

Cooperation with private sector

Cooperation with governmental sector

Cooperation with schools universities and other formal education institutions

Cooperation with other civil society organizations

Cooperation with diverse cultural institution



In order to realize our objectives, we organize different types of activities: seminars, trainings, educational programs, youth camps, youth exchanges, voluntary service, publishing brochures, booklets and other educational materials, organizing public events to promote relevant social issues and rights of marginalized groups, cooperation with state institutions, schools, universities and other organizations. TARGET

Anyone who has will to change the society and agrees with BIT objectives and principles: young people, people with fewer opportunities, ethnic minorities, organizations (civil society, NGO, governmental and youth). CONTACTS

Ivana Stanojev Tel.: +381638190855 E-mail:



CULTURE OF PEACE The Culture of Peace is a set of values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that rejects violence and prevents conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations8.

The idea to use the term Culture of Peace was inspired by an educational initiative called Cultura de Paz developed in Peru (1986), and by the Seville Statement on Violence (1986) (see Annex B) adopted by scientists from around the world, which stated that war is not a fatality determined by genes, violent brains, human nature or instincts, but is rather a social invention9. The year 2000 has been proclaimed the International Year of Culture of Peace10 with the aim of celebrating and encouraging a culture of peace. The following decade, Decade for a Culture of Peace (2001-2010) has then been coordinated by UNESCO as the lead organization for the International Year. There was logic to this, in that UNESCO is the United Nations’ organization dealing with education, and also in that the constitutional mandate of UNESCO involves the encouragement of a global Culture of Peace. The UNESCO definitions suggest that a “Culture of Peace Project” contributes to the promotion of values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations11; the project should correspond to one or several of the 8 fields of action listed below (according to the definition of the Culture of Peace by the United Nations (A/RES/53/243, Declaration and Program of action on a Culture of Peace) : • Foster a Culture of Peace through education • Promote sustainable economic and social development • Promote respect for all human rights • Ensure equality between women and men

8 9

UN Resolutions A/RES/52/13: Culture of Peace UNESCO mainstreaming


International Year of Culture of Peace


UNESCO 155 Executive Board:



• Foster democratic participation • Advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity • Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge • Promote international peace and security12 The Culture of Peace provides an alternative to the escalating cycle of violence in the world. Cycles of violence are not new. Read the Old Testament, the Iliad or any other epic of any civilization. In fact, there is an eerie resemblance in recent events to the crusades of the Dark Ages and the Inquisition that accompanied them13. Does this mean that there is no way out? Does it mean that our species is inherently, genetically violent? Is that war in our human nature? No. The same species that invented war also invented peace14. This is the conclusion of the Seville Statement on Violence (1986). The scientific arguments based on evolution, genetics, animal behaviour, brain research and social psychology have been examined one by one, and the conclusion has been drawn that biology does not predestine us to war and violence. In fact, our biological legacy of aggression is the basis of our capacity for righteous indignation against injustice, which is essential for peace activism and a Culture of Peace. If war is not in our genes, where does it come from and why has it been so persistent throughout history? The answer is in our culture. Over the course of history, humans have developed a culture that permits and encourages war and violence: a culture of war. Think of it in this way. What do you need to have a war? • an enemy • weapons • a society in which people follow orders • a belief that power can be maintained through violence • control of information (secrecy, propaganda)


Culture of Peace projects and resources


Towards a global Culture of Peace:


The Seville Statement: 20

In fact, if any one of these is missing, you can't have war. No enemy - no war. No weapons - no war. No control of information - no war. If people don't follow orders and if they don't believe that power can be maintained through violence then there will be no war. Add to these three other important aspects of the culture of war: • profitability - whether for plunder, colonies, economic domination or the profits of the military-industrial complex • male domination • education for war There is only one way out from the cycle of violence, and that is to create a Culture of Peace. Instead of enemies there should be understanding, tolerance and solidarity. Weapons should be exchanged for universal and verifiable disarmament. Authoritarian governments need to be replaced with democracies. Instead of secrecy and propaganda, there should be complete freedom of speech. Violence should be solved by dialogue, negotiation, effective laws and active nonviolence. Rather than male domination, we should be working towards gender equality and equal opportunities for women. Education for war should be transformed into education for peace. Instead of an environment that exploits the weak side of society, there should be economies of peace with equitable and sustainable development15. The expression “Culture of Peace” implies that peace means much more than the absence of war. Peace is considered to be a set of values, attitudes and modes of behaviours promoting the peaceful settlement of conflict and the quest for mutual understanding. In fact, peace is one way to live together. The expression “Culture of Peace” presumes that peace is a way of being, doing and living in society that can be taught, developed, and best of all, improved upon. Culture of Peace is peace in action. Introducing and nurturing such a culture is a long-term process requiring a transformation of both institutional practices and individual modes of behaviour. Finally, in order to survive and become entrenched in our values, a Culture of Peace requires non-violence, tolerance and solidarity. The idea of peace is sometimes mistaken for an absence of war or for society’s homogenization process. However, in any society there will always be differences with regard to sex, race, language, religion or culture. The quest for peace begins with the recognition of these differences and a will to overcome them to reach a common objective. Achieving peace protects a society from self-


Towards a global Culture of Peace: 21

destruction by letting it build foundations so as to design a new way to live together. Peace fosters certain values vital for peace, including non-violence, respect of others, tolerance, solidarity and openness to others. Peace does not require consensus, and mutual understanding does not mean that a society will automatically become peaceful. On the contrary, a Culture of Peace is enhanced by a variety of traditions. The fact that a common vision emerges from a multi-cultural society proves that living together is possible and that this society lives according to the pulse of a Culture of Peace16. All social change begins with those people who dream and those who strive to make their dreams come true. Time has come for those who dream a Culture of Peace. It is also time to think of a global movement for a Culture of Peace. A World Report on the Culture of Peace has been presented to the United Nations for the midpoint of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010). Over 3000 pages of information and 500 photos submitted by 700 organizations from more than 100 countries testify that the global movement for a Culture of Peace is advancing, although this is not yet recognized by the mass media. Five years later, nowadays, a team of young people supported by experts, created a new report to document the initiatives implemented by various individuals and organizations throughout the decade17. As reported on page 6: “Culture of Peace through Education is the highest priority for the majority of civil society organizations contributing to the Decade. Although progress is difficult to measure, it may be the most important factor in the long run for the transition to a Culture of Peace.�

Culture of Peace and Human Rights In an attempt to work towards the mainstreaming of Human Rights, and given its importance as a set of guiding principles and values that are accepted universally, we include here a brief introduction about the relation of human rights and Culture of Peace. Human rights can be defined in a very simple and straightforward way, which can be understood by all human beings, whom are directly interested in knowing its significance. If we ask someone what the main basic conditions that make her/him a human being living in dignity are, the answer comes easily and in a spontaneous way. The aspects comprised will be various but usually the most common answers are: food, water, shelter, clothes, access to health, education, freedom of expression, peace, work, among


Culture of Peace: an Introduction:


Final Civil Society Report on the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010): 22

others. To these; we can add several others that are equally important and relevant to live in dignity: religious and cultural expression, participation in social and political life, having a clear and transparent trial, etc. All these are very well described in several declaration, charters and conventions, from which the most well known are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, United Nations, 1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), both adopted in 1966 by the United Nations (and entered into force in 1976). In Europe, there is the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Council of Europe, 1950). But also African countries developed their own convention, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (1979), as well as Arabic countries, the Arab Charter on Human Rights (1994) and Asian countries, the Asian Human Rights Charter (1998). The same for American continent, the American Convention on Human Rights (1969). All these tell us about the importance human rights have in the world and for people. It is also saying a lot about the universality of human rights, which are often criticised. Human rights indeed are the rights possessed by all persons, by virtue of their common humanity, to live a life of freedom and dignity18; from this derives the idea of equality and nondiscrimination. But, also very important, is the idea that human rights are inalienable and that they have related duties, specially the duty of respecting each other’s rights. Indeed, the first article of the UDHR says as follows: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. But how all this is relevant to the Culture of Peace? First of all, as described by UNESCO, one of the main aspects that should be promoted when working towards a Culture of Peace is to “promote respect for all human rights”. This is possible through, for example, human rights education with children, youth, and adults in general. The Council of Europe has published important resources on this field19, as well as the World Programme for Human Rights Education20. When implementing human rights education programmes it is very important to emphasise the rights-duties interconnectedness. This interconnectedness is the basis for action and for change: only the understanding that all human beings have unalienable rights that should be fulfilled in a reciprocal way make it possible to activate in youth the values and behaviours that permit them to


UNDP (2000). Human Development Report 2000: Human Rights and Human Development


Compass and Compassito manuals:


World Programme for Human Rights Education 23

take action for other human beings to have their own rights fulfilled – the concept of duty/responsibility. However, a human rights based on approach in the framework of the Culture of Peace goes further and we can understand it in two main ways: the first regards the idea that human rights are the basic framework which Culture of Peace educators and academics move, the second is connected and implies the use of a “human rights lens” both in the way we look at reality and the way we create our interventions. Going a bit deeper on both of them, we can say about the first that, human rights are basic standards that should exist in order to be able to speak about a Culture of Peace. That means not only promoting the respect for human rights, but considering human rights as pre-conditions for a Culture of Peace, also because human rights are a broader framework. On the other hand, and referring now to the “human rights lens”, we can say that interventions towards a Culture of Peace should be guided by human rights, such as for example, the rights to non-discrimination and respect, participation, information, association and expression21. This means that activities implemented in the framework of a Culture of Peace should be done based on the principles of non-discri mination and respect (Are we including all people? Are we respecting their diversity?), participation (Are people actively involved? Are we working for them or with them?), information (Are people informed about what is going on? Is the decision process transparent and clear?) and association and expression (Are people able to say their opinions about the work done? Are they respected and listened?). This is only a short introduction to a broad and complex topic. The available resources and web links can, for sure, offer much details and information on all the issues.


