Kick-Off Meeting & Study Visit at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation
5-9/3/2023: The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation was delighted to host international partners in a kick-off meeting and study visit for our recently approved EU-funded, Erasmus+ project: ‘The Missing Peace: Youth, Peace, and Reconciliation – Capacity-Building of Youth Workers and Youth Organisations to Engage Young People in Reconciliation Processes’.
‘The Missing Peace’ project involves a consortium of partners across 6 countries: Ireland, Germany, Cyprus, Lithuania, Macedonia and Hungary, who bring their in-depth knowledge, skills and experience together to collectively design, deliver and implement this important and timely project.
Over the next 31 months, this consortium will consider and explore how we can successfully incorporate non-formal education and youth work into peacebuilding across Europe. This exploration will lay the groundwork for the development of pedagogical interventions, a training programme for young people and youth workers and a practical toolkit that will be made available to support communities in engaging young people in peacebuilding across Europe.
Kick-Off Meeting and Study Visit
The kick-off meeting and study visit to Glencree were fundamental in building relationships and ensuring we work well to implement the project. The purpose of this visit was to:
- Engage partners in the project through direct engagement with one another and external stakeholders
- Learn together and further enhance knowledge about peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts taking place across the island of Ireland
- Understand the context in which each partner works in their communities, and collaborate through collective working
- Gain a deeper understanding of the needs of youth workers and young people across the consortium and reflect upon non-formal education methods which are currently being used across Europe.
To achieve these aims, several engagements were conducted to ensure the success of the gathering, with the following key events and activities taking place:
- Naoimh McNamee, CEO of Glencree, introduced the history of conflict and the peace process in Northern Ireland, and the significant role which Glencree plays in peace processes internationally. Naoimh’s engaging presentation gave great insight into practical peacebuilding and provided the partners with a rich opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of conflict, peace and reconciliation through the work of Glencree across the island of Ireland, between the UK and Ireland, and internationally.
- Geoffrey Corry, one of Glencree’s founding members and a specialist in conflict resolution, mediation training and dialogue facilitation, delivered an interactive session to partners, involving them in dynamic peace education exercises, and engaging them in discussion and dialogue.
- Glencree’s Intercultural and Refugee Programme delivered an introductory session on their work and activities, as well as an interactive introductory workshop on ‘Wellness and Relaxation’ sessions including Capacitar practices for self-care and trauma healing, that are helpful for both those who have endured trauma, and professionals who work with those who have experienced trauma.
- Glencree Women’s Leadership Programme welcomed the enthusiastic and energetic engagement with our partners over the course of the 5-day visit, as we learnt a lot from each other as well as from the Glencree teams.
- Partners attended an International Women’s Day lunch at Glencree where they met with a wider group of Glencree staff, board members, and external stakeholders. Our Partners engaged in networking, opportunities to discuss and highlight their own work in addition to our collective ‘The Missing Peace’ project in detail.
- Partners also visited the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) in nearby Tallaght. CDI strives to improve outcomes for children, families and communities in Tallaght and beyond. During the visit, they shared stories about their work of restorative practice methods with young people in an educational setting.
Throughout the study visit, significant time was dedicated to allowing partners to engage and interact with one another to ensure an impactful implementation. Through intensive dialogue and discussion, all worked to ensure that the project reflects the needs of both young people and youth workers, and that the group from each country represented is able to engage participants effectively and efficiently in their specific area of focus.
All were agreed that this was a very successful kick-off meeting and study visit. The visit concluded with partners reflecting on the positive engagements, learnings, experiences and networks which they had established. Everyone is looking forward to the next meeting in Lithuania in May 2023.
Some Feedback from our Partners who attended:
EKE Bitola, North Macedonia: “The study visit within the project ‘The Missing Peace’ was a truly enriching experience, as it encouraged us to look deeper into the complexity of conflicts and see them from a positive perspective for potential improvement. Through interactive workshops, we explored the complex nature of conflict and learned practical tools for constructive conflict resolution. This allowed us to see conflicts not just as negative, but also as opportunities for growth and positive change.
The study visit was a chance to meet inspiring people working on programs and initiatives that promote peace and reconciliation. We were introduced to Capacitar's program for trauma healing and intercultural understanding, which demonstrated the power of healing in the process of conflict resolution. The Women's Leadership Program, presented by Anne Walker (Theatre of Witness), Joanne Fitzpatrick (Peace Players Northern Ireland) and Catherine Ferrin (Silver Sisters Productions) highlighted the valuable contributions of women in peacebuilding and the importance of art in facilitating healing and understanding.
The visit was highly motivating, as it emphasized the continuous effort needed for peace and reconciliation. Conflicts are constantly evolving, and it is essential for us to keep working towards peace, even in the face of new challenges. For us the study visit to “Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation” provided us with valuable insights and inspiration to continue our work towards a more peaceful world.”
Varėnos Kultūros Centras, Lithuania: “The study visit and partners meeting was a truly enriching experience for our organization. Lessons learned during the workshops “What do we mean by conflict?” and “The tail of Abigale” will be incorporated to our staff meetings. Furthermore, we are looking at exploring the model of restorative practice and embedding this model into our organization’s day to day practices.“
CitizenAct, Cyprus: “The Kick-Off Meeting, as well as the Study Visits, were a valuable experience not only for CitizensACT, but also for the consortium. Through the meeting, we gained the opportunity to interact with other inspiring individuals and promote the exchange of ideas and opinions, which are fundamental for understanding each other's values and norms, to ensure a successful collaboration among the partnership. Specifically, the ‘Tail of Abigale’ was proof that different points of view, values, and perceptions arise from observing the same thing and can lead to different conclusions that should be respected and considered. On the other hand, the Study Visits were inspiring and informative to further understand what conflict is and the current scene in its management. It is outstanding to see people share their passions and show their willingness to help other individuals find and bring peace.”
We were delighted to welcome our partners to Ireland during this Kick Off Meeting and Study Visit; Tegyünk Együtt az IfjúSágért alapítvány, CGE erfurt e.V., Centre of Active Citizens for Sustainable Development, Varėnos Kultūros Centras and European Cultural Epicenter Bitola.
Throughout ‘The Missing Peace’ project, there will be significant opportunities for all consortium partners to engage with- and visit each other.
If you are a young person (18-30 years old), a youth worker, or someone who is involved in delivering non-formal education methods and you are interested in this project, we would like to hear from you!
For more information about ‘The Missing Peace: Youth, Peace and Reconciliation’ project, please contact:
Amina Moustafa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Holly Taylor, email@example.com.
You can also view more information about the project here >.