From the 11th until the 18th of March Fundació Catalunya Voluntaria organized the Training of Trainers ‘Understanding and Working with Conflict’ bringing together a group of 25 people from 16 countries, including 19 participants (Young people whose applications were selected among more than 350 applications) and who came to Vilanova y la Geltrú (Barcelona) with the main objective of becoming trainers and helping their communities in managing conflicts in a non violent way.
This is the 6th international training of trainers organized by the FCV with the same name and with the support of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, with the objective of offering the skill set to young people, with experience as peacebuilders, in order to be able to become trainers and train other Young people on the topic of conflict transformation.
This way the FCV makes a contribution to the improvement of the quality and the impact of the education actions and social transformation that is carried out by the participants with the support of the organizations in their countries (also in difficult contexts in which the initiatives of peacebuilding are the object of social and political persecution), helping them to develop new initiatives of non-formal training and to be part of an international community of organizations that share the same values and objectives.
On this occasion, the training course brought together representatives of non-profit organizations and education centers from Albania, Germany, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Catalonia (Spain), Finland, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Scotland (United Kingdom), Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine (unfortunately the participant from Azerbaijan did not obtain his visa).
The training course, organized in collaboration with non-profit organizations Gyumri Youth Initiative Center, from Armenia, European Intercultural Forum eV, from Germany, and Academy for Peace and Development from Georgia had an international team of young people from Serbia, Armenia, Germany, Catalonia (Spain), Philippines and Romania, among them 3 young people who are doing or have done their EVS Project ‘Volunteering for Peace’ in FCV.
During the course the methods of intercultural and non-formal learning, peace education and conflict management based on experience and reflection had been presented, and the lessons learned have been reviewed throughout the online training prior to the start of the course, in order to help better understand the nature of the conflict and the skills that need to be developed to become successful trainers, with a special focus on teamwork and planning skills.
The participants had 3 days to plan, carry out and evaluate training actions carried out by themselves, in small groups, with 8 training activities taking place, which were the subject of a comprehensive evaluation by the whole group. One of the most important elements of the activities were the processes of self-evaluation and reflection, with the objective of evaluating the actions carried out by each of the participants, as well as the dynamics of the group, which allowed the expression of a flood of feelings and served as evidence of some of the difficulties inherent in any process of collaborative work between people of different backgrounds, with experience in the non-profit and educational sector, even more so when their commitment and knowledge of the subjects of the course is more than remarkable and is the fruit of their personal trajectory ‘on the front lines’, as youth leaders, as educators or as peacebuilders in a broader sense. The highlights of the course were the abovementioned training activities dedicated to topics such as hate speech, identity discrimination or mindfulness, among others.
The activities of the course made it possible for all participants to leave their comfort zone and face their own limitations and fears, which also had a significant impact on the personal development of the participants, who were able to express themselves freely and reflect on their needs in a climate conducive to learning both from the trainers and the other participants without forgetting their own mistakes and successes, understood also as a relevant source of their learning.
The course, in addition to serving as a place for learning new theoretical and practical tools on issues of conflict, nonviolence and how to conduct training, has served to create a network of interpersonal relationships among participants, who hope to collaborate on future training initiatives and continue helping each other.
One of the concrete results of the course was the creation of a check list with respect to previous considerations for training on conflict management, session planning and facilitation.
For more information about the course and its results, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org (Lluc).