Conflict transformation for the next generation
Title: Civil Peace Service/Special Initiative on Displacement: Peace education measures to support the overcoming of social polarities in Eastern Ukraine
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
Overall term: 2017 to 2023
An armed conflict broke out in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, which has resulted in the loss of around 13,000 lives to date. Many people have fled their homes, the majority of whom – some 1.4 million – are living as internally displaced persons in Ukraine. Despite international efforts, no end to the hostilities is expected in the foreseeable future.
The ongoing conflict has exacerbated existing social tensions. The number of internally displaced persons poses major challenges for the host communities. Limited economic prospects are not the only additional factor – there is also no culture of social self-determination that would help them deal with these tensions. The young generation in particular is growing up in a climate that is characterised by prejudices towards other population groups.
Participatory dialogue processes help to resolve tensions between population groups within communities without violence. The next generation of young people experiences a positive approach to diversity.
Together with the state and civil society, the project develops peace-education approaches that emphasise commonalities and the value of diversity. These are currently being tested in national and regional school experiments, which are trialling approaches to peace education and supporting the current ‘New Ukrainian School’ reform.
This involves translating teaching materials, developing online courses and designing training courses. Peace experts from the Civil Peace Service (CPS) are providing support with the implementation. In the long term, the peace education content is to be made part of the school curriculum and teacher training beyond the project schools.
In addition to the work in schools, the project also initiates open dialogue forums in selected communities. These work on local issues and support members of the communities and the local self-government with non-violent conflict transformation.
The regional focus of the project is on the eastern administrative districts (oblasts) Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya.
Last update: September 2021