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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 )

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

 

Youth Work against Violent Radicalisation: Report of the International Conference

Youth Work against Violent Radicalisation: Report of the International Conference

 

The conference represents the second stage in a long-term strategy about youth work against violent radicalisation, involving various European countries and Europe’s neighbouring regions. It was based on the outcomes of a mapping exercise aimed at showcasing the positive ways and initiatives in which youth violent radicalisation can be addressed.
Within the framework of the mapping exercise, youth workers, youth led organisations and NGOs for youth, informal groups, institutions and public authorities implementing social, cultural, educational, political and sportsrelated activities through youth work were invited to complete a survey according to specific criteria. The goal was to draw lessons, conclusions and recommendations regarding the needs and challenges of youth work at different levels.

Here the link with the report:

Report Malta Salto

 

Seminar: Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation, Tirana, 19 – 24 Nov 2018

Seminar: Building young people’s resilience against violent radicalisation, Tirana, 19 – 24 Nov 2018

The seminar aims to offer a space for reflection, sharing practices and exploring their interdependencies, between youth workers and other kinds of practitioners working in the field of building resilience against young people’s violent radicalisation.

Young people’s personal circumstances and the wider political, social and economic environment in which they live may make them vulnerable to various radical influences and also violent radicalisation. Realities of this emerging trend make it necessary to emphasise the need to work with young people in Europe and its neighbouring regions, in order to strengthen their resilience to violent radicalisation, and reinforce the openness and inclusiveness of the communities in which they live.

Seminar Description

We will post on the blog updates, contents and discussions’ outcomes from the Seminar!