Peacebuilding practitioners are often working under extremely challenging conditions, which often lead to stress, tension and reduced productivity, but also to burn-out, depression or substance abuse. The impact this has upon the quality of our work as peacebuilders is often underestimated. Rarely have we been trained or educated in practical stress and self-management tools to effectively handle this aspect of peacebuilding work.
Practitioners lack of proper exposure and training on how to address deep-rooted and complex psycho-social aspects often means they are neglected in peacebuilding programmes. Through a personal experience this training offers participants insight and confidence to handle crucial psycho- social factors in an effective way to make a meaningful impact on conflict and peace dynamics.
The quality and impact of our work is to a great extent defined by who we are as “peacebuilders” and how we engage with communities and the people we work and interact with on the ground. This training nurtures and strengthens on a deeper level those core aspects within ourselves that support the development of peacebuilding qualities and skills essential for transformative and effective practice, including: active listening, compassion and empathy, holding multiple realities, patience and endurance, balancing simplicity and complexity, facilitation, tranquillity, discernment and integrity. As such, IAHV’s training provides present and future peacebuilders in a short time frame with the insight and practical tools to develop one’s full potential as a peacebuilder, both as a human being and a professional.
Through this training IAHV hopes to contribute enriching and strengthening the peacebuilding field as a whole.
Current peacebuilding efforts focus extensively on external conditions and systems, while often failing to address a crucial dimension of peacebuilding. Namely: creating peace in the minds, hearts and attitudes of people. Anger, frustration, hate, depression, pain, and intolerance are key dimensions in many conflicts. Failure to comprehend or effectively address these powerful driving forces erodes the effectiveness of many efforts of mainstream peacebuilding. Few organisations actually implement effective psycho-social interventions on a scale significant enough to have an impact on conflict and peace dynamics. Working proficiently with psycho-social aspects of peacebuilding entails the promise of a strong psycho-social foundation for peace and increased impact of peacebuilding efforts on the ground.