Project “Supporting Dialogue in Syria”
Educational and development opportunities in Syria are lacking. Young peace activists identified a strong need for more professional skills necessary to conduct work in a conflict environment, including development of leadership, facilitation, and other conflict resolution skills to enable them to initiate an on-going civic dialogue and educational programs, in which the youth will learn to work with conflict openly yet constructively.
The aim of the Project “Supporting Dialogue in Syria” is to support 30 Syrian peace activists in establishing a sustainable dialogue platform across Syria contributing to civic dialogue and conciliation efforts. The initial phase of the Project will be a week-long dialogue that equips the participants with conflict resolution skills, including transformative methodologies of analytic dialogue, problem solving and joint learning, narrative mediation and conflict mapping, project planning and implementation, and empowers them to see their own role in transforming the conflict.
Each step of this Project has been and will continue to be built in coordination with and based on a needs assessment provided by peace activists working on the ground in Syria. The Project welcomes a very diverse group of activists, both in terms of background, identities and beliefs.
Can it work?
Similar community initiatives have already been launched and led to a local ceasefire agreements. To that extent, I refer to the March 2014 report
Building peace within Syrian communities (page 2) issued by the Center for Civil society and Democracy in Syria and Peace Change Initiative:
"For example, in a town near Damascus suffering from heavy shelling, a group of women mobilised their community to advocate for a ceasefire agreement. They succeeded in collecting 200 signatures to a petition calling for a halt to the violence. Based on this 'mandate', they approached the local opposition forces and got agreement to a ceasefire, on condition that the women would negotiate a similar agreement with the Damascus government. Subsequently, a delegation from the women's group contacted Damascus government officials and obtained their agreement to the ceasefire (although this has subsequently broken down)."
Although this initiative did not lead to a sustainable resolution, more of these efforts are required to enhance the efficiency of such initiatives to ultimately reach a sustainable outcome. It is exactly such community dialogue efforts that will make the difference in building sustainable peace and this is where our project is filling the gap by providing the required conflict resolution skills to such peace activists.
The campaign “Running for Peace in Syria” wants to help bringing these peace activists together to kick off the initial phase of the Project by covering their transportation costs to the meeting point.
Here is where you can support me: “Running for Peace in Syria” aims to raise €10,000 (or $13,525) to cover already 20 out of the 30 flight tickets
Me, Olivier Loose, the co-founder of Global Network for Change (GN4C). GN4C is an independent non-profit organisation registered under royal decree in Belgium that supports and promotes peaceful social transformation processes in conflict-riddled regions. The Project is an initiative from GN4C and its partners.