Peace in Practice
January 2020 - March 2021
‘Peace’ is a big concept. It has many layers and levels of understanding. Throughout this year and beyond, SCI hopes to broaden young people’s understanding of and engagement with peace, as something more than just ‘absence of war’. We want to show that peace is something which can be lived on a day-to-day basis.
As a peace organisation in its 100th year of work, SCI wants to take the opportunity to renew its energies in peace activism and peace education. Particularly, through this project we want to offer opportunities for young people to help to contribute to a more peaceful world. Through becoming Peace Envoys, we hope that young people and partner organisations will be (re-)energised to spread messages of peace in their communities!
This project is made up of several events and the creation of an online course about Peace Education in Practice.
Peace Education in Practice online course
We spent 2020 developing an online course focusing on peace (education) in practice. Our work has started at the Kick off meeting in Antwerp and continued throghout all the year online. The online course is divided in 7 modules: What is peace?, Inner peace, Peace with others, Social and political peace, Peace with nature and the environment, How to educate for peace and Looking back, looking forward module.
Watch the Facebook live launch event.
Your feedback matters to us!
Peace in Practice training course (online)
This online training course took place from 30 October till 11 November 2020 and involved youth leaders, activists, and volunteers from across Europe. They were invited to reflect deeply on the concept of peace on multiple levels: intrapersonal (peace with oneself), interpersonal (peace with others), peace with nature. Participants have gained tools, skills, and knowledge to put Peace into Practice and many organised a follow-up local action for peace.
Inspire your daily action for peace!
As a result of the training course, a new series of posters What will I do for peace today? came to life and are available for print here.
There are different versions and you are free to choose your preferred size, colour and symbol combination.
Read the impact report from this activity.
After the training I feel inspired and motivated to keep on working for peace.
Actions for peace
Building up on the knowledge and inspiration gained from the Peace in Practice training course, between December 2020 and March 2021, SCI volunteers and project partners organised 18 actions in 9 different countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Poland and Russia. 10 actions were organised in person and 8 online, using various methods to raise awareness about peace related issues and reaching out to more than 400 young people in Europe.
Coaching Peace Education in Practice training course (online)
From 1st to 6th December 2020, young people took their opportunity to learn more about peace and practice their coaching skills, to be able to pass onto wider audiences the principles and values of peace. Since online facilitation became essential in 2020, we explored how to do it.
Get ready for your online event – a series of webinars
Organising an online event has become a nessecity in the pandemic times. Are you also wondering how to do that? How to manage registrations? How to make it interactive and engaging? How to take the group dynamics into consideration?
We zoomed on in these topics in 3 online webinars. Below you can watch the recordings as well as 3 shorter videos that will help you master Google forms in the playlist.
The Peace in Practice project is supported by the Council of Europe through the European Youth Foundation.
This project is financially supported by Movetia. Movetia promotes exchange, mobility and cooperation within the fields of education, training and youth work – in Switzerland, Europe and worldwide. wwww.movetia.ch
2 Trainings about emotional intelligence and non-violent communication
Bulgaria (Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo) – Organized by Infinite Opportunities Association
20th – 21st February, 2021
27th – 28th February, 2021
A 2 days training course about emotional intelligence and nonviolent communication involved Bulgarian young Human Rights activists (Infinite Opportunities Association multipliers) in Sofia and students from City Students Parliamentin Veliko Tarnovo.
The participants learnt and discussed how to understand their own emotions better and also went through different activities focused on understanding the feelings of others and diversity. Apart from that, there were a few sessions about nonviolent communication in which the participants learnt about the basics of nonviolent communication and had the opportunity to practice what they learnt. They were also given materials to further learn about the topics that were discussed.
Peace workshops and screenings in Mitrovica
Kosovo (Mitrovica) – Organized by GAIA Kosovo
4th – 5th March, 2021
A peace workshop was organized with a professional trainer. 9 young people from Mitrovica took part in the workshop and discussed the notion of peace, of conflict and tried to find ways to resolve conflicts through activities, debates and role plays. They also had the chance to meet new people from their age interested in activism and civic engagement during breaks. The workshop, held by Nexhat Ismajli from the NGO Action for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding (ANP) took place in RINAS’s space, a local youth NGO.
The day after, the short documentary Mur/ Zid/ The Wall about a divided school in Kosovo was screened at 7Arte. The event was public and around 20 people gathered for the screening that was followed by a discussion. That gave the opportunity to young people to exchange their points of view, it was very interesting and left no one aside (even the English speaking volunteers who had the chance to receive simultaneous translation).