Human Rights and Millennium Development Goals: Making the link: 24



“(Youth) Participation in the democratic life of any community is about more than voting or standing for election, although these are important elements. Participation and active citizenship are about having the right, the means, the space and the opportunity and where necessary the support to participate in and influence decisions and engage in actions and activities so as to contribute to build a better society.” (p.7) 22 In the context of Culture of Peace, this definition gains a more concrete meaning as youth participation has to be seen in the framework of the possibilities youth have to become involved in the construction of a Culture of Peace at local and global level. Considering the definition of youth participation above, it is important that opportunities for involvement are accessible, that there is the space for youth to put in motor their own ideas, that the necessary means are available and that youth are supported in their actions. All this should be done in the respect of the Culture of Peace itself, and in this sense tokenism should be avoided as well as all other artificial participation levels described by Hart in his “Ladder of Youth Participation”23. Organisations from civil society can have a prominent role in triggering and fostering youth participation in the construction of a Culture of Peace. Those can also be mediators between local and national authorities and youth, supporting the involvement of youth and “translating languages and messages” that sometimes are cause of misunderstandings and not concluded work. Civil society organizations can present youth relevant training opportunities as well as offer them the space and support to come out with their own ideas and initiatives. Youth can and should have a crucial role in contributing to the creation of a Culture of Peace in the present. In the meantime, they learn effective tools that will be useful in their future role as leaders and society builders. Concerning the effective involvement of young people, it is fundamental to hear their own ideas and opinions. The “Youth for Culture of Peace Report” (2006)24 reveals what young people from 475 organizations in 125 countries responded to the question: What would you do for a Culture of Peace if you had the funding? Their answers were summarised in the following paragraph:


Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe on 21 May 2003 23

The free child project website:


Report - Youth for Alliance of Civilizations: Promoting Dialogue, building a Culture of Peace: 25

“Most youth suggest training and workshops to be conducted for youth on issues such as the Culture of Peace, conflict resolution and mediation, values and human rights. Vocational training and employment programmes are also seen as vital for youth in promoting a Culture of Peace, as are activities to do with arts, creativity, music, theatre and dance. Intercultural and international exchanges, which youth get to know others, are also popular proposals in building a Culture of Peace, and many youth have also mentioned the need to meet internationally, to promote networks and to publish and document their work, distributing the information widely, both online and on paper and by radio in local communities.� (p.11) Another important threshold for youth involvement in peace-building is the building of constituencies for peace - the fostering of trust, good will, reciprocity, and mutuality among youth. When youth learn to trust, understand, respect and maintain a positive dialogue with other young people, they are more likely to commit themselves to building and maintaining peace within their own fields of influence25.


Women for peace international: onal_Youth_Forum.pdf 26

6. WORKSHOP TEMPLATES “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.”

Maria Montessori

“Peace education is a participatory holistic process that includes teaching for and about democracy and human rights, non-violence, social and economic justice, gender equality, environmental sustainability, disarmament, traditional peace practices, international law, and human security.”

Hague Appeal for Peace, 200526

"Peace is a culture that we create by putting it in the curriculum for young people, through creating this next generation where young people get a chance to go across borders, across cultures, to learn more about each other's life, to create a global community, learn about opportunities for helping others. It is investing in peace and tolerance training, ending the gap between rich and poor."

Craig Kielburger27


Hague Appeal for Peace website:


Canadian activist for the rights of children and founder of the Association Free the Children: 27




Violence Human rights

Session objectives

• To find out and make explicit the connection and mutual implications of the notion of violence and the real life of young people in Europe. • To share the different ideas of prevention of violence. • To explore together the notion of violence. • To get acquainted with some basic understandings of Human Rights.

Methodology approach

The methodology is based on the group sharing and discussion in plenary through a sculpture; input on basic understandings of prevention of violence; stories of young people – case studies.


90 min

Space requirements

Big room with enough space for various small working groups.

Materials and equipment required

Session description

Flipchart paper, one sheet per small group

Marker pens of different colours, enough for all small groups


Tape or glue

Set of materials that can develop creativity (clay, wood)

1. DNA on violence, on the wall, walking around. 2. Group discussion linked with the DNA: - “What can we do to prevent violence in our communities and country?” 3. Preparation of a draw for the sharing in plenary 4. Team present in the groups. 5. Plenary sharing of the drawings. 6. Violence and young people (case studies, stories…): In groups (different that the previous ones) participants share stories, real cases of young people in which the issue of violence 28

was used for neglecting their basic rights. To illustrate what we were talking about, the team read; introduce one or two cases, for example from Domino28. 7. Plenary sharing by collage Additional comments

The facilitators invited participants to find out all the varieties of violence preventive activities implemented in their countries. The participants had active discussions in groups and filled the “graphic of DNA� by such expressions as human rights, emotional pain, physical pain, crime, discrimination, bullying, exploitation, sexism. The differences of the backgrounds of the participants were obvious in explanations of what violence is and how it can be prevented. Based on their discussions, participants later prepared a group drawing on violence. At the second part of the session the group examined the real story of a young person who was a victim of violence and whose basic rights have been neglected. As a continuation, in small groups participants shared experience in dealing with the issues of human rights and violence. This work in smaller groups was very interesting as it brought up a number of useful stories and explanations.


Domino: 29




Violent extremism

Session objectives

• To promote preventive youth actions against roots youth violent extremism. • To empower participants to act as multipliers against youth violent extremism. • Link the participants’ reflections with the broader visions and ideas about violent youth extremism.

Methodology approach

The methodology will be based on non formal education and will use brainstorming, group work, plenary discussions and creativity development exercises.


90 min

Space requirements

Big room with enough space for various small working groups.

Materials and equipment required

Session description

Flipchart paper, one sheet per small group

Marker pens of different colours, enough for all small groups


Tape or glue

Set of magazines and newspapers 1. Presentation of the activity. 2. Brainstorming in plenary about the roots of violent youth extremism. 3. Group work on roots. 4. Present of outcomes of group work in plenary. 5. Designing preventive posters against youth violent extremism. 6. Presentation of posters. 7. Debriefing.





Peace Violence Human rights

Session objectives

• To get to know each other’s thoughts about peace, violence and human rights. • To have the opportunity to listen to each others’ thoughts and to the own opinions. • The indirect goal is to use English language.

Methodology approach

The workshops focused on the audience; the tutor is not the source of information; his/her objective is to lead the conversations and to stop the members from digressing. The sharing of knowledge helps all the participants. During the discussions there is also a possibility to draw inferences.


90 min

Space requirements

Big room where participants can sit in circle.

Materials and equipment required

• Reflection sheet about peace and violence • Power-point presentation about the topics • Projector • Computer • Photo camera and video camera

Session description

1. The volunteers arrive at the library and they fill in the reflection sheet about peace and violence (individual work). 2. Next, in plenary, the group talks about peace and violence in Hungarian and in English. 3. At the end, the facilitators show the group a power-point presentation about the themes discussed.

Additional comments

During the conversations we map the cultural differences and their solutions on a political and social level.





Violence Human rights

Session objectives

Methodology approach

To discuss the meaning of violence, its causes and consequences.

To foster skills on how to cope with violence.

To relate the various aspects with Human Rights.

The workshop was based on a non-formal education approach. The whole work was based on peer learning, active participation, democratic decision-making, valorisation of experience and knowledge of youth participants, needs oriented. The main methods used were: brainstorming, small group work, role-play, and plenary sessions. The role-play was based on A. Boal theatre of the oppressed, specifically in the forum theatre method.


90 minutes

Space requirements

Big room with enough space to sit in circle and to perform the theatre plays.

