Syria Workshop

ACTION works with Mobaderoon to provide training for Syrian Peace Activists

ACTION facilitated a workshop for the Forum of Development Culture and Dialogue in Lebanon. The workshop brought together a diverse group of youth from across Syria, working in both Government and Opposition controlled areas, and with a wide range of religious and political affiliations.

The aim of the workshop was to provide skills and strategies that would support youth to initiate projects in support of dialogue, tolerance, and an end to violence in the various contexts in which they are located.

The workshop was intense and inspiring, using the ASC conflict transformation approach to create innovative spaces for dialogue, discussion and experience sharing, based on the starting point that the most important resource for learning lies within the existing knowledge of the participants who formed part of the event.

This is the second workshop ACTION has facilitated for FDCD. Several participants who had started initiatives arising out of the first workshop in 2013 were able to attend this event, sharing the work they had been able to undertake, as well as the insights and lessons learned in overcoming the tremendous challenges involved in trying to do this kind of peacebuilding work in the midst of war.

Many examples of activities in which Syrian people are working together to keep hope alive, to acknowledge and strengthen the connections between diverse groups of people and to bring the shared Mobaderoon and ACTION value of UBUNTU to life were shared. These examples remind us of how important it is to keep the relational element of our work strongly in focus as we seek also to engage with policy debates and influence decision makers, and of how important local level peacebuilding is, even when high level formal discussions do not appear to be moving forward.

Coming as it did on the eve of the Syrian election the time in Beirut also allowed for ACTION to consolidate and strengthen its existing partnership with Mobaderoon, a network movement of over 4000 activists working across the country. Several side meetings were held aimed at establishing a way forward that will deepen the institutional connections between ACTION and Mobaderoon. In addition, discussions were held aimed at exploring how the partnership might support efforts to link the peacebuilding work on the ground to the higher-level peace dialogue process. These discussions and the ideas generated will be taken forward over the next few months

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