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Some voices from the Seminar in Tirana: sharing tools

Some voices from the Seminar in Tirana: sharing tools

The seminar ended already some weeks ago, but still there are many discussions and exchanges about tools and experiences done during this week in Tirana.

We had the opportunity to share our educational tools as youth workers dealing with radicalisation, extremism of different kinds and we had many reflections about how we will work, react, feel.

Here Anna workshop presentation about Zombi and Vlado feedback about it.

How to deal with European minors returning from Islamic State: interesting video

How to deal with European minors returning from Islamic State: interesting video

In the last week during the seminar held in Tirana, many discussion were about the role of youth work preventing youth going through a radicalisation process and path.

We had discussed also about how deal with youth coming back from an experience of radicalisation.

Research Fellow joined a panel on Monday night, discussing how to deal with European minors returning from Islamic State. This panel is bringing some interesting elements of discussion and some more elements for plan the role of youth work in the return process.

The clip can be found here:

From @ICSR_Centre Independent, cutting-edge research on radicalisation, terrorism, and political violence. King’s College London. RT ≠ endorsement

 

RAN – approaches and practises

RAN – approaches and practises

During our seminar in Tirana, we had the pleasure to have Mr Werner Prinzjakowitsch representing RAN Network.

RAN is a network of 5000+ frontline or grassroots practitioners from around Europe who work daily with people who have already been radicalised, or who are vulnerable to radicalisation. Practitioners include police and prison authorities, but also those who are not traditionally involved in counter-terrorism activities, such as teachers, youth workers, civil society representatives, local authorities representatives and healthcare professionals. These practitioners combine their knowledge and share information during working groups. Werner is the chair of the RAN working group about Youth, Families and Communities and I work for the Centre of Excellence supporting the network and its actions.

RAN is publishing quite many interesting tools, approachesn and practises.The one that we would like to introduce you  is about the importance to connect the training to the available local institutions, give instructions on how to report on it “Training for first line practitioners”

Available here  https://bit.ly/2TKvA5V #RANCollection

 

Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation: a new video of shared practises

Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation: a new video of shared practises

“ Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation: The role of informal safe spaces to  have difficult but respectful  conversations within the formal  educational environment.

Here the video interview about his experience and the practises presented during the Seminar: Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation, in Tirana.

Practises Presentation by NIK_UK

 

Preventing Radicalization through Youthwork: from theory to practice. Final thoughts, feelings, impressions

Preventing Radicalization through Youthwork: from theory to practice. Final thoughts, feelings, impressions

‘Do you think that you could implement in your own setting some of the good practices that you saw during the seminar?’

Suddenly there was silence. We were playing the ‘statement game’, an interactive evaluation tool, where participants are asked to show how much they agree or disagree with a statement by positioning themselves in the one or the other side of the room. Some minutes before, the group had stated unanimously how useful it had been hearing about other people’s success stories and visiting local organizations in Tirana. So, what are the constraints making us hesitant over how to translate ideas into practice?

It has become understood that the prevention and combat of radicalization calls for a cross-sectorial approach, based on a coherent, community-oriented methodology, with full awareness of both the sensitivity and the multifacetedness of the subject. In this process, youthwork should be involved in the agenda in a regular, consistent and sustainable manner, so that it can have a concrete, tangible and long-term effect. The discussions throughout the seminar, both in the plenary and during the field visits, showed that there is still a lot to be done on how to bridge the gap between theory and practice, research/needs analysis and local action, youth policy and grassroots youthwork. Although there is an international will to tackle radicalization, what is still lacking in many countries, especially in the western Balkan region, is a concrete, comprehensive and cohesive agenda, based on a youth-oriented strategy and evidence-based methodology. Consequently, it is beyond doubt there is gain in collecting and exchanging good practices, which can allow us to have access to information and tools on what is available, what can be adopted and how we can work with each other in order to have better results.
Participants conveyed through their answers their motivation to work on reducing these gaps through their own role and on finding ways to overcome challenges. The last session of the seminar focused on addressing our own fears and constraints, developing strategies on how to communicate our work, finding partners to support our follow-up projects and learning from each other. Radicalization grows and feeds itself within group dynamics, therefore preventing it is also a matter of collective work.

