From May 14 to 22, the third part of the Peace Building Competence Framework for Non-Formal Education in Europe project was held: the “Action Lab -Creativity and Innovation in Peacebuilding” training course, focused on the resolution of conflicts and the construction of peace through art. In it, young representatives from different European countries were invited to acquire creative tools for the development and resolution of problems generated both in daily life and in other more general areas within society.

Among the participants from Catalonia, we were Lluc Martí and myself as representatives of the Fundació Catalunya Voluntària. The course consisted of 7 days of teaching, both theoretical and practical. We learned how a conflict originates, how to handle it and what are its components, and the development of our own creative ideas through the talent of each one.

All these activities were carried out at the Hotel Dabi in the city of Krusevac, Serbia; a picturesque village surrounded by mountains three hours by bus from the capital, Belgrade.

Part of the training was to put into practice new ideas and artistic alternatives to send a specific message, oriented to the construction of peace, through the formation of working groups. The method we used was the presentation of mini plays created throughout the day and presented in the theatre of the city.

In this process of learning and decision-making, we put into practice all the theory that had previously been taught, and then finish with a group reflection of everything we had experienced. At that moment, we clearly realized how to resolve conflicts in a healthy way and that, to reach peace, communication and respect are very important tools to solve any uncomfortable situation.

The good atmosphere of this experience was increasing comfort and familiarity with time. By sharing so many teachings together for most of the day, we formed bonds of friendship, reaffirming that we are all equal and that we can get along despite any problem that we are going through as a person or as a nation.

Finally, the confidence and everything learned were an ideal combination to close the course, with the creation of real artistic projects, presented by all the participants, using topics such as racial discrimination and against the LGBT collective, bullying / school bullying, xenophobia or gender violence.

All the works were presented in the main room where the course was held and some of the projects can already be seen through social networks. To learn more about the project, you can access the Facebook page.

Thanks to this course it was clear to me that living with an open attitude to new experiences and relationships was key to the success of the project, in addition to its dedicated trainers. The final message that I take is that the solution of everything is in us and that each one is in charge of doing his bit to make a better and more peaceful world.

Fiorella Lertora