Youth Workers as Agents for Change

Training Course

23-28 September 2016 | Piispala Youth Centre, Finland

Dialogue your way out of conflict – equipping youth workers to improve cohesion and trust when working with youth and communities. This training will give you skills to bring people together, and to create space for dialogue and social transformation.

Do you worry about the increase of mistrust, fear, racism, extremist behaviour, radicalization and religious discrimination such as islamophobia? Tired of endless debating and discussions and lack of meaningful actions? Well, how about becoming an agent for change yourself?

This training course will give youth workers skills to bring people together, and to create space for dialogue and social transformation. By understanding the principals of dialogue, we can use them in our local situations. The training course will:
– give the skills and confidence to think long term and outside the box and to become Agents for Change in local communities
– give tools for dialogue in different local realities and situations
– familiarise participants with aspects which they need to take note of before, during and after facilitating a dialogue
– give greater confidence to facilitate a diverse group in an inclusive manner
– explore what a facilitator needs to take heed of when facilitating dialogue with people from different ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological backgrounds as well as what to do to ensure equal gender participation
– look into recognising existing power structures and how minority/majority positions may affect the possibility to participate in dialogue

The Objectives Are:

– to reflect critically the role of youth workers as agents for change
– to develop skills to harness the dialogue process
– to learn different approaches and methods to gain the trust of young people and members of different communities
– to learn to facilitate meetings of groups with opposing views and create safe and inspiring space for a dialogue
– to create and familiarise the participants with a training module to increase the number of youth workers acquainted with the importance of and the principals of dialogue

Who should participate?

Youth workers who are interested in developing their skills on how to harness the dialogue process in the work that they do.

Preparatory tasks

The training course will include some preparatory tasks before the training to explore the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities which may exist in your local reality. This will include mapping the power structures and key stakeholders. The participants will be given more detail of preparatory tasks well before the training course. The participants are expected to commit themselves to complete the tasks before coming to Finland. Participants are also expected to disseminate the learning outcomes of the training in their local community/ organisations and organise something after the training.

Our Team Approach

The methodological approach is heavily influenced by the theories and practices of Paolo Freire and Mahatma Gandhi. The programme is highly participative with self-reflective and action oriented approaches to change and dialogue included in the daily programme. The trainers have experience in youth work, community work, interfaith dialogue and facilitating dialogue processes in conflict and post-conflict societies.

The venue

The training is organised in the youth centre of Piispala in Central Finland. Piispala is a haven of peace located in the countryside about an hour away from the closest city. The arrival and departure point of this training course is the city of Jyväskylä (4 hours from Helsinki).

Click here for register

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