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Seminar Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation: first thoughts and expectations

Seminar Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation: first thoughts and expectations

‘What is the role of youth work in preventing radicalization and extremism today? How does each one of us define and perceive the notion of radicalization in their own context? How can we be more effective in our work?’

These are only some of the open-ended questions heard in the opening of the seminar in Tirana this morning. The answerare probably as diverse as the group itself: participants coming from almost 20 different countries, each one representing a different reality. The participants’ responses at the world café, where they were asked to comment in small groups on notions such as ‘extremism’,resilience’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘radicalization’, show that each one of us has a different understanding of the same ideas, based on our cultural background, social values, ideology and work setting.

So, what is the element uniting all these people who are present here today? As Sonja Mitter said in her welcome speech,

‘what we all share in common is the fact that we are all working with youth. And we are all searching for ways to make our work more effective’.

When asked what they expect to gain from this seminar, most participants replied that they see this event as an opportunity to network, exchange good practices, get new ideas and learn from each other. These are all tasks requiring cooperation and sharing, not only among youthworkers, but also with other actors related to youth. In the introductory speeches, it was already mentioned that a cross-sectorial approach is needed in order to strengthen youth work and make it more productive. What was also emphasized is that new challenges call for novel approaches and fresh ideas: ‘We need to ask questions, constantly ask questions and this is what we will do during these days’, Federica Demicheli said before closing the session.

Therefore, if we are to choose some key-words to express the key message of the morning sessions, then these are: ‘together’, ‘new’ and ‘questions’.

Mary Drosopulos, PhD ( c )

Seminar Description

 

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