timthumbOn April 27 – May 3rd 2014 young peace-builders, storytellers and youth workers from the Euro-Mediterranean region participated in a workshop „Storytelling for peace“ in The Hague, the Netherlands. The purpose of the training was to understand the relationship between storytelling and peace-building and to share, develop and learn skills in storytelling as a tool for social change. A representative from the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), Dorota Skočik, also participated in the workshop.

The workshop was organized by the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY), a global network of youth organizations committed to establishing peaceful societies.

Before the actual training, all the participants (25 persons) had been engaged in activities through an interactive online platform which was created as a preparatory stage to help connect the participants and to engage in the social storytelling topic before meeting face-to-face with each other.

During the week spent in the Hague the participants learned a lot about what stories can do in the social and political sense and that storytelling is a tool to prevent violence and change mindsets, as well as bringing people together in a community in order to take action. Most of the activities of the workshop were divided into three sectors (creative writing, audio-visual, performance and oral storytelling). The sessions were led by experienced trainers in the relevant disciplines. The methods on the group-work were based on non-formal education, building upon the skills of participants, their needs and interests. The participants were encouraged to take an active part in these activities, to share their stories, learn from each other, and exchange experiences, fears and ideas. The participants also had a great opportunity to meet Simon Hodges, a British storyteller.

Most of the participants, even after the workshop, are continuing their cooperation with UNOY. Among other things, they are contributing to this work on a printed and online publication of 25 Stories of Youth in Peacebuilding, which will be launched during the celebration of the 25th year anniversary of UNOY. We also want to invite you to share your stories: if you want your story to be published check the conditions for your peace story to be published.

EFHR is glad that its members and volunteers have the possibility to participate in international workshops which are certainly enriching for the organization due to new experiences and opportunities to form new partnerships.