By UNESCO MGIEP
Unbox: Breaking Stereotypes – First YESPeace India Network Workshop 2017

November 14 – 16, 2017 | Conference Room, YWCA International Guest House, New Delhi, INDIA

UNESCO MGIEP’s YESPeace Network in India organised a three-day training workshop for youth on Breaking Stereotypes from the 14th to the 16th, November 2017 at the YWCA International Guest House in New Delhi.

The YESPeace Network in India is a collaboration of several youth focused organisations in India including:

The workshop provided an opportunity to the partner organisations to co-design the content based on experiential learning tools on stereotypes. Bringing the unique design offerings of different organisations also provided a peer- learning opportunity to the partner youth organisations to enhance their designs based on inputs from partner organisations.

The workshop brought together 35 youths from diverse backgrounds around India from conflict stricken regions such as Manipur and Kashmir to metropolitan cities including Delhi and Mumbai.

The capacity building workshop trained young people to identify and understand the nature and extent of the stereotypes they hold about others and themselves through an exploration of identity (of the Self and the Other), labels and prejudices, and how these influence our ways of thinking and behaving in the particular forms they assume through the course of our intra- and inter-personal interactions.

Over the course of three days, the participants were made to undertake an intense and immersive journey on uncovering and reflecting on the stereotypes they hold as well as those held by the larger society.

A team of experienced facilitators from the different partner organisations initiated a discussion with the participants on identity – chosen and given (how ‘I’ continually interacts with the ‘we’), self and the other (and how we see each other through categories), the components and importance of active listening, and media literacy for a culture of peace.

The first day of the programme provided participants an opportunity to explore the theme of identity (of the self and the other) through an interesting identity mapping exercise conducted by the partner organisation Pravah. The participants tackled the human tendency to categorise and label, and form stereotypes in the second half of the first day in a session conducted by CYC.

The second day of the programme, conducted by BRM, was dedicated to training the participants in the skill of active listening, through an understanding of the basic components of said activity, including empathy and mindfulness.

The participants were also a part of a session on youth advocacy and were provided training on how the participants in their individual and organisational capacities can influence policy decisions, delivered by the team from RGNIYD.

On the third day, which was also the International Day of Tolerance, the participants engaged with the concept of critical media literacy in a session facilitated by STEP.

Participants were made to create and analyse the implicit and explicit power of media messages to influence and shape our opinions in the ways that they do, through a study of the five core concepts of media literacy. The participants also shared messages about creating an inclusive society as part of celebration of International Day of Tolerance.

The workshop culminated with the formation of six groups, according to which parts of the country the participants came from; each group was encouraged to chart out community action plans to address existing stereotypes of varied types in their respective communities across the nation.

The action plans, ranging from conducting small media literacy workshops with youths from different communities to initiating YESPeace sub-chapters in other parts of the country, will be put into the first phase of implementation in the coming month.

Through the three day workshop, the youth participants were equipped with a diverse set of knowledge and skills to help them better understand the source of their biases, and enable their roles as peace builders in their respective communities as conscientious and critical thinkers.

The YESPeace Network hopes that the young trainees of this programme can imbibe and carry forward the critical skills necessary to analyse and address the various challenges of the 21st century, particularly the existing divides present in the world, and encourage and enable greater inter-cultural interaction cross border friendships.

Author: Ms. Ankita MISHRA (STEP TRUST)

Related articles and events:

 

YESPeace Network

YESPeace India launch

YESPeace Malaysia launch

YESPeace South Africa launch

YESPeace Pakistan launch

For further details / information, please contact:

  • Abel Caine, Senior Project Officer, Youth and Communications (a.caine@unesco.org)
  • Piyali Sarkar Debnath, Programme Officer, YESPeace (p.sarkar@unesco.org)
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