The first milestone for our project ‚Peaceful Dialogue in Kyrgyzstan‘ has been reached! The training of trainers in which 20 participants from 4 regions of Kyrgyzstan took part was fun, intense and a great learning experience for everyone. During the training the participants developed their competences to conduct workshops with young people in their home region on the topic of religious extremism. The workshops will include a simulation game that tackles issues around the topic of radicalization and violent extremism. Moreover, it will provide a frame for young adults to develop peace initiatives to prevent people from joining extremist groups. Some of the initiatives will be funded and implemented so stay tuned for the up-coming activities! The training was followed by a round table discussion during which the participants and government officials as well as representatives from religious institutions met and exchanged about the current situation in Kyrgyzstan. The role of young people and the importance of their involvement was stressed and the future facilitators were encouraged by all members of the panel to continue their endeavors in countering religious extremism.
20 participants from the regions Chui, Osh, Jalalabad and Issyk Kul took part in training. They all either represent national Youth Centers or are activists involved in youth work who already participated in the precursor project we conducted in 2015. At the Round Table were present the participants of the ToT, the partnering organizations, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Youth, the Secretariat of the Council of Defense and the State Committee for National Security.
The main goal of the ToT was to train facilitators for workshops on religious extremism, using the simulation game method. They gained capacities in training/ working with young people and while engaging with them as multipliers, take responsibility for their actions and social processes. They developed their self-understanding as active citizens and thus are further motivated to become engaged in political activities. The ToT furthermore provided a framework where the participants could strengthen their links and networks with other Civil Society actors, which is a prerequisite for joint action in the future. As members of the Roundtables (RT) all participants had the opportunity to form new relationships based on mutual respect and understanding and recognize that they are united by common issues. The politicians gained insights into the opinions of young citizens and information on ideas on how to counter religious extremism and could give their feedback and get involved.