Workshops on 3 levels of peace (inner peace, peace with others and peace with nature)
Russia (Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Chechnya again) – Organized by Youth For The Future
26th February – 31st March, 2021
These workshops took place in different regions in Russia: Grozny (Chechnya), Makhachkala (Dagestan), and Magas (Ingushetia). In Grozny there was such a big interest in the topic of peace that the event was organised twice. In total, 88 participants took part.
The events explored 3 levels of peace (inner peace, peace with others and peace with nature), encouraging participants to share their realities and to reflect on the importance of peace. In some events, there were people with different ethical backgrounds and it was interesting to work in that atmosphere due to the different cultures. Participants said they now could hear and listen more carefully to each other, and it let the community see different perspectives of peace. In Grozny, the main focus was on discussing volunteering for peace, and the connection it has with peace itself.
2 Seminars on writing small project proposals In the frame of social and environmental justice for young activists from Serbia and Kosovo
Serbia (online + Novi Sad) and Kosovo – Organized by VCV Serbia
27th – 28th March, 2021 (online)
30th – 31st March, 2021 (Novi Sad)
VCV Serbia organized two 2-days seminars, one online for 6 participants from Kosovo (members and volunteers of their partner organization GAIA) and one for 9 participants living in Novi Sad (members and volunteers of VCV, CK13, Dom b612 – their local partners). The seminar focused on how to involve the 3 ethics of Permaculture – People care, earth care, fair share – in the design of activities, how to “read” and understand a call for proposals identifying its most important elements, and how to fill in each part of the project application and the budget). Participants were given time to work on their personal projects, filling in a mock application form and taking into account the inputs received.
Based on participants feedback, we can conclude that they are now much more aware of the ethical dimensions when applying for funding, their role in shaping project proposals in a way that they contribute to social and environmental justice, and can use tips and tricks to improve not only organizations of events and activities but also budgeting, inclusion and accessibility of their actions. As one of the participants quotes: “we gained new understanding of project writing and the donor’s perspective. […] I think from now on my project writing will be much better, as I got more insight into different aspects of the project.”
First step for Active Peace – Cleaning beach connected with a topic of sustainable consumption
Spain (Catalunya) – Organized by a participant of the Peace in Practice training course
30th – 31st March, 2021
This was an activity of cleaning a familiar beach next to a natural area in Castelldefels, close to Barcelona. 8 bags of trash were collected at the beach, 6 of them being plastic. After the cleaning, the items collected were shown, and the group reflected on alternatives. Next day, a practical DIY bee wrap workshop was used as an example to reduce plastic and the group finished with a mindful home-cooked zero waste – km 0 meal.
The main objective was to support new lasting responsible consumption habits using emotions, nature and action. Through ‘learning by doing’ participants raised their awareness of the variety of waste that is dumped to the landscapes after a short use. Participants discussed a Zero Waste model & Social Solidarity Economy and their link to achieving a peaceful lifestyle. Reflection on the implications of plastic abuse in everyday life was encouraged, while discovering & practising respectful alternatives as the key to this vital relationship with oneself, with others and with the environment.
Workshop on critical thinking and media manipulation
Slovenia (Ljubljana) – Organized by Zavod Voluntariat
29th March, 2021
This activity addressed a few issues concerning critical thinking, media manipulation and greenwashing. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was organized outside. 17 participants in 4 different teams joined in a Coreanderland simulation game with elements of the manhunt game, searching for quests, and hidden information around Roznik hill in Ljubljana. Reflecting on the importance of critical thinking and media manipulation, one participant said: “I was not aware that the clothes industry is such an unethical business’’.
7 days Peace Challenge (social media campaign)
Worldwide (online) – Organized by participants of the Peace in Practice training course
2nd – 8th December, 2020
A group of participants from the Peace in Practice training course designed a 7-day social media campaign to challenge the audience to act for, and reflect on, peace. During a week, they published one challenge per day on the Facebook and Instagram accounts of SCI International, inviting people to complete a task and share the result online.
The challenges ranged from creating a peace crossword, to taking the time for an action that brings inner peace, writing a letter to make peace with another person, sharing projects that promote peace in the society, identifying your emotions, practicing nonviolent communication or trying out forest-bathing to feel connected to nature. The different levels of peace were explored through these challenges, and people shared their thoughts, ideas and feelings in a very fruitful virtual exchange. Overall, the posts had 765 engagements (the sum of likes, comments and times they were shared).
