Participants have learned to analyse violence in the society, understand how they react and interact to/with it, and how they can creatively engage in nonviolent conflict resolution.
We would like to quote some participants, answering the question how they would use nonviolent power to make things better in their work environment/community:
“Nonviolence is much wider than I knew before coming to the training. It always starts with myself, and can even apply to what kind of cleaning products I’m using. Also my way of communicating in daily life, giving space to others by listening emphatically are ways to implement nonviolence actively.”
“I finally have a clear idea of what nonviolence actually is. Apart from that I got many ideas on what I can do/how I could act or in which way I might think when having a chance to respond to violence in a nonviolent way”.
“This training helped some of us realize lots of things, such as types of oppression that we never realized before.“
The question how they would apply nonviolence in their lives also generated some interesting answers:
“I will apply nonviolence in my life by being empathic, being aware about the nonviolent principles, respecting others as they are and understanding the unity in diversity concept.”
“Starting from myself, nonviolence can be implemented and taught in everyday life, to conflicts that can arise in my community or work, thanks to the skills I have learned in the training.”
“I will tell other people about this subject and how important it is to keep a nonviolent way of living for ourselves and the world. I will try to sensitize the youngsters I work with to nonviolence as a method they can use to reach their goals.”
”I’m going to use some of the methods with the participants of the projects that I’m coordinating. And in my personal live I will look for nonviolent solutions.”
“I noticed that I don’t really know how to express my feelings in a nonviolent way, and this could really help me in the future. I got lots of ideas on which I will work and learned loads of things.”
We used both qualitative and quantitative methods to measure participant’s level of knowledge and capacities before and after the training. At the beginning of the training we handed out questionnaires to measure the level of knowledge in the group. We then gave the same questionnaire at the end of the training.
We measured how we realized our objectives on a scale of 1-10:
1. Knowledge and professional skills in nonviolence and peacebuilding and preventing and solving conflicts (av. of 8)
2. Intercultural communication and understanding (av. 7)
3. Sustainability and the connection between environment and economy (av. 8)
4. Capacity building and cooperation (av. 8)
5. Active citizenship, social inclusion and international solidarity (av. 7)
The most progress was being made in defining nonviolence and explaining others how it works, in knowing different types of nonviolence and a vocabulary of nonviolence, and in describing the basic principles and using them to evaluate the success of (a) nonviolent actor(s). On these topics on average people progressed with four points on a ten point scale, which is a significant change. Other big differences of almost 3 points on average were being able to give examples of nonviolent movements, having basic tools to implement nonviolent action in their own work place/community and knowing different responses to violence and knowing how to act in a nonviolent way.
The eight principles of Ghandi
Every day we organized reflection groups, so that participants had 30 minutes to evaluate the day, reflect on it and give the trainers feedback. We stuck two envelopes on the door where participants could leave their notes, and then read them in the evening so we could try to integrate their comments in the coming days.
Moreover, we had a session to assess the competences of the Youth Pass. Here we discussed things such as expressing their thoughts on nonviolence in a foreign language, being able to engage in conversation and compare perspectives, learning from differences of sociocultural and geographical backgrounds.
The shared living space allowed participants to deepen their social skills respecting the others and their boundaries, moods, differences in behaviours and attitudes. The experience was enriching, according to participants’ feedback, because it allowed the a clearer understanding of each cultural context and issues and brought to light the diversity within each country. As one participant wrote: “You did a great job putting together loads of important concepts and ideas, and you also managed to make us feel in a nonviolent community, which is really important, I think.” As a consequence of this environment they were able to make the most out of the networking activity to plan and define future initiatives.
Making music together & cooking together
Below you can watch videos in which you can hear participants speak about the ToNoWo experience.
Everyone one word: