- Freelance Dialogue Facilitator
- Youth Trainer
What are contexts and issues that you work on? How are you using peace education to address these issues? What keeps you going?
I mainly work with topics of value conflicts, divided communities, and unfortunately for the last 6 years with the consequences of armed conflict. It seems to me that peacebuilding education together with dialogue, negotiations and conflict analysis is one of the tools to build the foundation of a stronger peace, social cohesion and resilience. Indeed, peacebuilding education allows us to develop a mutual understanding of the importance of working with interests and needs, and build a consciousness of the equity of values, creating opportunities for more effective humanitarian interventions and dialogue. That’s why, I often involve educational components into dialogue processes, as a tool for developing this common ground and building the necessary group dynamics.
What has been your most meaningful or noteworthy moment in your peace education career?
I am sure that action is an extremely important aspect of peace education. Not necessarily large-scale and massive, but conscious and built on the basis of humanistic values. In 2015, at the beginning of the second year of the war between Russia and Ukraine, we conducted one of the first dialogue processes in this sphere. After one of the meetings, the participants decided that those ideas and thoughts that they came to should be relayed in society/public areas. The idea was simple - tea drinking in the middle of main urban areas/squares in towns of Ukraine and Russia. During one of the actions, one of the people who accidentally became a participant in the process, after several hours of incredulous and silent hearing, agreed to pick up a cup of tea, which she ignored for several hours. It seems to me that in our work we create these moments of meaningful readiness, not to accept completely, but to begin to listen and hear.
How and why did you start working in peace education?
I started working in this field absolutely by chance - at the height of the revolution, I realized that familiar/convenient working methods did not work which is how I got into training on conflict transformation.