Workshop on nonviolent comunication for teachers-to-be
Hungary – Organized by a participant of the Peace in Practice training course
20th – 21st February, 2021
Conflicts happen more frequently in schools. It can occur between students, teachers and parents. This is why it is important to teach students how to handle arguments and conflicts in their lives by applying Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
This workshop on nonviolent communication was aimed at future teachers, to discuss how to handle arguments and conflicts that may occur in schools, between students, teachers and parents.
The activity started by exploring the Wheel of emotions and relating them to different situations, with a follow up discussion about how the different situations could end. Afterwards, the participants explored different ways of solving conflicts and finalized the session with a reflection on how to tackle this topic with students.
Check out the presentation here!
Poland (online) – Organized by a participant of the Peace in Practice training course
20th – 21st February, 2021
The workshop forest bathing was inspired by the japanese concept of Shinrin Yoku. Its goal was to help participants gain inspiration, collect ideas about ways of finding connectedness with nature and bring inner peace to them while being outdoors.
12 participants (from Poland, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Netherlands and Bulgaria) built together an online space in which they met and deepened the insight on their connectedness to nature. The event combined online parts in the group with individual time outdoors. “Everything was surprising. The same place I usually go to was completely different. Experiencing the sense of touching was new.” “I realised that aimlessness is the aim itself. How to be present in a moment and connect to my senses.”
Recreating Peace: are you a peace actor?
Greece (online) – Organized by SCI Hellas
24th March, 2021
28th March, 2021
SCI Hellas used to facilitate street theatre activities before the pandemic, as a social inclusion method for migrants and refugees as well as to promote peace values. Due to the lockdown, an online theatre workshop: “Recreating Peace” was organised instead.
19 participants from various cultural backgrounds, levels of knowledge and experience in the field of youth and peace work joined the workshop. First, they uploaded a photo which expressed their perception of peace on Padlet, and then other participants took some time to “visit” the exhibition and “leave” their comments underneath the photos. The session ended with a discussion on what Peace is and how Peace is related to our everyday life, common goods, feelings and human relationships.
The second day was about recreating peace using theatrical methods and tools. Participants expressed their perception of peace through verbal and non-verbal communication by creating short scenes. The fact that the group was multicultural contributed greatly to the inspiration and showed the importance of diversity in the process of building a peaceful environment, to developing mutual understanding, tolerance and mutual acceptance.
Photo hackathon and online exhibition: Faces of Peace
Bulgaria (online) – Organized by CVS Bulgaria
16th – 25th March, 2021
The event “50 faces of peace” consisted in two online workshops dedicated to the topic of Peace (16th March 2021) and photography (18th March 2021), and a Photo hackathon (20th and 21st March 20210) where individually or in teams participants uploaded their photographs dedicated to the topic of peace. Finally, on the 25th of March 2021, they gathered to present their work, get feedback and evaluate the experience. During the workshops they got to know each other, learned more about the different levels of peace, shared their vision about the topic and discussed what peace means to them.
The photos were collected in an online photo album and the participants were encouraged to exhibit the results (online and offline) and share within their schools/ universities/ circle of friends and relatives.
Check the exposition here!
Peace Box – series of art workshops on peace values
Hungary – Organized by Willing – Next Level Volunteering in Sports Association
4th – 31st March, 2021
The Peace Box event was a series of different workshops that gathered a total of 32 participants from 11 countries, and engaged them in creative practices that explored and promoted positive and meaningful messages of peace. The event included an online film-making and visual art workshop (Let’s Roll and Make Peace), an oline multilingual theatre workshop, a peaceful(l) virtual photography exhibition, and a short film: Forest.
Throughout the activities participants explored different perspectives of peace, its meaning and its value, and shared and listened to personal stories of participants from a variety of backgrounds and countries. Peace-focused photographic images were provided as visual stimuli to each activity. The Peaceful(l) virtual photography exhibition published 19 photos, created by participants, on the PeaceBox website. It provides an insight into moments of peace and the absence of peace in everyday life. The Forest short film was created in collaboration with participants who were involved in the production and conception of the film, and portrays the message “For some forests host peace and positive emotions. For others it is a shelter from war and death. It shouldn’t be that way!”