Materials and equipment required

• Flipcharts • Markers • Video camera (optional) • Photo camera (optional) • Copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights • White paper and pens

Session description

1. Short brainstorming on “violence”. 2. In small groups (4-5 participants) share personal experiences on violence (both as perpetrators, victims or observers). 3. Choose one of the experiences and do a short role-play. 4. Each group shows the role-play to the group. 5. At the end, choose 1 or 2 role-plays and act them again asking 32

on a second moment to the group to intervene in order to change the outcomes. 6. Debriefing and evaluation. Expected results of the session

Increased awareness and knowledge about violence.

New skills useful in coping with violence.

Increased HR awareness.





Peace Human rights

Session objectives

• To discuss the meaning of peace. • To imagine a world where peace is a reality in order to foster a positive vision of the future. • To discuss possible actions that can contribute to create a Culture of Peace. • To relate the various aspects with Human Rights.

Methodology approach

The workshop was based on a non-formal education approach. The whole work was based on peer learning, active participation, democratic decision-making, valorisation of experience and knowledge of youth participants, needs oriented. The main methods used were: brainstorming, small group work, role-play, individual work, and plenary sessions.


90 min

Space requirements

Big room

Materials and equipment required

• Flipchart • Markers • Video camera (optional) • Photo camera (optional) • Peace circle draw • Coloured pens • A4 white and coloured paper • Art materials (coloured paper, coloured pencils and pens, various types of paper, etc) • Copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Session description

1. Show to the group a draw of a circle which they will have to draw symbols or words that represent a world of peace for them (the circle represents symbolically the world). 2. After they do it, go throughout the draws in the circle and comment/share asking each participant to tell to the group the meaning of the own symbol. 3. Next, we focus on the question “what can I do to achieve my perfect world?”; for that each participant writes on an A4 paper in big letters one key word or symbol that represent the main idea of what they want to express. 4. Now participants gather in small groups and share their own symbol discussing about the meaning and the ideas behind it. 5. Each group has to come out with an artistic work that represents the group’s thought about the question. This artistic work will be presented and discussed in plenary. 6. Debriefing and evaluation.

Expected results of the session

• Increased awareness and knowledge about peace. • New ideas to be active and contribute to create a better world. • Increased HR awareness.





Peace Levels of peace

Session objectives

• To define the three levels of peace. • To personalize the concept of peace.

Methodology approach

Group sharing.


90 min

Space requirements

Big working room.

Materials and equipment required

Group discussion working in pairs preparing a poster.

• 24 B3 (double A4) sheets of paper • Masking or scotch tape • Chill- out music and boom-box • Paints (brushes), pencils, crayons, colourful magazines, glue, markers etc. • Levels of peace on sheets of paper • Sheets of paper to write the definition of peace

Session description

1. Introduction of the workshop and agenda. 2. Group building energizer/activity. 3. S h o r t meditation on what peace means to us. There is relaxing music in the background. The trainer asks participants to close their eyes and imagine the following things: - Imagine the word peace. Give it a shape, font, give it a colour. - What colour or colours would that word be? - How does this colour make you feel? Does it make you good, safe or does it make you feel bad? Stay with this feeling for a while. - Now think about places that you associate with peace. What 36

are those places? What do they look like? How do they feel? How do they smell? Think about an object that you associate with peace. What object is it? - Think about people that you associate with peace. Who are these people? How do they behave? What do they look like? What do they make you feel? Stay with this feeling. - Imagine our planet. Imagine that it is the most peaceful place ever. What would it look like? What would people act like? How would they feel? How would you feel in that world? - Now think about all those moments when you are at peace with yourself. What kind of moments are these? How do you feel then? What does peace mean to you? - After that ask participants to open their eyes. 4. Preparing the peace poster: Ask each participants to take a B3 (double A4) peace of paper. On this peace of paper they are to illustrate their understanding of peace. What is peace for them? How do they understand it? They can draw it, make a collage and/or write something. Encourage them to think about different aspects of peace on a personal and global level. After they are done with the poster, ask them to write a sentence that in their opinion captures best the meaning of peace. 5. Share the posters and explain them to the group. Participants are divided into two separate groups. Each person shares their definition. After that the facilitators ask about what people observed. What were the common parts of those definitions and what were the differences? Both differences and similarities are written down on the flipchart. 6. Summarise: The facilitators summarise the discussions and commonalities and differences that on a flipchart. S/he also puts down different levels of peace such us: spiritual, psychological, interpersonal, social, economical, political and points out that ultimately none of those levels exist independently. Expected results of the session

• Awareness about the own personal definition of peace. • Awareness of the fact that peace can be defined in many different ways and on different levels. • Awareness that there is no absolute definition of peace. • Knowledge about the basic levels of peace. 37




Peace Levels of peace Peace education

Session objectives

• To define the three levels of peace. • To personalize the concept of peace. • Present International Peace Movement and concept of Peace education. • Understand the difference between learning for and learning about peace. • Think about activities that one person can take to act toward peace.

Methodology approach

Group sharing. Group discussion working in pairs preparing a poster.


90 min

Space requirements

Big working room.

Materials and equipment required

• Peace quotes • Power-point on Peace Education • Paper and pens • Flipchart • Markers

Session description

1. Division in 3 groups and give each group a paper with a discussion guide: Discussion guide: Peace with oneself (group 1) - What does it mean to be at peace with oneself? - What sorts of things that we say and do everyday, show that we are at war with ourselves and do not have a quality 38

of inner peace? - Is there a relationship between the body, mind and emotions? What kind of relationship? Discussion guide: Peace with others (group 2) - Do we - as human beings - have the capacity to live at peace with others? - Does absence of war mean that we are at peace with others? - Can we learn to be more peaceful with others in our daily lives? How? Discussion guide: Peace with nature (group 3) - Does society value the environment? - What does it mean to live in harmony with nature? - Whose duty is it to care for the environment? 2. After the work in small groups participants present in plenary the summary and conclusions of the discussions. 3. The next part of the session focuses on peace quotes. Each person selects 3 quotes and in smaller groups participants discuss why they have selected particular quotes. 4. The discussion in small groups is followed by a power-point presentation on peace education. 5. The session concludes with a silent floor with 4 flipcharts where participants have to write down their ideas and experience: - What contributes to peace in our projects? - What damages peace in our projects? - How is “learning ABOUT the peace” reflected in our projects? - How is “learning FOR peace” reflected in our projects? 6. Conclusion round.


Additional comments

The power-point on peace education and the session is structured according to SCI policy paper guidelines. SCI International is one of the biggest peace and volunteer movements. More info:





Peace Intercultural dialogue

Session objectives

• Inform and discuss with young people what peace and intercultural dialogue is.

Methodology approach

Face-to-face conversations in an informal setting


½ day to 1 day

Space requirements


Materials and equipment required

• Black board • Chalk • Video camera • Photo camera

Session description

1. Go in a public space and ask young people what peace means to them, and how a Culture of Peace can be achieved. 2. Ask to write in a black board one word that represents peace to them. 3. Take a photo to the person (if s/he allows).

Expected results Reaching awareness on a Culture of Peace among the general public. of the session Additional comments

The team walked around during the Dutch national day celebrations asking young people what peace means to them, and how a Culture of Peace can be achieved in the Netherlands and beyond. The feeling of community and celebration provided a great environment to talk about peacebuilding and to engage youth in thinking about their role in building peaceful societies. The team had many inspiring and encouraging conversations with people of all ages, and even recorded the interviews to make a short video.





Youth Conflict Peacebuilding

Trainers/facilitat ors

Session objectives

One trainer is enough for the theory, although it is helpful to have one more facilitator present who knows the process and is informed about the topic. During interactive parts of the session both the trainer and the facilitator can give input into the small groups. • Introduce participants to definitions of youth and conflict and to theory of the relationship between youth and conflict. • Provide the participants to the analytical skills needed to find out which discourse an organization/institution/policy propagates: youth as perpetrators, victims of conflict or youth a potential for building peace • Introduce participants to which specific characteristics of youth can be used as assets and which characteristics/circumstances can be seen as a challenge to involve them in peacebuilding.

Methodology approach

A combination of methodologies developed by youth work, peace education, community development and intercultural learning. During the session cognitive knowledge is build up on the topic, but also affirmative learning (empowerment) is an objective. By speaking about the potential of youth as peace constructors and steering the participants individual thinking process through the interactivity of the session, we aim to create awareness for their own inner strength/potential and that of their peers.


1 ½ to 2 hours

Space requirements

Depending on the participants. All need to be able to sit, and there has to be a little extra room for movement to work on the exercises on the ground and on the wall.

