© 2017. Illustration: www.pixabay.com website.
On September 26, 2017 the team of Peace Dialogue NGO, in partnership with the grassroots community, completed the three-month project entitled “Our platform’’, the focus of which was on leadership and community organizing.
“I found the project quite useful based on the new knowledge gained, the connections we made and the pleasant time we had. The focus was more on practical activities rather than on the theory. I liked the group work process, because the environment was free and allowed us to express ourselves and the group members were open with each other. Our time was spent in a productive way and I am grateful to the team for organizing the whole process in such a smart way” – the feedback of one of the participants.
The project consisted of 10 meetings during which 27 participants from Lori region were involved.
The following objectives were focused on during the project:
- to explore the existing understandings on leadership and its basic components;
- to explore the connection between leadership and initiations;
- to observe the examples of leadership in our daily lives;
- to explore the interactions between the notion of leadership and personal core values;
- to empower participants to explore themselves;
- to deepen the self-awareness and self-gratitude of the participants;
- to develop their willpower to reach the goals and the dreams they have and to believe in themselves.
To achieve these aims, Peace Dialogue strived to create a safe space, a platform, where participants could be as open as they wished to and where they could feel safe in expressing themselves.
“Before attending the meetings, I thought the program was going to be like some other boring seminars, where everyone would be able to talk, but me. But I was wrong. I found myself in a situation where my expectations and the reality did not meet. I liked everything there: the environment, the people, the leader (in this case the trainer who had pink and blue hair), not to mention the practical usefulness of the program: so many new definitions, diversity of participants, the practice of looking on the things from a totally different angle and of course the meditation session. The most important achievement of mine in “Our platform” was the development of my self-confidence as now I don’t feel constrained in communication with others’’ – a feedback of another participant of the project.
The initiative was designed based on an interactive and peer to peer relationship approach. The methods used during the meetings were: power share based leadership, non-violent communication, mindfulness, interconnectedness, holistic wellness, community based grassroots activism. In addition, several open-discussions and film-screening sessions were organized and guest speakers were invited.
During the evaluation of the program, the participants mentioned the issues they were concerned with in their community (surrounding, city, region), as well as the problems they see there on daily basis. Moreover, reflection was done based on their personal needs and desires for a better future. The participants also espresssed interest and willingness to continue the meetings within some other initiative. The team of Peace Dialogue NGO (together with the trainer- Elvira Meliksetyan) is planning to start a new community based initiative, taking into consideration the needs and the challenges raised by the participants of “Our platform”.