IMG_597216 June, 2013 – Amman, Jordan: Responding to the unique challenges that are facing communities across the Arab world, and the urgency of equipping young leaders with a set of skills to promote volunteerism and reduce violence in their own communities, Generations For Peace gathered thirty of its experienced volunteers from Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine for a three-day workshop 16-19 June, to strengthen their peace-building skills and knowledge, and provide them with new tools for conflict transformation.

Hosted at Generations For Peace’ own Conference Centre in Amman, the workshop focused on core skills for conflict analysis and programme design, monitoring and evaluation, to strengthen the implementation of these volunteer-led grass-roots programmes, and ensure even greater impact and sustainability.

In addition to the unique sport-based games developed by Generations For Peace for conflict transformation education, participants were also introduced to new approaches using art, dialogue and advocacy as peace-building tools. These new tools will provide them with more options to engage different target groups in their communities, to support behaviour change over time.

Commenting on the impact of this refresher workshop, Mohammed Homsi, an experienced Generations For Peace volunteer from Jordan, said: “this workshop has introduced us to specific new peace-building tools that we didn’t know of, such as drama, art and advocacy. In addition to that, this workshop has provided us with new mechanisms for conflict analysis and transformation.”

Valerie Dalati, a Generations For Peace volunteer from Lebanon, believes in the importance of GFP’s work, and its essential role in promoting peace at the grass-roots level: “through our programmes, we aim to promote basic concepts in our society such as tolerance, acceptance of others, and dialogue as a key factor for understanding. This workshop will help us in practically re-evaluating our programs and enhancing them.”

What brings these young leaders together is their passion to resolve and transform conflicts in their communities, whether ethnic, religious or political. At a time when Jordan is experiencing increasing levels of violence in schools and universities, Lebanese communities are still suffering from many divisions, and rifts within Palestinian communities are impeding development.

Raya Fatayer, a Generations For Peace volunteer from Palestine, stated that this workshop will help her in developing her program, which focuses on bridging the gaps and division in the Palestinian community: “I have benefitted greatly from this workshop. Now I will focus on winning the support of as many people as I can to ensure the success of my program and consequently achieve the goal that I have set for this programme.”

After the workshop, which was co-facilitated by Generations For Peace staff and experienced Generations For Peace volunteers trained as Pioneer Facilitators, the participants will cascade the knowledge they acquired to their fellow volunteers in their home communities, and apply the new tools in the next phases of their conflict transformation programmes.