Materials and equipment required

• Flip over • Markers • 3 big conflict trees printed


• Magazines • Newspapers • Scissors • Glue Session description

1. Explanation of the topic and content of the training session 2. Explore with the group where they think of when they hear the word youth, and elaborate by asking them on characteristics they would attribute to youth. (Use a flip over paper to brainstorm together). In addition, introduce them to different definitions of youth (political category, biological state of development, social category, etc). 3. Explain to them what ‘participation’ means. 4. Show pictures that frame youth in several relationships to conflict (most of the ideas of this relationship can be placed in on the following three categories: youth as perpetrators of violence, youth as helpless victims and youth as peace builders and change bringers). In the training I call the three categories, three pairs of glasses to look at youth and conflict. Then start a small class discussion on how they see and understand the relationship between youth and conflict. 5. Explain which institutions/political actors frame youth as the primary actors of violence in conflicts. Include some statistics of youth as perpetrators. Show them what the underlying causes and dynamic consequences are of youth being involved as perpetrators of violence, by filling out in interaction with the participants the first conflict analysis tree. 6. Explain which institutions/political actors frame youth as the helpless victims of violence in conflicts. Include some statistics of youth as helpless victims of violence. Show them what the underlying causes and dynamic consequences are of youth being victims of violence, by filling out in interaction with the participants the second conflict analysis tree. 7. Briefly compare the two conflict trees and note that there is an overlap: in a sense perpetrators are victims and the other way around 8. BUT: a two-folded analysis is not complete. We need move beyond the categorization of youth as perpetrators or victims of violence. Youth are also an immense potential within 43

peacebuilding processes (show statistics and policy outcomes that indicate that youth has the right to participate in society and to be included in decision making processes. They are the decision makers of the future. 9. If we look at the outlined characteristics of youth in the beginning: which of those make youth good peace builders? 10. Give examples that show how the following characteristics of youth make them (potential) peace builders: - are more open to change and are more future-oriented - Young people are more flexible - Young people are more innovative/creative in the means of communication used - Young people are knowledgeable about their peers' realities 11. Indicate which characteristics of youth and which prejudices against youth can make it challenging to include them into peacebuilding processes. Give examples. 12. Ask a participant to take the lead in creating, together with the other participants, the conflict tree for lens 3 of looking at the relationship between youth and conflict. 13. Explain to them what critical discourse analysis is and divide the group in 3 (or in 6, whereby group 1 and 2 do the same exercise, group 3 and 4 and group 5 and 6). Every group gets one pair of glasses with the word ‘perpetrator’, ‘victim’ or ‘peace builder’ on it. They have to analyse the magazines and newspapers they wearing this glasses and thinking like a person who sees the relationship between youth and conflict with a focus on ‘perpetrator’, ‘victim’ or ‘peace builder’. Interesting articles/words or pictures they find they can cut and glue to the conflict tree that is in line with their glasses, they can put the material as being the ‘dynamic consequence’, the ‘main problem’ or the ‘underlying cause’ of the conflict tree. 14. If time allows all groups present their trees, and with the whole group you analyze what the differences and commonalities between the 3 trees are. You also ask they group what they think the shortcoming of their lens is, to look at the relationship between youth and conflict. Expected results of the session

• Participants reached a deeper understanding of the concepts of youth and conflict, and of the relationship between youth and conflict. • participants have gained the analytical skills needed to find out 44

which discourse an organization/institution/policy propagates: youth as perpetrators, victims of conflict or youth a potential for building peace. • Participants are aware of the specific characteristics of youth that can be used as assets for peacebuilding (empowerment element) and which characteristics/circumstances can be seen as a challenge to involve them in peacebuilding. Additional comments

For more information and contact UNOY Peacebuilders





Violence Conflict Prejudice

Session objectives

• Development of the sensibility for different kinds of violence and discrimination. • Development of the sensibility for mechanisms and dynamics of conflict arising.

Methodology approach

Active and participative workshops; active involvement of participants on intellectual and emotional level.


6 hours

Space requirements

One smaller conference room, flexible arrangement of tables and chairs.

Materials and equipment required

• Papers • Pens • Flip charts

Session description

1. Instead of usual icebreakers we had a “non-violent communication” session, where participants had the opportunity to practice being active listeners, to use mimics in communication and to feel more comfortable using I-speech. 2. We then started with workshops on “personal perceptions” and “invisible layers of communication” in order to have better understanding of conflict situations, and what lies behind each unspoken word. 3. We then moved into brainstorming about violence and what leads us to violent actions, using a story of one of the participants. 4. After having agreed on a basic set of violent behaviours, we did workshops on trust building and creative solving of conflicts. 5. At the end of the session, we had an open group discussion on different types of non-violent actions and how one can


become a driving force of change in society. 6. We played association games, showing most famous world political, religious and civil leaders stating their main characteristics and discussing what makes a person a peaceful leader. Expected results of the session

Additional comments

• Participants learnt how to deal with different types of violence and how to use their competences to demonstrated peaceful conflict solution. This approach comes from our standpoint, that differences enrich us, and helps us to develop understanding and hence influences our behaviour in conflict situations. Creativity, sensibility and communication skills enable us to communicate and to approach conflict situation in a constructive way.





Prejudice Conflict

Session objectives

• To encourage the process of trust building, prejudice reduction and the development of tolerance for diversities. • Approach to conflict as a chance for change and acquiring new experiences and knowledge. • To develop personal and professional skills for understanding oneself and others as individuals and in relationship to others.

Methodology approach

Sociological and Psychodrama


6 hours

Space requirements

Conference room, enough space to create stage and flexible arrangement of chairs and tables.

Materials and equipment required

Just people and their imagination! Maximum use of mimics and body language

Session description

1. Workshop consisted of a series of personal psychodramas in which the participants experienced the roles of protagonist, auxiliary ego, director, and observing group member as they are ready. Each session is reviewed ("processed") to identify and discuss technical elements. Training exercises were used to prepare participants for the different roles. 2. Workshop addressed issues gathered from personal stories that were connected with various situations in which participants participated in violence, saw violence, or have been part of violence. We chose stories from their lives that had strong association with feelings of rage, guilt, fear, hatred, prejudice and injustice. The activities in workshops were related to desires and needs of the group.

Additional comments

The Psychodrama approach enabled our group to explore events and issues that were of concern to us – how did we react on violence and how could we react in future, what could be our change? The method used provided education, support, insight to everyday realities and 48

once it begins to unwrap around someone’s personal story it brings all participants to creativity and personal growth. Unique from other approaches, psychodrama allows participants to switch roles, to try to deal with one situation in different ways, until they find one in which they feel most comfortable. Setting the scene, choosing roles, and being flexible and creative helps participants feel strong to be tools of change!


7. SUMMARY OF THE ACTIVITIES 7.1. ARMENIA From February 15th, 2010 to February 19th, 2010, 15 young Armenians were interviewed in the framework of the “Culture of Peace in young people’s view” program. All of the respondents are very actively involved in their community through different local and international organizations, NGOs, etc. For the majority of them, the issue of violence is very crucial, as most of them witness acts of violence (mental, physical, psychological, etc) on a daily basis in their communities. Sometimes they are the ones who raise questions of peace and understanding, but in some cases they are silent and accept violence, as they have no means to fight it. During the interviews, all the respondents were very open and eager to share their experiences in their communities concerning peace and violence. It was evident that for most of them it was a chance to speak up, to share their concerns, their thoughts and ideas about violence. Also by speaking up, they were understanding the issue better. Most of the respondents, being members and volunteers in different NGOs, have implemented some sort of project about violence and peace, especially some kind of projects with the main objective of promoting the Culture of Peace. As one of the girls noted, “I’m a member of different non-governmental organizations and volunteer in different organizations, I try to combat violence by means of different training courses, social projects and so on”. So, it was time for them to evaluate the impact of the project, as well as to develop new ideas about future projects. While defining violence, the respondents were thinking about different ways that violence takes place in society, also that violence can be on different levels, both individual and group level, meanwhile the respondents were bringing different examples, such as violation of the rights of other people (e.g. violation of the freedom of speech). There is domestic violence, violence against women, against children; the more frequent type of violence is the violence against women. Most of the respondents would agree that violence exists in their countries and in their communities. Violence has a very severe impact on society. If children’s rights are violated, then it impacts their lives when they become adults. One of the respondents says that in the case of violation of children’s rights she “would call different organizations for finding some solutions to the problems”. But all agree that stopping violence is not simply about calling police or other organizations and presenting the case, there are some types, or manifestations of violence, that youth have no way to stop. In most cases they will just hear “you are too young” or “it is not your business”, and they don’t have any solution. Youth definitely agree that there is a culture of violence that has become a part of their everyday culture. Most of the people in their communities have accepted that this is the way things are. They 50

