Training of Trainers in The Hague, Holanda

After a month of the return, it is time to look back to revive a great experience, the training course for trainers organized by the UNOY network, to which I participated thanks to Fundació Catalunya Voluntària (FCV).

The course was focused on young trainers of different origins such as Macedonia, France, Ireland, England, India, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Finland, Holland, Syria, Georgia, Belgium… And was an extraodinary phenomenon for sharing experiences in the field of Education for Peace and the transformation of conflicts, and with the fundamental theme of the change of discourse (Transforming narratives).

Previous to the week that we lived in The Hague – the ideal context for dealing with peace issues – we participated in an online training that taught us the basic concepts. We started working as teams in different activities through 5 theoretical modules.

Once all of us gathered in Holland and after the presentations, we had to be all on the same page in terms of peace/conflict/violence, etc. Coming from many different areas and far-reaching contexts, as well as experience in the use of non-formal education tools, it was interesting to see the point of view that everyone had.

Through the 7 days of the course we could go into depth in resolution 2250 of the UN Security Council, which is why the international network of associations that work for peace UNOY had designed this course, making us all more aware of the legal framework in which we can fit as peace builders. We talked about training techniques by sharing those that we applied to our organizations, we talked about values, stereotypes, difficulties in facilitating groups, tool kits, and a thousand more.

The course also gave us the opportunity to put into practice everything we wanted to share with our colleagues; organizing a micro-training for ourselves (laboratory practice) focused on the use of narratives or personal stories in the transformation of conflicts, as well as the rapprochement between organizations. We were all also able of leading one session and we received feedback from the other participants, which I think was the key to an improvement in being a trainer.

All these processes were guided and supervised by two young, experienced educators who took us emotionally throughout the project, as well as the members of UNOY, who did the coordination and logistics and took notes for the collection of content. I think that their professionalism was the key to the success of the course.

And finally, is the ‘and now, what?’. Now, we have to continue working with the advantage of having two precious opportunities: to be able to work with networks with organizations from all over the world led by those who became friends (in areas as broad as managing armed conflicts, researching peace processes, accompanying refugees, working for the empowerment of women, and others) and the obligation to make a practical return on what we worked on. This is materialized in a training that each of the participants have to carry out in our environment, with any format and flexible content, in order to truly become speakers of the work done around the world.

Because for me this course has been a transformation that I want to apply to my environment, echoing the work thousands of young people do to change the world every day from their realities. That is why we will continue to work, because – as I heard a long time ago – we do it because we know that a new world is not only possible but it already exists.

Neus Rosell