Partnership building for the Peace Bag tool kit
18-26 October 2014
Villanova I la Geltru, Barcelona, Spain
The 2014 PEACE BAG for EuroMed Youth meeting brought together 14 youth organisations from the EU and MENA countries, from Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Israel, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, who are interested in building a sustainable partnership in the field of peace-building, conflict transformation and intercultural dialogue through a long-term 2-year regional framework.
The main focus was on capacity building (building and developing competences of young people in Peace Education) where competences are understood as knowledge+skills+attitudes.
Peace Architect Manuela Puscas from Romania attended the meetings as representative of WPI Peace Revolution project to raise awareness on the importance of inner peace, peace within the individual in order to achieve peace and avoid conflicts at a larger scale. The idea is to discover peace and provide peace education within 3 dimensions: peace within the individual, peace within society and peace with the environment we live in was explored and developed upon.
Manuela organized inner peace sessions, active listening as well as inner conflicts workshop. She also facilitated some meetings during the event, which was attended by 14 organizations in EuroMed area, including old and new partners who committed themselves to developing and implementing the next phase of the Peace Bag toolkit and project.
The outcome of the workshops consists of a new mission, vision, objectives, possible funding lines and project ideas that participants helped craft together. Four main lines and groups of action were established: awareness raising, capacity building, communication and outreach, funding opportunities.
The participants who joined the sessions organized were interested in meditation. They really feel like exploring the idea of using meditation within their organizations. They appreciated how to begin their days with an inner peace session as well as seeing this as a shift towards one being at peace with oneself before trying to mediate and involve in conflict transformation and designing peace-building activities with and for others.
The most fruitful talks were on the topic of including meditation, mindfulness in mainstream education, either as part of the curricula-ideally on long term or more at an informal level, by doing trainings and establishing partnerships with schools and teachers.(Organizations interested in working with WPI on this PATRIR Romania, Association Etoil Culturelle d’Akbou Algir, Development No Borders Egypt, I-Dare Jordan, Identity Center Jordan.)
As part of the awareness rising objective of peace education seen as holistic Manuela worked with organizations from Egypt, Spain, Morocco and Algeria to develop a 5 year project “Yalla Campaign” to be implemented in 10 countries in EuroMed area with focus on the inner peace dimension and intercultural learning with the aim of promoting tolerance and mutual understanding.
One of the partner organizations is training and recruiting peace journalists and they are interested in a collaboration with Peace Revolution peace blog. (MAP- Media Association for Peace Lebanon). Overall it was a rewarding experience with great potential with using more and more the inner peace approach and methods in peace building and mainstreaming peace education in the EuroMed area.