Afghanistan Youth Empowerment and Peace-building Organization (AYEPO) organized a four-day Peace Leadership Training to help equip a group of young people with skills for personal transformation and peacebuilding as well as to inspire them to become agents of peace within their communities. The program began on 1st March and Rounded up on 4th March. On the first day of training, Ms. Rebecca Hoskyn – a Peacebuilder from The United States was our guest speaker who shared insights about personal/inner peace reflecting on her own experience. She also talked about the importance of personal peace practice and how it relates to interpersonal and community as well as how the practice grounds, centers, and supports someone in their interpersonal and community practices.
On the second day, Mr. Jon Rasmussen (Advisor at AYEPO) facilitated an engaging session about importance of dialogue in peacebuilding. The participants began with an activity called All about me. The idea was to write down things about yourself, and share it with each other, while getting your face drawn. This was to visualize how there is so much more behind what we perceive and what our unconscious bias tells us about the people we meet. Then, Mr. Rasmussen discussed the significance of dialogue in peacebuilding & how it can be used to facilitate interfaith, intercultural & intergenerational discourses.
The participants were especially touched by the session of the third day, when Mr. Zachary Muet (A Peace Trainer based in Australia) spoke about community peace, drawing a picture from his own experiences of working in various communities and countries – making healing and transformation happen by bringing young people together. It was lovely to have Ms. Katy Lunardelli (Executive Director at Euphrates Institute) reflect on the origin story of the organization and speak about their amazing works around the globe that empower and equip peacebuilders with skills, tools and resources they need to promote peace within their communities. Talking about their activities she led a session to install the importance of deep listening.
“Navigating the Journey of a Peacebuilder” was the topic Ms. Sohini Jana (Advisor at AYEPO) reflected upon on the 4th day of the training. She walked the participants through the journey one takes to do peacebuilding. She related this to the stories of peace leaders as well her own experience of the journey. It was an engaging session where reflections were shared by the participants. Talking about the topic, Ms. Jana emphasized on the journey “The Journey of Becoming”.
The training was concluded with a session led by Ms. Janielle Beh (Advisor at AYEPO) sharing about her experiences of promoting peace through music and having everyone sing a beautiful song that encourages people to welcome others by opening their hearts and being authentic. We are also touched and appreciative of The Pollination Project for supporting our Peace Leadership Program.