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Local Workshops on peacebuilding and reconciliation in the Western Balkans

Currently, there is a clear momentum and support from the international community to recognize young people’s active and integral role in peacebuilding, as asserted in UNSCR 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security[1]: ‘affirming the important role youth can play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and as

a key aspect of the sustainability, inclusiveness and success of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.’

 

Cultivating a culture of tolerance that brings young people from diverse social groups together and which promotes peace and security in the region is necessary. Peace education in this regard is a useful tool to achieve this goal and to break the intergenerational transmission of violence and conflict, as educational institutions are central socializing institutions for youth and adolescents that have a critical role in shaping perceptions, beliefs and ideological commitments.

Through this initiative we are aiming to develop the capacities of young people from targeted hard to reach groups through workshops on the youth, peace and reconciliations. Participants will build skills to become peer educators and transfer newly acquired competences and knowledge to other hard to reach youth, using peer to peer methodology.

The training methodology focuses on collaborative and interactive workshops, and online sessions, and will be done through an inclusive approach.

These workshops are undertaken in the framework of the “Supporting the Western Balkan’s Collective Leadership on Reconciliation” a joint UN-RYCO project, funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. It is implemented by the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and the three UN Agencies – UNDP, UNFPA, and UNICEF. The project aims to build capacities and momentum for RYCO, empower young people in having their voice heard in public decision-making processes that affects their lives, as well as strengthen their role in building and maintaining safe and peaceful environments for themselves and their communities.

 

Call for applications

RYCO and UNFPA are calling for 75 enthusiastic young people, ages 16 to 25 from all over Kosovo, who will become peer educators. The participants will take part in one of three local workshops based on peer to peer methodology adapted to peacebuilding and reconciliation, and continue to work at local level in their communities with grassroot youth organisations and individuals from hard to reach groups[2].

 

The workshops aim to further develop thematic and peer education competencies of the participants and equip them with the tools needed to engage, understand and then address the issues that affect personal and community peace, safety and security among young people. The participants will become a network of peer educators which will teach and transfer the acquired knowledge to other youth from their local communities, ensuring that more young people are taking an active and leading role in peacebuilding activities.

The goal is also for this group to become advocates of peace and security in their environments bringing change to their societies in the long run. This group will work in a multicultural environment of young people together with their peers from November 2020 to the end January 2021.

The selected participants need to commit to engaging from the beginning to the end of the process, and their engagement will require participation in one of the three workshops that will be organized within November.

Best innovative ideas by young people identified in the local workshops will be supported and implemented in the following months (December and January 2021).

Participants are expected to work in teams and engage with other participants through digital online platforms. Internet connection is a precondition for participation.

 

Eligibility criteria:

  • Youth, age of 16-25, all genders, from all over Kosovo;
  • Having some experience in working with youth;
  • Interested in participating in peacebuilding-related activities and general interest in human rights, activism and similar topics;
  • Open to learning, growing, challenging opinions and accepting of diverse cultures;
  • Open to and some experience in non-formal and informal educational processes;
  • Open to understanding variations of human experience and personal identities, including age, income, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, social status, area of origin, other;
  • Committed to stay engaged in community peer education efforts/networks, advocacy and youth related activities or other youth networks;
  • Having leadership spirit and a creative mindset and innovative thinking skills;
  • Fluent in English, or in any other Kosovo local languages.

 

Background or experience in working with hard to reach youth groups will be considered an asset.

 

Selection

The selection of the group will be done based on duly submitted applications. 25 participants for each of the workshops, considering a balanced representation of urban and rural areas and minority groups will be selected to participate. The selected participants will be notified by mid-November.

What we offer

  • An opportunity to meet online and network with a diverse group of youth activists across Kosovo;
  • An opportunity to shape the discussions, and advocate for regional youth priorities in national and regional platforms;
  • Interactive online trainings with experienced peer educators, on peacebuilding, conflict analysis, social inclusion, intercultural dialogue, gender based violence, gender equality, non-violent communication and advocacy;
  • Certificate of participation in the UN-RYCO peacebuilding workshop

In the application form, you will be asked to present your motivation to apply and how you can specifically contribute to the goals of the event that are mentioned above. Please make sure to describe your background, experiences and interests with this in mind. The selected participants will be notified by mid-November. For queries, please email sherifi@unfpa.org and/or ramadan.sokoli@rycowb.org.

 

[1] UNSCR 2250 (2015)

[2] Roma, LGBTQ+, youth from rural communities and girls in particular, youth who are not in education, employment and training (NEETs), youth with disabilities, youth coming from conflict-exposed communities, minorities, etc.