no longer believe that they can create a change and, therefore, nothing is being done to create change. For the participants, peace can be defined “as a condition of mutual understanding”, which is understood as global tolerance and also respect towards each other in the society. One of the respondents noted that when she thinks about peace she does not forget that there are conflicts, contradictions and collisions. She realizes that the quickest path to peace is solving these conflicts. Participants also discussed the importance of peace within oneself. They agreed that both forms of harmony – internal and external – are equally important. When faced with the question of whether or not Armenia promotes peace, the participants had different opinions. One group believed that Armenia does promote peace, as shown in the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. The war greatly impacted Armenian society, and today when anyone says peace, for an Armenian it means the absence of war. The stability and sustainability in Armenia can be achieved in the absence of war, “peace is promoted in schools [and] universities,” and “children study novels about war [and learn] about the terrible impacts of war”. The other group of participants suggested that Armenia is not promoting peace and, moreover, that people in Armenia often do not understand what peace is. One girl said that she has never heard anyone say the word “peace” nor try to do anything to promote peace. Many young people think incorrectly that on local and national levels there are not any people focused on fighting violence. In fact, there are a number of organizations, such as NGOs, that are trying to stop the violence in Armenia. These organizations are also working on human rights and democracy, as well as providing shelters for the victims of violence. However, many people believe that the government is obligated to take more responsibility in the fight against violence. The best way to develop strategies to combat violence is to have cooperation between governments, NGOs and mass media. Though it is also important to involve political actors in the process, youth are ready and have enough knowledge and skills to start the dialogue for peace through different projects, trainings, seminars, workshops, etc. Moreover, most of the respondents were convinced that young people are the main actors of creating and promoting peace in their communities and building the Culture of Peace at the social and political levels. Youth ensure that they are the base of their community and society at large. If there is a goal to build a Culture of Peace, then it should start from young people, “as youth are the only group that can actually do something, create a positive change”. A lot of young people get involved in different projects aiming to create a Culture of Peace. At the end of the interview, every respondent would take a minute to thank all the organizers for such an opportunity for their voice to be heard and accepted. It seemed that youth have very little opportunities for their opinions to be heard and they greatly value the project and the impact it 51

would have. It was a great opportunity for them to think over the concepts of violence and peace, the different types in their communities, the methods, the tools and strategies for fighting violence, etc. The interviews were also an opportunity for the respondents to speak about the role of young people in contributing to the Culture of Peace. More importantly, they were able to begin seeing themselves fighting violence and creating a Culture of Peace. There is no doubt that they hoped that these interviews, the movie and the publication would change something somewhere in the world, as they are the ones who should make a difference.



With the coordination of János Palotás from the Foundation of Knowledge we organised the Peace workshop on Hódmezővásárhely. From the information from János we were able to advertise the workshop in our library and in high schools. In the high schools the advertising of the program was possible because of the help of the schools librarians, who collected the names of the volunteers. We organised two meetings. The first meeting was designed for the volunteers and tutors to meet each other. The second was designed to foster intense conversation about the subject. The Participants In response to our invitation, 25 students volunteered from five high schools (Bethlen Gábor Református Gimnázium, Greguss Máté Szakközépiskola, Eötvös József Szakközépiskola és Kalmár Zsigmond Szakközépiskola és Szakképző Iskola). Apart from the students the high schools’ librarians, two instructors from the town library and the co-ordinator János Palotás also participated. Location The workshops took place in the Németh László Town Library's reading room. At the meetings, participants sat in a circle in order to: •

Ease the tension

Increase empathy

Help the participants learn about each other

After everyone became acquainted with each other, we introduced the program of Culture of Peace and its objectives. We also showed the participants the Culture of Peace web page and familiarized 52

them with the layout of the website. Then we handed out the English questionnaire and discussed its questions. At the end of the program we invited the students in our library to talk about its history and the different events that took place there. Ultimately, the meeting reached its goals. The participants had gained new knowledge and had gotten in touch with each other and with the instructors. Here we summarize the filled questionnaires (interview schedule): What is violence for you? The students have written about psychical and physical abuse. They think that one of the reasons for that is stress that is present in their life. Psychical abuse can lead to physical abuse, war. Examples: “A thing, which is ignominious and unprincipled over against the people.” “Violence for me can be physical or verbal force against other people.” “Violence means aggression for me. When people can't put aside their differences and they try to solve it by violence, which usually ends in nothing, but regret.” Do you think that violence exist in your community? If yes, which type of violence exists in your country/community? (Clarification: how does violence manifest?) In Hungary, in our town physical abuse is not recognized officially, it is not as apparent as verbal abuse. Examples: “Not at all. To my mind, only verbal and tiny problems like in the life of normal people.” “The domestic violence is the mostly kept in secret. People don’t really like to talk about this problem.” “There are bank robberies, demolitions, but violence also exists in the schools as the stronger kids beat the weaker ones.” In your opinion is it possible to say that there exists a culture of violence? What does this concept means for you? 99% of the students think that violence has a culture, and its forms are: fight, war and political conflicts. Examples: 53

“I think it doesn’t exist. Sometimes people just do it for fun, revenge or their own gain.” “For me, it might mean that humanity is so much obsessed with hate and war towards themselves, that they don't care about each other.” “I think there is no culture of violence.” What is Peace for you? Among the answers calmness, tolerance, safety, happiness and war free periods featured. Examples: “I think peace is very good thing. If people accept that other people are different and tolerate them, we can talk about peace.” “Peace is something for what all the people aspire.” “…when there isn’t racism and nationalism.” In your view, what does it mean to live in a Culture of Peace? Respecting each other in a cultural and in a religious level, people live in a calmness and safety helping each other out. Examples: “If I’m walking along the street I feel good and I’m easy about things.” “The situation, when the people are equal.” “Everybody understands each other and there is no violence.” How do you personally try to create a Culture of Peace? Have you implemented a project to promote a Culture of Peace? From their viewpoint the making of good human associations is the most important in our direct environment. The Culture of Peace can be assisted by learning foreign languages, the recognition of other people’s country, religion and by protecting human rights. Examples: “All we need to do something for it. But it is not so easy; we need to fight for it. This can be our chance.” “I’m still learning and trying to intelligently, kindly contact the outside world and create peace.”


“I don't hurt other people at all; I am telling my friends not to do so. If I see any kind of violence, I try to stop it. I haven't implemented any kinds of project yet, but maybe I will do it in the future.” What is the role of young people in contributing to Peace and to build a Culture of Peace at a. Social level b. Political level On a social level the students should respect and assist each other. They should demonstrate against globalization and war. Examples: “I think young people should accept each other and should be friendly.” “They should learn discipline and they should also try to explore themselves from inside (exploring who they are).” “They should be tolerant. They shouldn't judge other people because of the colour of their skin or their nationality. They should be friendly to each other even if they don't really like the other person.” On a political level the students doesn't know how the government could assist the Culture of Peace, but they think that making good associations between countries is important. Examples: “They should accept the views of other people around them.” “Accepting others and their views.” “Young people need to understand why people fought against each other in the past and why they still do it and by that, they are going to be able to fight against the violence in the future.” “I don’t know what I can answer for this question. It is too difficult question for me.” “These two things need to work together and learn those two things together move forward.” Is there something else you would like to say? Most of them didn't write anything here, but they think that the initiation and asking their opinion is a good thing. Summary


The answers were mixed, there were students who were thinking local and there were others who were thinking global. They think that psychological aggression is worse than physical aggression. They expect the development of peaceful life on a political and social level from the government. However, they think that other people besides the government should be working towards peace.



Considering the activities that the CEIPES association has developed in Palermo for the Project Culture of Peace, this paper will include considerations over them and the summary of them all. While working with young people from the Einaudi High school, we have looked into their reactions related to the context of violence. Through some workshops and some interviews we have reached the following observations. Violence is present in their habitual context. They seem to understand what it is and they mostly recognize it as a bad influence to society: something that we have to avoid and that can be avoided. Christian values have greatly influences their way of thinking, and yet they manage to maintain a non religious perspective on the concepts that were discussed. Closely relating to their ordinary context, they assimilate the concept of violence as a demonstration of the mafia phenomenon. They also see violence as the use of strength towards weak people, as oppression, actions that may harm expression of feelings like anger and also as actions taken in order to defend one-self. They recognize the existence of violence in their community, pointing to the cases of bullies in schools, sexual abuses and violence against women, children and elderly people. They admit that violence provides entertainment for some young people; however, they do not share the same feeling. Violence is also differentiated into psychological and physical. In the society around them, violence is seen as the cause of unsafeness and also of false alarm among people who begin to be scared for unreal motivations. Violence is considered a big failure of the society in its wholeness. It makes it difficult to share solidarity feelings. When interviewed to find out how they would react when witnessing cases of violence in their community, most of them said openly that they wouldn’t know what to do, or they wouldn’t do anything at all because the typical reaction would be violent itself, and they wouldn’t find it appropriate. They concluded that in these cases it is better to repress their violent disposition.


