Youth Vs War - Making a difference

Project is in application pending phase

Place:
Lviv, Ukraine 

Timeline:
Decision on project application by CoE EYF - December 2016
Project preparation start - February 2017
Project implementation - July 2017

Partners on the project:

Integral Change Center Flow Ukraine
ADAE Serbia
Green Window Croatia
MODOM Macedonia
Young Greens Belarus

Background:

War has a heavy effect on young people and is creating un-repairable damage to entire society where the conflict exist but also in the entire Eastern Europe since the links are strong and the memories of Balkan conflict are fresh.

With this initiative, young people that are part of our network established over the years through international activities want to run an intervention that goes beyond words of support we have had to each other over the social networks and tackles every day struggles of young people affected by war.

This seminar will be a way to confront the propaganda that creates only more hate and misunderstanding among people and deliver a clear message of peace that comes out of discussions, share of experience and joint training of methods for both psychological dealing with neighboring conflict and initiative taking to bring peace.

This seminar will bring together young Russians and Ukrainians as well as young people from Belarus, Moldova, Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia in an effort to:

  • provide space for discussion, exchange of thoughts and feelings and establishment of common grounds for understanding and solidarity among young people
  • introduce methods and share experience on how to deal with everyday psychological pressure and propaganda while staying active and positive in our struggle for stopping the war
  • create tools for common actions towards the society and international community to act upon a severe violation of human rights and peace that is affecting the whole continent
  • exercise approaches developed by Council of Europe for conflict resolution and active human rights promotion and protection

Young people from the Balkans, that have had a first-hand experience in dealing with war, and young people from Belarus, Moldova and Russia, thinking that this conflict has a tendency to spread, share a common feeling though our network that by coming together and sharing what we know we can help create a step in the right direction.

WHY

This project comes as an initiative of young people that have been part of our international activities and partnership programs in past several years and our Ukraine friends that are in the middle of the conflict. Our communication and join consultation and work regarding Green Pass initiatives is active on social networks and ever since the day the way started in Ukraine, our focus shifted to finding out how our friends in Ukraine are doing and how can we help. We focused on spreading the news and alerting everyone we know that this is not “out there” and that this is happening in our backyard and especially that this is happening in real backyard of our Ukraine friends… After days of discussions and support we showed to each other, an idea to gather in person, discuss and create common ideas for stronger influence to people around us that the war needs to be stopped.

Our Balkans wounds are still fresh and although it is still very breakable, the peace we have now and great cooperation we have established among young people in the Balkans is a good basis to work together with friends from Russia and Ukraine, but also Belarus and Moldova in trying to find together the best way to build stronger peace initiatives and provide people from Ukraine with support in this hard times, in the level that we can. We need to understand the cause of the conflict and apply methodology gathered in Council of Europe in order to make steps toward resolution but most importantly – be now there for young people and show them that we are standing together and that they are not alone.

We do not want to stand still, we need to act and make clear statement against this war that is ignored by many in Europe. This seminar will give a chance to exchange our thoughts, work with conflict resolution programs and methods and come up with a plan that will contribute to better dealing with the reality for friends from Ukraine and Russia and stronger push towards institutions, people and countries in Europe that need to intervene stronger and show that we do not just stand for human rights and peace but we fight for it!

TO ACHIEVE WHAT

The aim of this project is provide concrete support to young people affect by war in:

  • dealing with everyday psychological problems of feeling alone and without support being surrounded by fear, hate and propaganda
  • learning how to promote human rights, solidarity and explain the importance of respect and tolerance for wellbeing and
  • focusing their energy towards common initiatives and actions that promotes peace and help people in their society to understand the situation better and stop escalations in future

We want to do what we can in helping young friends from Ukraine, but also from Russia and neighboring countries, understand each other and understand the context in which they are placed. Young people feel lost and they face a challenge of staying sane with all the propaganda and negative and discriminative rhetoric and deeds that are performed around them and in their name. This initiative will also help other young people from the Balkan and post-soviet region to understand how the conflict escalates and that our peace, with so many issues put under the carpet, is very fragile in Europe.

The final achievement of this seminar for the participants will be:

  • Developed trust and respect
  • Increased understanding           
  • Enhanced group cohesion         
  • Improved self-knowledge         
  • Established common initiatives

We want to make clear, open and motivating atmosphere therefore strengthening the learning process and initiative creation process that should facilitate our common engagement in period to come in order to first stop the war and then, very importantly, deal with aftermath in the society… We believe that together we can do more and that All different All equal network of young people in Europe can be a support platform for years to come.