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Towards an Inclusive Peace Education Framework to Restore Relationships

In July 2018, the Caux Forum convened a series of training workshops under the thematic Towards an Inclusive Peace which addressed the topic of Restoring Communities and Advancing justice. The workshops looked at the topic of reintegration of those who have been radicalized and are either being prosecuted or returning voluntarily to their communities, through a restorative justice lens.

Different civil society organizations from around the world run the training sessions with a broad range of participants working in peacebuilding and violent extremism at local, national and international levels. Arigatou International Geneva was among the ones who delivered a training session during the Forum on 13 July.

Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Director of Arigatou International Geneva, and Ms. Eleonora Mura, Program Officer, conducted the training session to introduce the Ethics Education framework of Arigatou International to foster mutual understanding and respect, empathy, reconciliatory attitudes and individual and collective responsibilities.

As communities face ethical challenges trying to live with one another – sometimes responding violently, excluding the other, enhancing divisions and fragmenting the social fabric – in a world that privileges punishment and "us versus them" dynamics, the Ethics Education Framework provides an alternative for the prevention of polarization, to respond positively to the challenges of living together, and to learn to forgive and reconcile with one another, particularly with those who have been excluded, have been victims of violence or have used violence to assert their beliefs and ideas.

The three hours training session was run with the objectives of identifying the ethical challenges of learning to live together with those who have been radicalized, through engaging in an empathetic dialogue to understand the needs of the other, challenging one’s own views and beliefs, and connecting with one another. During the session, participants experienced how to create new narratives that challenge the exclusion of the other, how to engage in dialogues that affirm human dignity, and how to move from punitive approaches to community solutions that help restoring relationships. They also learned about Arigatou International's work with children and youth and the Learning to Live Together Programme.

Participants included trainers, mediators, conflict researchers, peacebuilding experts, and religious leaders, who were united by a desire to learn more about the issue and to explore practical tools that they can use in their peacebuilding work.

We thank the participants and the Caux Forum for convening these series of workshops, and for trusting Arigatou International Geneva with a space to help further ethics education for children.

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