In March 2014, Peace Architects Tissione Parmar and Anca Gliga attended a week-long Study Session for ‘Youth Peace Ambassadors Network’ of the Council of Europe in Budapest, Hungary.
The Youth Peace Ambassadors project promotes and supports the role of young people in peace-building activities that contribute to living together in dignity and dialogue through a network of specifically trained young people who strengthen the presence and promote the values of the Council of Europe in conflict-affected areas and communities.
The mission of the Youth Peace Ambassadors (YPA) Network is to develop a culture of peace by empowering young people, promoting human rights, dignity, equality and respect of diversity through education, advocacy and other actions.
YPA is an existing network which of young peace activists from Europe which started 3 years ago. For the first time, they opened applications for 15 new people to join the network in order to collaborate and create future events and partnerships. Luckily, Tish and Anca were chosen, with their participation financially supported by the Council of Europe.
The study session included 30 participants and 7 trainers from Hungary, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Albania, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
The session focuses on the topic of youth peace activism, its goals, principles and forms of action, supporting the participants to further develop their repertoire of strategies, tactics and tools. Human rights are an essential dimension of any peace work and peace activism, and a great deal of the study session programme will be dedicated to exploring the human rights situation in our communities, the links with conflict and conflict transformation, and the possible ways youth work and youth peace activism can contribute.
No Hate Speech Movement
The Council of Europe support a ‘No Hate Speech Movement’ campaign. In order to promote the European week against Racism and Discrimination, the participants took photographs with pledges to support anti-racism and discrimination.
You can join the movement too:
Each morning of the study session, before the day’s activities, Tish and Anca led morning meditation sessions. Considering the week was about peace activism, inner peace was the perfect way to start the intensive days.
“At the end of the meditations I felt balanced and strong enough to face the day”.
Diego Cimino, Italy
Inner Peace Workshop
During one of the days, Anca and Tish were asked to facilitate a 3 hour long workshop linking inner peace to activism. They explored the theme of ‘inner peace’ through discussion and videos and went further to explore inner peace and self-development on a personal level and its relevance towards activism and social change.
This workshop really helped me a lot in my personal development and has been one of the most useful workshops in my life.
Ratko Savic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
It was, definitely, one of the most enlightening experiences of my life.
Sergio Lopez, Spain
“Tissione and Anca are two amazingly versatile facilitators and multipliers the values and spirit of inner peace, at the same time properly promoting the Peace Revolution initiative within an international context.
I felt amazingly calm and full of love during their workshop on inner peace, where they had the opportunity to facilitate some activities where we had a chance to explore more about our perceptions, experience and feelings about inner peace and the culture of peace. I felt especially complete with their work because they facilitated mediation, interactive activities on the culture of peace and self-reflection.
These were the best learning opportunities in the entire Study Session. I needed that, moments where I really could reconnect with myself, my past and some of the other participants and learn more about myself and others. I want to thank Tissione and Anca for their effort, passion and knowledge sharing during the YPA Study Session and they can be really proud of themselves for promoting peace among us”
Branislav Trudic, Serbia
The YPA network is very active and a lot of planning took place within the sessions to create future initiatives through the participants, their networks and innovative ideas. Hopefully the wonderful network will continue its great work!