Project Reference: 2016-1-BE05-KA105-001902
Country: Belgium
Type of Project: Youth workers mobility
Number of sent participants: 3

Social and cultural conflicts are always more an issue on which European youth work has to deal with. The European Forum for Restorative Justice (THE EFRJ) is a Belgian NGO located in Leuven that has been working over the last fifteen years to promote mediation and other restorative oriented practices as alternative ways to overcome conflicts. By matching this long experience with strategies, methodologies and methods of work of non-formal education, THE EFRJ sets up a training course for boosting youth workers in becoming aware and competent of the principle and main practices of restorative justice. In fact, THE EFRJ is sure this can improve the quality of youth work all over Europe.Restorative justice operates through mediation, operating with the win-win solution to conflicts. The mediator is able to analyse a conflict properly, to seek interests and need behind position of parts and support them in finding a shared solution that satisfies them all. The TC THE EFRJ has in mind to give basics of mediation to participants, making them able to adopt its techniques and approach to their profession. This project names RESTORATIVE ME and takes place between the 17th and 23rd of July 2016 (24 is departure day). The TC locates in Louven, in the Flemish region of Belgium. RESTORATIVE ME is open to 21 participants come from Belgium, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Romania, Spain and Macedonia. They are supposed to be youth workers differently involved in social inclusion, social justice, peacebuilding, conflict management, resolution and transformation. Their age should be between 22 and 30 and they should have (at least) an intermediate level of English. Each day of TC contains elements of theory, practice, challenges, reflection, debates and creativity. Trainers balance activities in order to have both theoretical and practical sessions (most of times they go together). Events take place both out- and in-door. Sessions are delivered through different methods, attractive and involving. Workshops are both for individuals and for groups and they challenge different learning approaches. Most of activities ask participants to be protagonist, by performing, taking positions and debating. Beside the chance of learning within the environment of the TC, youth workers can meet and debate with professionals. The timetable foresees several moments aimed at partnership building and follow up planning. Trainers know very well that motivation, leisure and amusement are fundamental aspects of non-formal education and they work on it hard.RESTORATIVE ME plays a role in disseminating RJ principles and constitutes also an empiric response to address social needs (problem solving and conflict resolution). Restorative justice can improve living conditions and social cohesion by providing a constructive way to understand and resolve conflicts of different scale leading to an increase in satisfaction of people’s life and within their net of relationships, is a (small) step toward this direction.