Some of them said that they fear witnessing actions of violence. Others said they are terrified by the idea that someone may harm others. Of course, any consideration has to be analyzed according to personal experience. However, most hold violent people in contempt. They do not seem to react precisely to the public strategies to fight violence. They don’t feel involved in any particular action in that sense and they see as a consequence that the violence take place more and more in their community. Many of them see the armed forces as the expression of the public fight against violence and they trust on them. They consider the involvement of adults’ young people necessary to create change. They agree on the existence of a culture of violence and they see their own society almost based on it. In their opinion this is due to the influences of media, the commercials that utilise the theme of violence as central in their messages, TV programs who take advantage of episodes of violence to entertain the audience. They see people greatly influenced by their environment that is absorbed with violence. Only a few do not recognise a culture of violence as possible, except for cases of extreme wickedness of people. Considering the concept of peace, most of the young people interviewed have related this idea to self respect and respect of others, cohabiting in harmony with others, integration of different groups, having fun in a safe way for all, be safe, be free. Freedom is seen as a fundamental value in order to achieve peace, and somebody pointed to democracy as the highest condition of peace. They do not see their own country as a supporter of peace nor do they see peace as transmittable. They focused on the contradiction of a country like Italy that being a democracy will guarantee peace as a basic value, but keep on participating in wars and have violence happening daily in its own territory. They insist on the consciousness of interior peace to pass it outside to others and to the environment. Some of them see messages of peace in Church statements, occasionally in political discourse and more often in social advertising on the media. Living in a Culture of Peace is contemplated as reciprocal respect, as living in solidarity, as living life in a pacific way. When they feel personally involved to create a Culture of Peace they suggest being kind to each others, to behave with good manners to people who are kind to them but also to people who are not, and to try to react to violence with peaceful behaviours, in order to prevent violence from leading to more violence.


They have faith and confidence that the next generation will have new principles and attitudes and will be able to do more to fight violence and create peace.



The implementation of “Culture of Peace� comes with a lot of specificities regarding its impact and results. Starting from the interviews and researches up to the workshop and design of the booklet. In the community of Kumanovo, CID as organization implemented the project activities with support from local volunteers. The volunteers that were implementing the project activities had a previous knowledge and experience with the topic of Peace Education. They were the one that coordinated the process of research (interviews), implemented the workshops and evaluated the project. The project relevance is quite visible in a community like Kumanovo, with a developed culture of violence. Segregation exists especially between ethnic communities. In Kumanovo, there are present various ethnic communities: Macedonian, Albanian, Roma as the biggest. There is a lack of communication existing among these communities and the segregation is affecting the daily life of young people. Therefore most of the projects done by CID are directed towards enhancing the inter-ethnic and intercultural dialogue among the communities. The project had impact on the local community. It raised the interest of the participants in the project regarding the topic of Culture of Peace. Since some of them are active youth workers, there were able to transfer the developed competences from the Culture of Peace workshops within the activities they do with young people. The interview’s conclusion would be that young people understand peace in different ways, due to their personal experiences, but in general, before the workshops and educational activities of the project, general understating of peace was up stance of war. In some particular cases, interviewees described differences in the levels of peace. When comes to the culture of violence, I could notice that many of them identify only physical violence as violence and did not showed awareness when comes to the culture of violence. In particular cases, culture of violence was identified as inter-ethnical communication conflict in Kumanovo, or as media influence or even as change system of values.


As a sum up we can conclude that there is a need youth in Kumanovo to be more aware about the issue of peace, and how young people with their activities to contribute more to the Culture of Peace.



Culture of Peace campaign on Queen’s Day – Reaching out to the Dutch public On the 30th of April, the Netherlands celebrates Queen’s Day by hosting different street events such as concerts, flea markets and performances. Plenty of Dutch people can be seen on the streets, so the UNOY Peace builders’ team, in cooperation with the volunteer youth organization Youth Service Initiative, took advantage of the opportunity to promote the Culture of Peace among the Dutch public. UNOY interviewed Dutch people on Orange sun ethnic festival and proposed questions such as: what does peace mean to you, have you heard of a Culture of Peace, what does peace mean for young people and what can young people do for peace? People were asked to write on blackboards their meanings of peace. Information about the Culture of Peace was also distributed to the Dutch crowds. Building Peace Skills training – Workshop on Dutch young people and the Culture of Peace A training organised by UNOY Peacebuilders from 6 to 11 May 2010 focused on peacebuilding, conflict transformation, conflict analysis, gender mainstreaming, intercultural communication and project management in the context of youth work. Ten young Dutch people took part in the training, which also included in-depth discussions on youth’s role in peacebuilding. The Culture of Peace and young people were discussed especially during the workshop Roles and Potentials of Youth in Peacebuilding, facilitated by Marloes van Houten, one of UNOY Peacebuilders’ team members. Prior to and after the workshop, the participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire about the Culture of Peace and Violence in the Netherlands. They were also interviewed about what they think youth can do for peace, why peace is important to youth and what peace means for them as young people. The people interviewed were between 20 and 29 years old and all live in the Netherlands. Summary of the Results The following will present the conclusions that can be drawn from the interviews with the Dutch young people during the Queen’s Day campaign, the questionnaires filled in after the


Building Peace Skills training and statements filmed at the end of the workshop. Violence and Culture of Violence in the Netherlands The interviewed Dutch young people consider violence as any form of physical or mental aggressive and unjustified behaviour rising from anger, frustration and intolerance that limits freedom and threatens the well being of people. The violence can be intended for one person, a group of people, a race or a nationality. Violence in Dutch communities, according to the young people interviewed, particularly manifests itself in means of cultural violence and prejudices leading to racist and discriminatory behaviour, especially towards the different ethnicities living in the Netherlands, sexual minorities and disadvantaged groups. The violence is thought to take form in a verbal manner with physical violence rarely being witnessed. Cultural violence affects Dutch society by creating fragments and gaps between people with different backgrounds, e.g., religions or national. This creates insecurities and tension and hinders feelings of safety due to the increased risk of violent conflict and hindrance of people’s rights. It also increases fear towards foreign cultures and different ways of life. Witnessing violent behaviour makes the interviewed young people in the Netherlands feel irritated, sad, frustrated and scared. Many of the young people spoken to also stated that they look for ways to intervene and help. The strategies used by Dutch communities to prevent violence are mentioned to be municipalities’ attempts to better integrate immigrants (e.g., Turkish and Moroccan) into the Dutch society and to enhance dialogue between the immigrants and the Dutch. The role of civil society organizational programs, the police and so called ‘neighbourhood centrums’ (community space with free time activities) were mentioned as fighters of violence. Democratic values such as freedom of speech and media were also thought to prevent violence. However, some of the interviewees were sceptical about the ability and effort of the Dutch communities to actively decrease the existing violence. There are differing views on whether a Culture of Violence exits in the Netherlands and what the term means for the interviewees. Most seem to believe that a Culture of Violence present in the Dutch communities because people have gotten used to the violent behaviour (e.g., between nationalities) and that the violent behaviour is somewhat commonly accepted. Also, the fact that some people can politically dominate others in an unjust manner demonstrates a Culture of Violence and is therefore present in Dutch communities. It is being stated that the Culture of Violence might exist on the margins of the Dutch society. Some of the youth interviewed believe that violence is not something that can define a culture and that a Culture of Violence suggests that 60

young people would be naturally violent. They therefore believe that it cannot be said that a Culture of Violence prevails in the Netherlands. Peace is considered a state in which differences can be addressed in a non-violent manner and personal, social, political and economic development can be supported. In the Netherlands it would be, therefore, the state in which different cultures can live without hatred towards each other. Other terms used to describe peace are acceptance, equality and use of power in solidarity. The young people explained that the Netherlands promotes peace through democratic order, human rights, NGOs and government support on development, aid-work and peace negations. The country’s attempt to increase dialogue between the different ethnic groups is also considered a peaceful act. However, the government’s actions to promote peace are seen as insufficient and failing to reach the root causes and marginalized groups. Additionally, the fact that the Netherlands is the 6th largest arms supplier in the world was brought up as a contradiction to a Culture of Peace. For the young people in the Netherlands, living in a Culture of Peace means the absence of violence and damage in their everyday lives and living in a way that promotes peace in an environment where there is space to be different and make your own choices. Living in Culture of Peace is also perceived as a consideration of everyone’s rights and exercising one’s strengths to help others. The young people in the Netherlands personally contribute to the creation of a Culture of Peace by monitoring their own behaviour, being active in society, being respectful and helpful towards others and by actively creating dialogue and mutual understanding. Half of the interviewees have implemented projects that support a Culture of Peace. The way in which young people in the Netherlands can contribute to a Culture of Peace on a social level is by respecting each other, participating in social projects and volunteering activities, being aware of their surroundings and interacting with people from different backgrounds to learn about different realities. Youth are also said to have the ability to give the prevailing trends new directions and to use this skill to push the ‘trends’ towards more peaceful practises. On a more political level, young people believe they could contribute by involving themselves in politics more actively and expressing their opinions through lobbying, advocating and campaigning activities, and even by joining political parties. Conclusions It can be concluded that the young people in the Netherlands experience violence, especially among the different cultures present in Dutch society. The government and NGOs’ attempts to ease these tensions by integrating the newcomers better and enhancing dialogue between the 61

immigrants and locals are recognised, but also considered insufficient in combating the violence. Peace is seen as the ideal space where there is room to be different and where differences can be discussed in a peaceful manner. In the view of young Dutch citizens, the Netherlands promotes peace through democratic practices and support for development and intercultural dialogue. Moreover, the Culture of Peace means for them the absence of violence in their everyday lives while being considerate of everyone’s rights and exercising one’s strengths to help others. Furthermore, the way in which youth believe they can contribute to a Culture of Peace is by adjusting their own choices and behaviours towards other people into a peaceful, friendly and tolerant state. Young peoples’ role in contributing to a Culture of Peace on a societal level is seen as their respect towards each other, being open-minded and active in society. On a political level, young people can contribute to a Culture of Peace by expressing their opinions and taking part in politics.



