„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“

ROOTS FOR RECONCILIATION TANDEM GRANT TOOL PROJECT “ART4PEACE”

7th September 2018

A project implemented by YMCA Georgia at YMCA Georgia Resource Center “Camp Orange”, August 27th – September 2nd, 2018

About a month ago I met a school-time friend that I haven’t seen for more that 10 years. We ended up talking for quite a while, including about our jobs and personal life. When explaining to him about Roots project and peace-building initiatives, he seemed quite sceptical... “And, after all that you do, are there any real results to be seen?!” – was his question. Of course, I argued that there are, bringing specific examples of our activities, their outcomes and stories, the importance of change at grassroots level, etc. But he still did not seem convinced...

Few weeks passed, and I remembered my friend... How I wished he was there at “Art4Peace” event where 40 young people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine were proving non-stop every day during one week that such projects are not just needed, but they are absolutely necessary for making the change in our countries, societies, families...

What is peace?! Is it just absence of war?! These young people have clearly shown that NO, they need more than just that – they need to break barriers, to meet, to interact and share... To share their stories, feelings, emotions, even pain!

“Art4Peace” was the vivid example of it – “Pplayback Theatre” module facilitated by Nataliia Vainilovych from Ukraine focused on collecting the personal stories from participants and then the selected group of actors enacting it based on their perception – therefore giving the floor to some participants to share their emotions and others to act upon them. It was not an easy process at all, but the results have made it evident once again – these young people were there to overcome borders, both visible and invisible...

“TenSing” Program led by Natasha Martynenko from Russia proved to be a very useful tool to engage participants in various artistic activities, such as singing, dancing, various role-plays, etc. The process culminated with a Flashmob on the main square of the nearby large city.

Katka Reslova from Czech Republic delivered the session on “Funding Opportunities for NGOs involved in Artistic Activities”, bringing examples of implemented projects and ways to write successful project applications. “Inner Peace” (Yoga) workshops each early morning were also her domain...

And many more activities and actors involved... All relevant, all leading to one direction – PEACE!

P.S. I will send the link of this article and the photo album to David (my friend)...

 


Photo album of the event available here.

Author/Source: Rezi Shavladze, Project Assistant - YMCA Europe