By Mary Drosopulos, PhD (c )

Seminar Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation: insides from workhsops

Seminar Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation: insides from workhsops

Mustapha from Belgium: Accompanying the young adults who come in contact with radicalization and the detained Syria fighters    

 

Anna from UK: Introduction to discussing identity with young people

Feedbacks toward the end of the seminar (VIDEO)

Feedbacks toward the end of the seminar (VIDEO)

Feedbacks from participants toward the end of the seminar:

What are you taking back home? What impressed you more during the seminar (good practice, workshop, feelings etc)

Equal Sport against violent radicalisation: inside from sharing good practises (VIDEO)

Equal Sport against violent radicalisation: inside from sharing good practises (VIDEO)

During the Seminar, youth workers and practitionaires were sharing their practises and experiences with their collegues.

In brief, we are sharining some interviews of the presentors introducing their tool and their experience.

Oleksandr (UKRAINE) : Equal Sport against violent radicalisation

FIELD VISIT AT THE CENTER FOR THE PREVENTION AND COUNTERING OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM (CVE) IN TIRANA

FIELD VISIT AT THE CENTER FOR THE PREVENTION AND COUNTERING OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM (CVE) IN TIRANA

Some years ago, we were thinking there wasn’t a need for such an institution. Social and geopolitical developments in the last years, however, have shown that having a Center for the Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism in Tirana is indeed relevant and needed for the wider region’.

With these words, the National CVE Coordinator, Mr Agron Bojati, started his presentation about the establishment and agenda of the center in Albania. Radicalization of youth, as Mr Bojati, explained, is owed to a number of factors, which are not necessarily directly connected with ideology. Poverty, unemployment, lack of opportunities and quest of ‘belongingness’ are the major reasons driving young people in the Western Balkans to become radical. These factors, often in combination with a distorted understanding of religion, lead to radical ideologies and consequently, extreme behaviors.

The conversation with Mr Bojati and his colleague, Mrs Klejda Ngjela, focused on the challenges faced on a practical level and also on the role of youth work in creating more resilient societies. The discussions verified the theoretical context discussed on the first day:

Radicalization is a process, which takes time and grows slowly but steadily. Therefore, the prevention of radicalization through youthwork should be a constant, cohesive and sustainable procedure, with a long-term plan.

Personal relations play a vital role. Many people embrace extreme ideologies out of a need to belong to a group, to be accepted and to have a purpose in life. Practitioners working with youth can make a change in their communities by creating ‘teams’ and providing safe spaces where youth can express themselves, socialize and get motivation.

Radicalization and extremism are closely connected with the economy. It is usually poverty opening Pandora’s box and driving young people to search extreme ‘solutions’ in their daily challenges. A ‘smart’ investment on youth and education can have a rewarding effect for the community and the region, as a whole.

       By Mary Drosopulos, PhD ( c )

So, what exactly is radicalization? (update from the Seminar day 2)

So, what exactly is radicalization? (update from the Seminar day 2)

Words have weight. The very same words, however, can have a different meaning and value for each one of us, depending on our experiences, environment and ideology. The term that dominated the discussions yesterday afternoon was ‘radicalization’.

But what exactly is radicalization?

Our guest expert, Werner Prinzjakowitsch, gave a new perspective to the way we perceive this term in the context of youthwork:

Radicalization is not a fact. It is not a situation. Radicalization is a process. There are various factors allowing radicalization to grow, such as the individual’s sociopsychological state, society, ideology, religion, identity or the social media; none of these parameters, however, works on its own; it is always a combination that leads to radical behaviors.

As our expert explained, radicalization both starts and develops within group dynamics; it gets stronger through personal relationship. Therefore, how can we prevent or reverse a situation before it becomes consolidated? The group discussions leaned towards the same outcome: by following the same path that allows radicalization to grow in the first place, but this time, in order to change the story. In other words, the prevention of radicalization is also a process involving constant and cohesive work, commitment, professionalism and knowledge of the reality of the young people we are working with.

Is radicalization always negative?

Participants discussed that radicalization can also be positive, when it comes to promoting peaceful, democratic or healthy values. As it was said, ‘it is violent radicalization or radicalization leading to extremism and terrorism that should be combatted.

Following these very fruitful discussions, the morning session of the second day was dedicated to good practices for the prevention of radicalization. The floor was given to participants of the seminar, who presented their projects in small groups, using a variety of methods: presentation of research and academic input, interactive workshops using non-formal education techniques, group discussions and video projections.

Tomorrow, theory will turn into practice. Participants will have the opportunity to visit organizations in Tirana and get a taste of grass roots youthwork in the prevention of radicalization from local practitioners.

 

By Mary Drosopu los, PhD (c )