The following will present the conclusions that can be drawn from the interviews with Serbian students/young people who took part in the project. What is violence for you? As expected, the usual answer to this question was that violence is a form of repression, frustration that needs a trigger to become visible and that unfortunately is all around us. Serbian youth believe that violence is a social construction and that through their past experiences they have seen different forms of it – from verbal violence to wars to political sanctions. Do you think that violence exists in your community? If yes, which types of violence exist in your country/community? (Clarification: how does violence manifest itself?) They all answered that violence is, sadly, part of everyday Serbian reality. Violence manifests itself in different forms, most commonly they thought of violence in sport events, among hooligans and among peers in schools. Interestingly though, they mentioned political violence and more severe forms of violence, such as war, as part of the past. How does violence impact your society? Those who were interviewed said that violence inevitably impacts their society, as it is thrust upon us at a young age from many different sources. It affects our relationships, our communication, the way we perceive others and how others see us. Most agreed that violence brings more violence and that it can easily become an ordinary way of acting if there is no concrete reaction within society.


How do you react when you see violence in your community? Reaction often lacks in violent situations among Serbian youth. Many of them are frightened to react while those who would react don’t feel that they have the support of the State in certain stages and know that if they speak out it can only hurt them, not help others. If there is reaction, it is minor compared to the image of violence that prevails. What we noticed is that young people don’t react because they are not educated to react, they lack competences in non-violent communication and they don’t feel empowered to carry the reaction alone. Somehow, we always expect the State to react while in reality the State remains silent! Are there strategies in your community to fight violence? If yes, what are they? Young people we interviewed were not sure about strategies in their communities. They know they exist but the only precise example they could give was “Schools without Violence.” Even in this example, though, they were not sure who is involved, who runs it and who is targeted. In your opinion is it possible to say that a culture of violence exists? What does this concept mean for you? Answers varied from person to person for this question. Many of the interviewees did not know what a culture of violence was, but when it was explained some of them agreed that it exists. However they saw it in terms of the state of their community, which has undergone many wars and different form of violence on the state level, so they “justify” a culture of violence as a temporary stage in society that will last only until a new value system can be instituted. What is peace for you? In response to this question, peace was defined in very personal ways. Answers included: a place to rest, a place with friends, a state of mind, etc. One can conclude that Serbian youth are looking for peace within themselves, peace that can be easily attained, rather than something more expansive and more difficult to reach. Does your country promote peace? If yes, in what ways is peace promoted? Answers here were similar to those about anti-violence strategies: they knew there were strategies but they didn’t know anything about them. In your view, what does it mean to live in a Culture of Peace? Tolerance, respect and understanding were common answers to this question. Many young people that we talked to have witnessed or have been subject to violence and for them a Culture of Peace is to know others’ rights stop at the point where their rights are threatened.


How do you personally try to create a Culture of Peace? Have you implemented a project to promote a Culture of Peace? Few of them had participated in a project to promote peace; some of them had promoted it through personal actions and by standing up against violence. They all stressed the need for more inclusive peace education and for more united state and NGO action against violence. What is the role of young people in contributing to peace and to building a Culture of Peace at a a.

Social level?


Political level?

Serbian youths said that young people are not contributing enough to create a Culture of Peace and not speaking out enough against violence. They stressed the need for better inclusion of young people in peace actions and the fact that state and society should do more to educate young people about important issues.


8. CONCLUSIONS The summaries elaborated by partners about the work done with young people are very rich and offer quite a lot of food for thought. The main richness of the work done stands on the fact that it was a tool that permitted young people self expression and was a way to listen to their voice and their thoughts on these relevant topics. Moreover we can extract some important conclusions that might be useful in the work carried out with youth in the field of Culture of Peace and peace education. Let’s go through the various important aspects present in the various summaries. One of the main obvious aspects is that youth conceive peace in similar ways, even if some of them were born and live in countries where very recent wars or violent conflicts took place. These shows that youth are aware about the fact that peace is not only the absence of war but goes far behind it. As they say peace is: •

A condition of mutual understanding

Self respect and respect of others

Cohabiting in harmony with others

Peace within oneself




Having fun in a safe way for all

Be free


Use of power in solidarity

A place to rest

A place with friends

Peace is so defined as something that is both inside and outside oneself, something that comes out in the relations with others.


Concerning violence youth focused generally on direct violence (Galtung29) but sometimes also on structural and cultural violence (Galtung, ibidem) that appears as inequality, discrimination, poverty and other violations of human rights, such as deprivation of freedom of choice. It is possible to observe commonalities in the types of violence described as all youth referred to some types of violence that seems to be transversal to all countries, or at least to some of them. Those are for example violence among peers in schools (bullying), violence against women, cultural violence and prejudices leading to racist and discriminatory behaviour. Then we have violence that is clearly dependent on the context where youth live, as the violence perpetrated by mafia in the case of Italy, or the post-war condition of the Balkans area. Youth also mentioned violence towards sexual minorities and disadvantaged groups and violence in sport events. Contrary to what expected violent expression seems to be very similar in the various countries. Even if there are specificities that derive from the context we can easily understand that youth in these various countries are worried about similar situations. In order to overcome violence and create a Culture of Peace it is important to concentrate on youth needs and interests, approaching the aspects they describe as being part of their daily lives. Considering peace as a broad concept that covers all aspects of life it is sometimes difficult to know concretely where to focus when working on creating a Culture of Peace. However these interviews says us that in each community is there a specific starting point that is determined by youth (in this cas e) and that turn out to be relevant since illustrate the desires and life situation of those who live in that place. On the other hand violence can also be dealt with through European and international cooperation that are very important as they allow the exchange of good practice and the creation of common approaches and methods. This is already part of creating a Culture of Peace because it is needs oriented, it is based on listening, in cooperation and networking. Here we state the importance of the process and not only the result, because Culture of Peace is achieved through a process that is coherent with the results we aim to achieve (coherence form-content in peace education30). It is interesting to focus as well on the ways youth describe Culture of Peace and culture of violence:


Galtung, Jacobsen & Jacobsen. Searching for peace: The road to Transcend (2000). Pluto Press (London, UK).


Webel & Galtung (Eds.). Handbook of peace and conflict studies (2007). Routledge (London and New York). 66

Culture of Peace

Culture of Violence

Reciprocal respect

Fight / War


Media influence (in a negative way)


A value system


Acceptance of violent behaviour

Living in solidarity

Political conflicts

Be able to make the own choices

Political domination of others

Absence of violence and damage Have space to be different Some youth share the opinion that their countries as democratic governments should guarantee peace as a basic value, but instead they keep on participating in wars, trading arms and letting violence happening daily. Youth emphasizes the important role of governments in promoting peace, but they don’t reject the importance and relevance of their own role and in some cases they think of themselves as the only actors that can really stand for peace. In some other cases it seems that youth feel they have lack of tools and support to work towards a Culture of Peace. Lastly, they mention that youth do feel disappointed and are inactive, even if they (the interviewed) feel not in that position. Concerning the active involvement of youth on the construction of a Culture of Peace it is possible to understand that youth are active in different ways, even thought in some countries this proactive behaviour was more evident than in others. The main activities referred by youth were many and they include in 3 main categories: individual actions, social actions and political actions. Individual actions • Be kind to each other • React to violence with peaceful behaviours, in order to prevent violence from leading to more violence • Learn foreign languages • Protect human rights • Respect towards each other • Be open-minded Social actions • Be part of a NGO 67

• Organise educational projects (e.g. training courses and social projects) • Protect human rights • Recognise other peoples country and religion Political actions • Take part in politics • Express the own opinions Political actions were the less mentioned while individual actions were strongly referred in young people’s discourses. This finding is strongly related with the fact that traditional participation channels, such as belonging to political parties, are more and more far away from young people’s realities. This is determined by youth mistrust in politics and in the big explosion of other ways of participation, such as e-participation (signing an on-line petition, blogging, e.g.31) and demonstrations, belonging to international NGOs, among others. It is important that NGOs take an active role in supporting young people’s actions in building a Culture of Peace. As mainly the lack of participation comes from the feeling of impossibility to do something, as if problems were so big that it is almost impossible to find out the causes or the ways out of them, NGOs can be active actors promoting actions in the direction of these needs. Media strongly contributes to this feeling of disempowerment. Unfortunately, nowadays media are a main source of disinformation and misunderstandings contributing to distract youth and people in general from the real problems and hindering their will to act. Also in this case NGOs can take a step forward and support youth in developing critical thinking skills, self-confidence, communication and self-expression skills which are fundamental in liberating from the power of media and in taking political (from Greek politiké, that is related to the city32) attitudes and actions. We believe it is our mission as NGOs to have a role approaching youth and together discover alternatives, empower and foster hope and positive feelings on them. A positive vision of the future and hope are fundamental ingredients to take action together with the abilities and tools relevant to each action.


