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Erasmus+ poject: EduCATe - nonviolent conflict management for teachers

What exactly is EduCATe? Well, it is a 3-year project funded by the European Commission whose objective is to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence through teacher training. Six partners from all over Europe - the University of Gotheborg, Sweden, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, the Evens Foundation from Antwerpen, Belgium, the Center for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Rights from Osijek, Croatia, the Psycho-pedagogical Center for Peace from Piacenza, Italy and the Coordination for education to peace and nonviolence from Paris, France got together with an aim to create a teacher’s training programme in nonviolent conflict resolutions as well as to establish a European network of actors in nonviolent conflict management.

 

After meeting in Warsaw (Poland), which was organised by the Evens Foundation, six European partner organisations formed a transnational team with an intention to develop the intensity of their collaboration by combining each and everyone’s excellence in constructive and non-violent conflict management which led to the EduCATe project for which funds were approved in July 2015 by the European Commission.

 

 

Within the project, there was a 7-day long training on nonviolence organised for the teachers and educators from five partner countries: France, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Croatia. The training was held in a little picturesque place of Saint Antoine in France from July 10th to July 16th, 2017. 25 participants took part in the training full of lectures, workshops, discussions, acting and role play. We stayed in L'Arche de Saint Antoine, a historically significant place when it comes down to nonviolence. It was founded in 1948 by Lanza del Vasto, an activist in the nonviolent movement as well as Mahatma Gandhi's  disciple. While we were learning about the nonviolent conflict management during the training, in our free time we got a chance to see how a community life looks like and what each and every community member does for the community he/she lives in.

 

 

Each day introduced a specific topic regarding nonviolence which was presented through four lectures/workshops which participants actively took part in. The training was held by experienced trainers from partner countries who tried to make serious topics close to us and give us more to think about.  Annaline Sander and Tone Försund from Sweden, Cécile Berbeito from Spain, Elena Passerini from Italy as well as Lidija Obad and Katarina Kruhonja from Croatia held excellent workshops regarding the meaning of the conflict for each of us, conflicts in the classroom, the meaning of power and how it is dealt with within the classroom as well as conflict in community or society which was followed by an evaluation and feedback done by the participants.

 

The French team was represented by Catherine Steine, Géraldine Lamarche, Olivia Hilaire and Daniela Vieru while in the Spanish one were Berta Maristany, Mica Garau Lopez, Begoña Tebernero Redondo and Maria Rigol. The Italian team consisted of Maria Concetta Voro, Simona Pavesi, Elisa Sarchi and Giovanna Polidori while Sweden was represented by Anneli Merinen, Alicia Andersson and Joakim Itkes. Croatia was represented by three teachers from Primary school Ivan Goran Kovacic Vrbovsko, the same school which was given the Peace Building School Award for 2016 by the Center for peace, nonviolence and human rights from Osijek: Davorka Nekić, Viktoria Samsa and Barbara Turk Čop. The three teachers got a chance to meet colleagues from the other four countries as well as represent their school and many projects for which we are known and which are the reason for becoming the Peace Building School in 2016. We did not only represent our school but also the Center for peace, nonviolence and human rights from Osijek.

Besides for being one of the 25 participants, Christian Renoux is also the one behind the EduCATe project and he did everything to make us all feel welcome in his homeland as well as during the 7-day course. Thank you, Christian!

 

 

 

 

Apart from the educational part of the course, we also enjoyed the dance evening where we danced international dances from all over the world including the famous Croatian ring dance. We also enjoyed two celebrations of the Bastille Day, one in the community and the one in the village. Seven days flew by too fast, but we were left with knowledge, self-reflection, discussions, laughter and mutual bonding. 25 perfect strangers from the beginning of the story became friends at the end of the 7-day course and hope to stay in contact for as long as possible.

 

 

To finish the article in an appropriate way, I'll quote a great speaker of nonviolence Mahatma Gandhi:

 

 

' Be the change that you wish to see in the world.'




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objavio: Davorka Glavaš   datum: 16. 8. 2017.

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