IMG_9469March 13, 2013 – Amman, Jordan: Generations For Peace hosted 30 young participants for a special one-day experience as part of a youth exchange between Jordan and Germany. Themed “Civil Society in Action” and funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Bürger Europas e.V., the programme aims to engage the 15 youth from Jordan and the 15 youth from Germany in conversations about the role of civil society and its contribution to social progress and development in both Jordan and Germany.

The one-day training included an introduction to the unique peace-building curriculum and cascading model used by Generations For Peace to train and mentor its volunteers in preparation to implement programmes in their own communities. The youth also gained direct experience of some of the peace- building exercises and sport-based games used to foster greater understanding, tolerance and trust in communities experience different forms of conflict and violence.

Dima Qotob, a Jordanian student at Princess Sumaya University for Technology and exchange participant found many similarities between her and her counterparts from Germany, stating: “I have always been interested in intercultural exchange. This experience taught me that we, Jordanians and Germans, have so many things in common, as we share the same vision and hope for making our communities better ones.”

Judo enthusiast, German Youth Anti-doping Ambassador and university student, Moritz Belmann found his time at Generations For Peace to be very useful and shared his enthusiasm at meeting a diversity of people in Jordan: “My visit to Jordan has been extremely exciting as I had the chance to meet different people who share the same concerns I do. I believe that communities can be united and connected at different levels through sports. It is a universal language that can help improve our perceptions of different issues.”

The Generations For Peace experience gave participants new insights into the use of sport as tool for peace building. “I am not a sports person, I was really surprised to learn that sports can be used as a tool for peace building. It was a new approach to me, and it was interesting how it provides more understanding about conflicts,” said Carolin Bannorth, from Germany.

As part of the Youth Exchange programme, the youth are in Amman for a week visiting various Jordanian civil society organizations. They will then all travel to Berlin in November.