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Youth Work as a preventive practice against Radicalisation and Violent Extremism

Federation of youth clubs of Armenia enabled young people from Yerevan and regions to be more informed and readier to deal with the current challenges.

Federation of youth clubs undertook a three-day training course on the topic of “Prevention of violent extremism and radicalization through youth work” held 21-23 September. First of all active youth from regions of Armenia got a chance to get acquainted with the terms radicalization and violent extremism, their types, reasons of manifestation and the importance of youth work in order to prevent it.

The training course with non-formal education methods enabled the participants to get new skills and knowledge about the ways of prevention of violence and radicalisation by exchanging experiences and ideas. The trainers were active representatives and coordinators of FYCA regional clubs. They got experience in Training of Trainers program in Romania organized by European Confederation of Youth Clubs.

“By means of non-formal education we want to actively support the development of skills and abilities of young people dealing with modern challenges. Parallel with academic education young people of Armenia can get very significant knowledge in such programs by learning more practical methods to prevent violence and radicalization in their communities and youth clubs. I believe that now youth work should be more valued than ever. For many participants non-formal education was novelty, as they had been chosen for not having access to such trainings and experiences but having willingness to take part in activities in regions”, mentioned Diana Yeghiazaryan, the coordinator of the national level training course, and international secretary of Federation of youth club of Armenia.

Andranik Haroyan, who had been taking his first experience as a trainer, was very impressed.” My expectations were fully met. I’ve got even more than I expected. I am very glad that such opportunity was given to practice international experiences in my country. We will transfer our knowledge and experiences to the young people from regions.

Sokhak Melqonyan, Coordinator of Federation of young clubs in Lori region, said that the three-day program was full of exchange of knowledge and experiences. “We especially value youth work. As trainers we did big efforts to have effective and intensive training”.

Inesa Shahazizyan, member of “Ayg” Youth club and a volunteer of FYCA in Ashtarak region, was also getting her first steps as a trainer. “This experience was a very important step ahead on our ways to succeed as youth workers. I think that we can have our small investment in participants’ personal development.

During this course getting acquainted with the main phenomenon, the reasons of violent extremism, young people got more skills and knowledge, formed a deep understanding about youth work and viewed this as a way to prevent violent extremism. This information helped the participants to prepare awareness raising campaign of ECYC “Value Youth Work” (#ValueYouthWork). During the last day, on September 23, participants implemented the campaign mentioned above in the center of Yerevan drawing the attention of the people on the importance of the youth work.

The organizer of the course “Prevention of violent extremism and radicalization through youth work” was the Federation of Youth Clubs in Armenia. Implementation of the program was supported by European Confederation of Youth Clubs - ECYC through European Youth Foundation of Council of Europe.

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