BUILDPEACE is all about integrating formal and non formal education in the field of peace-building, and we spent 5 days together sharing approaches, methods and knowledge under the theme of ‘identities and belonging’. In the 8 months we have been working together on this project, we have learnt about different working styles of formal and non formal organisations which has been in equal measures fascinating and challenging (for example, the much more prevalent involvement of part time and/or volunteers involved in the non formal education organisations).
Our Xchange Scotland team delivered two sessions, thank you to Monica, Richard, Christine, and especially Amanda for their contributions, skill and motivation.
Our first session was creating Loesje posters to unpack identities, and we were impressed by the creativity of all the participants. We got some great poster ideas by the end of the session!
Our second session was on accrediting non formal education, and why this is extremely valuable to some (but not all) people who are engaged in non formal learning. We drew on research as well as our experience accrediting learning using the Youthpass and Community Achievement Awards, and tried to inspire some of our university partners to get involved in assisting organisations in their countries to start the journey towards accreditation.
Sessions from other partners were diverse in topic and methodology and included: Mugla University’s presentation on conflict resolution (involving a quiz and animals!), Young Researchers of Serbia’s fishbowl on international volunteer projects, Wings of Hope’s informative discussion on citizenship and (not)belonging in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Coventry University’s ‘you are what you eat’, CCIVS’s activity extravaganza on peace activism and Kadir Has’s panel discussion on identity and belonging in Turkey.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Laura, Michaelina, Sharon and Nancy for organisating, Bogdan for doing a fantastic job facilitating such a varied programme and group of participants, and all partners for their fabulous sessions! Keep watching this space to follow the progress of #buildpeaceEU….
Buildpeace: building peace builders through integrated formal and non-formal learning approaches
Our newest project, Buildpeace, is in collaboration with Coventry University, Kadir Has Üniversitesi, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, The Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), Wings of Hope and Young Researchers of Serbia. Peacebuilding is now a multi-billion Euro industry with a global infrastructure, reflecting the acute need to address conflict and insecurity, and growing confidence that doing so is possible, particularly with new technologies. The increase in peacebuilding has spurred growth in education and training, as practitioners need applied skills and knowledge. However much of the current provision is offered piecemeal, disconnected from other relevant learning opportunities. Collaboration between learning providers is challenged by differences in pedagogical perspective, underpinning ethos and teaching methodology.
Buildpeace aims to boost the skills and competencies of Europeans in the public, third and private sectors to build peace and connect communities. We will try to improve the provision of teaching, learning and training within the peacebuilding industry by bringing together providers from the formal education and non-formal education sectors into a community of practice. Our activities will help us to better understand the current state of educational provision within the peacebuilding field and develop innovative new ways to improve learning outcomes using new methodologies and technologies.
RISING: Global Peace Forum
We recently kicked off the project with a meeting of all the partners hosted by Coventry University, and as part of this were invited to attend RISING: Global Peace Forum. We heard from high profile speakers, including Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai. It was incredibly inspiring to hear his thoughts on how to ensure girls are able to achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. We also heard from The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, interviewed by Buildpeace project coordinator Laura Payne, on women, peace and security. A key message that I personally took from her comments, although I’m certain she put it more eloquently than this, was that she understands how sometimes trying your best doesn’t seems like it’s enough. She reassured the audience that you have to accept that you can’t be responsible for everything, to do what you can, and that if you find your passion and believe in yourself, you will smash the glass ceiling.
Ziauddin Yousafzai, credit picture RISING: Global Peace Forum
What does all this inspiration have to do with Buildpeace, I hear you ask? Well, first of all, the importance of ensuring that peacebuilding education is accessible and relevant to both women and men. And in addition, we can’t forget the importance of inspiration itself. We left RISING inspired and full of energy to collaborate together. Keep following our blog to find out how Buildpeace progresses…