New ways of youth participation based on information and communication technologies: 32

Online etymologic dictionary: 68

ANNEXES Annex A - Interview schedule

Name: Surname: Age: Gender: Place of birth and of residence (if different from the first): Occupation:

1- What is violence for you? 2- Do you think that violence exist in your community? If yes, which type of violence exists in your country/community? (Clarification: how does violence manifest?) 3- How does violence impact your society? 4- How do you react when you see violence in your community? 5- Are there strategies in your community to fight violence? If yes, what are they? 6- In your opinion is it possible to say that there exists a culture of violence? What does this concept means for you? 7- What is Peace for you? 8- Does your country promote peace? If yes, in what way? 9- In your view, what does it mean to live in a Culture of Peace? 10- How do you personally try to create a Culture of Peace? Have you implemented a project to promote a Culture of Peace? 11- What is the role of young people in contributing to Peace and to build a Culture of Peace at a. Social level b. Political level 12- Is there something else you would like to say?


Annex B - Seville Statement on Violence

Believing that it is our responsibility to address from our particular disciplines the most dangerous and destructive activities of our species, violence and war; recognizing that science is a human cultural product which cannot be definitive or all-encompassing; and gratefully acknowledging the support of the authorities of Seville and representatives of the Spanish UNESCO; we, the undersigned scholars from around the world and from relevant sciences, have met and arrived at the following Statement on Violence. In it, we challenge a number of alleged biological findings that have been used, even by some in our disciplines, to justify violence and war. Because the alleged findings have contributed to an atmosphere of pessimism in our time, we submit that the open, considered rejection of these misstatements can contribute significantly to the International Year of Peace. Misuse of scientific theories and data to justify violence and war is not new but has been made since the advent of modern science. For example, the theory of evolution has been used to justify not only war, but also genocide, colonialism, and suppression of the weak. We state our position in the form of five propositions. We are aware that there are many other issues about violence and war that could be fruitfully addressed from the standpoint of our disciplines, but we restrict ourselves here to what we consider a most important first step. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors. Although fighting occurs widely throughout animal species, only a few cases of destructive intraspecies fighting between organized groups have ever been reported among naturally living species, and none of these involve the use of tools designed to be weapons. Normal predatory feeding upon other species cannot be equated with intra-species violence. Warfare is a peculiarly human phenomenon and does not occur in other animals. The fact that warfare has changed so radically overtime indicates that it is a product of culture. Its biological connection is primarily through language which makes possible the co-ordination of groups, the transmission of technology, and the use of tools. War is biologically possible, but it is not inevitable, as evidenced by its variation in occurrence and nature over time and space. There are cultures which have not engaged in war for centuries, and there are cultures which have engaged in war frequently at some times and not at others. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that war or any other violent behaviour is genetically programmed into our human nature. While genes are involved at all levels of nervous system function, they provide a developmental potential that can be actualized only in conjunction with the ecological and social environment. While individuals vary in their predispositions to be affected by their experience, it is the interaction between their genetic endowment and conditions of nurturance that determines their personalities. Except for rare pathologies, the genes do not produce individuals necessarily predisposed to violence. Neither do they determine the opposite. While genes are co-involved in establishing our behavioural capacities, they do not by themselves specify the outcome. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behaviour more than for other kinds of behaviour. In all well-studied species, status within the group is achieved by the ability to co-operate and to fulfil social functions relevant to the structure of that group. 'Dominance' involves social bindings and affiliations; it is not simply a matter of the possession and use of superior physical power, although it does involve aggressive behaviours. Where genetic selection for aggressive behaviour has been artificially instituted in animals, it has rapidly succeeded in producing hyperaggressive individuals; this indicates that aggression was not maximally selected under natural conditions. 70

When such experimentally-created hyper-aggressive animals are present in a social group, they either disrupt its social structure or are driven out. Violence is neither in our evolutionary legacy nor in our genes. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that humans have a 'violent brain'. While we do have the neural apparatus to act violently, it is not automatically activated by internal or external stimuli. Like higher primates and unlike other animals, our higher neural processes filter such stimuli before they can be acted upon. How we act is shaped by how we have been conditioned and socialized. There is nothing in our neurophysiology that compels us to react violently. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that war is caused by 'instinct' or any single motivation. The emergence of modern warfare has been a journey from the primacy of emotional and motivational factors, sometimes called 'instincts', to the primacy of cognitive factors. Modern war involves institutional use of personal characteristics such as obedience, suggestibility, and idealism, social skills such as language, and rational considerations such as cost-calculation, planning, and information processing. The technology of modern war has exaggerated traits associated with violence both in the training of actual combatants and in the preparation of support for war in the general population. As a result of this exaggeration, such traits are often mistaken to be the causes rather than the consequences of the process. We conclude that biology does not condemn humanity to war, and that humanity can be freed from the bondage of biological pessimism and empowered with confidence to undertake the transformative tasks needed in this International Year of Peace and in the years to come. Although these tasks are mainly institutional and collective, they also rest upon the consciousness of individual participants for whom pessimism and optimism are crucial factors. Just as 'wars begin in the minds of men', peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us. Seville, Spain, 16 May 1986


RESOURCES AND WEBSITES Compass and Compasito manuals: DOmino: Final Civil Society Report on the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) Galtung, Jacobsen & Jacobsen. Searching for peace: The road to Transcend (2000). Pluto Press (London, UK). Human Rights and Millennium Development Goals: Making the link: New ways of youth participation based on information and communication technologies: _participation_en.pdf Peace Education in UNICEF: Report - Youth for Alliance of Civilizations: Promoting Dialogue, building a Culture of Peace Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe on 21 May 2003 The Seville Statement: UNDP (2000). Human Development Report 2000: Human Rights and Human Development. UNESCO mainstreaming: UN Resolutions A/RES/52/13: Culture of Peace: Webel & Galtung (Eds.). Handbook of peace and conflict studies (2007). Routledge (London and New York). Women for peace international: nts/69/SMWIPM_International_Youth_Forum.pdf


Canadian activist for the rights of children and founder of the Association Free the Children: CEDU website: Council of Europe website: Culture of Peace Projects and resources: Culture of Peace: an Introduction: European Youth Foundation website: Hague Appeal for Peace website: International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) official website: Online etymologic dictionary: The free child project website: Toward a Global Culture of Peace: UNESCO 155th Executive Board: World Programme for Human Rights Education Youth Protagonists web radio:


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks to our donor the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe for contributing to the realization of this project. Thanks to Laura Malleo who wrote the main theoretical basis and edited all the information provided by partners and assembled it in this wonderful publication. Thank you to Ana Afonso and Lillian Solheim for their comments and suggestions on the contents of the publication contributing to enrich it. Thanks to Musa Kirkar for designing the publication. Thank you to Laura Malleo who edited the DVD materials and create the DVD project. Thanks to all the people who partook in this project as coordinator, youth worker and trainerfacilitator: Italy Dace Spēlmane Damla Eldeleklioglu Dace Zviedre Laura Malleo Ana Afonso Musa Kirkar

Armenia Tatevic Margaryan Haykuhi Margaryan Diana Muradova Iren Danielyan

Hungary Judit Szepesi Erika Héjja 74

Jรกnos Palotรกs

Macedonia Ivana Davidovska Stefan Manevski

The Netherlands Marloes van Houten Jenna Hietala Lillian Solheim Hannah Sherman

Serbia Tajana Brkanovic Ivana Stanojev


Project coordinator CEIPES Ana Afonso - Via G. La Farina 21 – 90141 Palermo, ITALY Tel.: +39 091 7848236 - Fax: +39 091 6197543

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