The project is based on a long-term training course for 75 youth leaders coming from conflict-affected communities across Europe. The training sessions include residential seminars, and e-learning and project work by participants in their communities. Three groups of 25 youth leaders, the future youth ambassadors, follow a similar learning path. The three groups will meet at a network conference to share experiences and support each other in learning, action and networking.
Central to the learning programme are non-formal education approaches, experiential learning and intercultural learning.
Three training seminars are foreseen for each group of the Youth Peace Ambassadors project to participate in from 2011 until 2012. The first two residential seminars are the same for all the three groups A, B and C, while the last seminar will tackle more specific topics and participants may choose from two seminars the one which best suits their learning needs.
Seminar 1: Human rights and human rights protection in conflict- affected communities
The first training seminar will focus on human rights, conflict and the role of human rights education in relation to peace-building and conflict transformation with young people. Six working days are foreseen so as to allow some time for group building. The seminar will be preceded and followed-up by e-learning.
Seminar 2: Peace-building and conflict transformation
The participants in the first seminar will have gone through a phase of e-learning and will come back together for the second training seminar, focusing on conflict transformation and intercultural dialogue. The five days foreseen are necessary, especially in view of the need to evaluate learning in the on-line phase and to plan the next steps; five days would appear as the optimal duration. The seminar will be preceded and followed-up by e-learning.
The third training seminar will aim to consolidate learning taking into account the needs identified by participants as a result of their projects and initiatives.
Participants from the three groups will have identified learning needs in relation to their role as future youth peace ambassadors and their projects. Taking this into account, two seminars will be offered focusing on those themes or competences that are cross-cutting for the entire group, and participants will be offered the chance to choose the one to participate in.
Consolidation Seminar 3.1: Within the Andorran Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the principality hosts the first Youth Peace Ambassadors consolidation seminar between 17 -21 April 2013 at Andorra La Vella, Andorra. The seminar aimed to Consolidate and develop competences on intercultural dialogue for conflict transformation through youth work. Through peer to peer learning the participants explored how to relate to the conflicts in their communities and become actors for conflict transformation. Naturally the seminar facililtated Facilitate networking and further development of the Youth Peace Ambassadors network.
Consolidation Seminar 3.2: Hosted at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, the seminar aimed to develop the competences (knowledge, skills, attitudes) for advocacy work including lobbying, awareness raising, campaigning, mobilisation, etc. The participants explored the role of advocacy for conflict transformation and youth work, including to understand advocacy opportunities towards the Council of Europe. Participants also used to opportunity to further support the development of the YPA network and build on the outcomes of the seminar held in Andorra the month before.
Regional YPA Seminar: The Regional Youth Peace Conference in Western Balkans “Youth for Balkan-joint campaign” was organised by YPA participants from the Western Balkan region with the support of Auctus youth organisation, the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sport of the Government of Republic of Srpska and the Council of Europe. The seminar aimed to build on the work of the Youth Peace Ambassadors network, and the experience and opinion of the YPA network members from the Western Balkans region, and strengthen youth peace activism in Western Balkans region. The Regional seminar was hosted at the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sport in Banja Luka.
Thematic YPA Seminar: The thematic YPA seminar ‘Peace Building through a gender lens: Youth Fighting Gender-Based discrimination’ was organised by six YPA participants in close cooperation with other members of the YPA network. The Seminar was hosted at the European Youth Centre Budapest and aimed to to gain tools and competences to deconstruct conflict from a gender perspective and to act when faced with gender based discrimination and violence. Responding to the identified needs of the YPA network members. The seminar involved representatives of other Youth Organisations active in Europe in the field of peacebuilding and/or Gender.
Evaluation seminar: The evaluation meeting of the Youth Peace Ambassadors brought together representatives of the participants, trainers, Advisory Council and staff. The meeting aimed to complete the evaluation process and draft the main outcomes and conclusions of the project for the stakeholders and recommendations for future project of the Council of Europe youth sector. The external evaluators report can be found here, the project report can be consulted here.
The Youth Peace Ambassadors project will make use of the e-learning platform of the Youth Department, which is based on Moodle.
E-learning activities are foreseen to take place throughout the whole project duration. E-learning is a mandatory element of the training programme and facilitates participants to deepen their knowledge on the main themes of the project, to foster communication and cooperation and to share practices. E-learning units will first address common learning areas and, at a later stage, be tailored to individual learning needs and experiences.
Mentoring can be described as a structured process/method of providing professional advice and counselling for the purpose of personal and professional development. Within the project duration, each participant will be mentored by one trainer.
The mentoring process has the following objectives:
- support participants in developing project initiatives
- offer participants continuous support for learning through the whole project duration
The mentor accompanies the learning process throughout the full duration of the project and is involved in consulting with participants specifically with respect to the development of their competences, their learning and the initiatives developed during the project phases.
The mentorship relation is based on trust, confidentiality, mutual learning, developing self-awareness, guidance to further learning opportunities, “check-up” moments for participants’ motivation etc.
Participants are required to be involved in at least 2 online mentoring meetings per month with their mentor, using the online tools for this (Skype, e-learning platform etc.), and communicate with their mentor via email whenever needed.