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Training Course Conflict Transformation and Multi-Cultural Youth Work
Tuesday 11 January 2005

In multi-cultural situations and environments, culture and cultural differences are often perceived as being an important or even key factor in the development of conflicts between people, communities and organisations. But, just how important are cultural aspects in the development of conflicts and later in efforts to transform them? And in a youth work context, what does it take to understand conflicts and eventually intervene in them? The course will address a variety of conflict types, but will primarily focus on societal conflicts, including those relating to the politics of belonging, questions of legitimacy, socio-economic inequality, distribution of social resources, wealth and opportunity, the apparent crisis of the multi-cultural society, minority-majority relations including conflicts arising around issues of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamobhobia.

Dealing with these questions of conflict in a non-formal educational context with a multi-cultural group of young people requires sensitivity, knowledge and educational competence. Intercultural learning - learning to communicate between different identities, experiences, backgrounds, values and senses of belonging and to understand differences (of several kinds: social, political, cultural, lifestyle) is at the heart of the work of European level youth work programmes. This focus is founded in the conviction that a democratic and peaceful Europe can only be built through dialogue and on the basis of respect for the equality in diversity. In this context, it is important to be aware of the dynamics of prejudices and stereotypes, of tolerance and intolerance, of cultures and identities, inequality and injustice, and to be able to deal with conflicts that may arise in situations where diversity is present. It is also important to critically assess the role that intercultural education with young people can or should play in the context of conflict transformation.

Considering the ongoing reality of conflict and post-conflict in many regions of Europe and the demands of young people and their associations for a more peaceful society, training for competent transformation of conflicts has become an important area of concern in the training programme of the Directorate of Youth and Sport. The recent experience of the Council of Europe in regions such as South East Europe and the Caucasus (areas of conflict) has confirmed the need for such training.

Apply 31 January 2005 at the latest!!!

Microsoft Word document Profile and Aims of the Course Application Form (size: 164 KB)