5On April 28th to May 3rd in the Hague (the Netherlands) the “Storytelling for peace” workshop took place during which participants had an opportunity to master their storytelling skills in order to build world peace. Dorota Skoczyk, a representative of the European Foundation of Human Rights, also took part in the workshop. Its aim was to educate young people how they can use storytelling to present topics such as diversity, intercultural dialogue, peace culture and the activity of young people in building world peace among nations by storytelling. The workshops were organised by UNOY – United Network of Young Peacebuilders which unites activists from all over Europe.

The participants of the workshops were young people primarily from North Africa, Middle East and Europe who work for or take part in activities of non-governmental organisations dealing with the protection of human rights. During the meetings, the role of storytelling as a way of drawing attention to global world problems and as a tool of building peace between nations and different social groups was discussed. Most of the programme was divided into thematic panels (creative writing, audiovisual group, theatre and performance), during which the participants could gain new practical skills: writing good stories, professional recording of documentary materials or telling stories with the use of theatrical techniques. The training utilised mostly informal educational methods. Participants were encouraged to interact by sharing their own experiences and knowledge and also to co-create the character of the workshops. Most of the sessions were held in small multicultural groups.

The participants had a unique opportunity of meeting renowned storyteller and writer – Simon Hodges from Great Britain. Most of the participants continue their cooperation with UNOY even after the workshops by helping to prepare a publication “25 Stories of Youth in Peacebuilding”. UNOY is looking for activists for peace who would like to tell stories about their activities or share a story heard from another person which is worth publicising.

On behalf of the EFHR we also invite you to share real life stories and experiences in activities for peace – many of them are surely worth being published (more on publication conditions here).