YPA Network

applied project: Learning with, about and from Refugees

basic information about the project

project falls under Key Action 1

National Agency: Italian

applicant ngo: Hub-Officine Giovanili of Diego Cimino

venue and dates: Italy (Catania), August 2016

contact people: Julia, Katie, Diego or Agata (youthpeaceambassadors@gmail.com)

partner countries and YPAs involved:











Bosnia and Herzegovina



Learning with, about and from Refugees - project summary

In the situation of the current refugee crisis in Europe caused by the conflicts around the world there is a need to work on the assistance measures and mechanisms. The communities hosting refugees and IDPs, particularly when the numbers are large, clearly experience economic, social and political consequences for doing so. Community and public services are strained. Governments of countries hosting large numbers of refugees may fear that they will cause political problems, stir up ethnic grievances, and cause long-term economic and environmental damage. NGOs, voluntary organizations play a substantial role in providing services in local levels. They need some tools to deal with those issues and experience from those who have already gone through these processes.

The aim of the seminar is to empower young refugees and IDPs and youth workers from hosting communities to create dialogue that leads to integration and establishes culture of peace.

The objectives are: to understand the root causes, working mechanism and effects of prejudices and racism towards refugees/IDPs; to map the needs and deconstruct the positions of both sides, explore and analyze corresponding practices; to create safe space for sharing and learning new methods of peace-building that fosters dialogue and mutual understanding; to create local projects for dialogue and active participation of both refugees, IDPs and youth workers from the hosting communities; to multiply gained knowledge, attitudes and competences in the local communities of the participants.

The target group of our activity are 31 young people who work in their own communities as a trainers/multipliers. The participants should be actively involved in the development of the networks and ready to implement common actions on local and international level. Taking into account the specifics of the topic of the seminar, it will be important to invite people with refugee and/or IDP backgrounds as participants, also young leaders with practical experience in youth work, activism, promoting human rights, dialogue and integration. In order to promote matching process and sharing experiences, we will select an equal number of participants with youth worker, refugee and IDP backgrounds, from one community so that the exchange of the experiences and peer-to-peer education could take place.

The main activity of the project is the seminar "Learning with, about and for Refugees” which will take place in August 2016 in Catania, Sicily.

The following countries will be involved in the training course: Italy, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Serbia, Russian Federation.

The programme of the seminar is divided into five main phases focusing on the different objectives building the space for dialogue, analyzing the main issues blocking it and working on practices to foster mutual understanding in the home communities of the participants. During the seminar the methodology will be based on the methods of non-formal education, human rights education and intercultural learning. Moreover, participatory and experiential approaches will always be emphasized for each method. The planned session will be conducted using interactive and participatory methods which will create spaces for participants to work together to elaborate individual and common ideas of applying the knowledge and skills in their practices and setting the foundation for future cooperation. Among the planned methods will be: individual reflection, working in groups, interactive lectures, simulation and role play games, case studies, sharing experiences, field studies, experts’ talks, debates, community mapping, world café, open space, teambuilding and integration activities, study visits, etc.

In the long-term perspective the seminar will contribute to promoting inclusive and peaceful societies.

The following results and impact of the project are expected: there will be provided an opportunity to the vulnerable groups to express their needs and empower them to tackle racism and discrimination, and at the same time to further build on capacities of youth workers and their NGOs to promote peaceful and intercultural dialogue and conflict transformation in their societies, as well as integration of young refugees and IDPs; the youth workers will be further empowered to prevent negative tendencies existing in their societies towards IDPs and refugees; the platform for sharing best practices will be created and it will help to build strong links with and between the relevant youth actors in this field on a global scale; the support will be provide support to NGOs from hosting communities by using new learning tools and methods; a follow-up of this project the local initiatives towards fostering integration of refugees and IDPs are envisaged.

Youth Peace Ambassadors Network

The Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (YPAN) is an informal network of young peace builders across Europe who work with and in conflict affected communities.

The YPAN was developed from the ‘Youth Peace Ambassadors’ project. The project itself was proposed by the Advisory Council on Youth and endorsed by the Joint Council on Youth of the Council of Europe in 2010 and lasted from April 2011 until December 2013. It aimed to promote and support the role of young people in peace-building activities and one of its objectives was to create the network of youth peace ambassadors. First steps of the YPAN were taken at the Youth Peace Ambassadors Networking conference held in November 2012 in Budapest.

Equiped with knowledge and skills in human rights protection, conflict transformation, peace-building and intercultural dialogue the YPAN members strive to make a social change where a different peace is possible.