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NOVA

Non-Violent Action Training for Teachers

The modern history of Lebanon is marked by violence. However, it needs to be strongly emphasised that even during the Lebanese Civil War, some individuals and organisations refused to make use of violence as a means of transforming conflict, resorting to non-violent activism instead. Although of high significance, these examples remain on the margin of educational as well as public interest and are relatively unknown until today.

 

In order to promote a culture of non-violent conflict transformation forumZFD’s NOVA project aimed at sensitising the Lebanese public, particularly the younger generation, for methods of non-violent communication and their effectiveness in dealing with conflicts. Focussing on education as a major entry point, the project targeted young people between 8 and 14 years by training their teachers on methods of non-violent conflict transformation. Over the course of five years, more than 40 teachers from 20 public and private schools in five regions in Lebanon were trained. The trainings were implemented by using the handbook An Eye not for an Eye, a manual on non-violent communication developed by Naji Saeed, Capacity Development project manager at forumZFD, in collaboration with the Permanent Peace Movement. In the course of the trainings the teachers obtained the ability to promote different approaches to conflict management by using tools such as non-violent communication and non-violent activism. As part of the follow-up activities, the trained teachers applied their skills by training their students on tools for non-violent communication.

Furthermore, forumZFD supported networking between different schools across Lebanon to find a common ground for promoting non-violent actions. These schools work and advocate with the Ministry of Education to integrate non-violent activism into the Lebanese curriculum.

The project ended with a big ceremony in June 2015. Nearly 350 students from 24 schools presented short films, sketches, songs, performances and art work inspired by the NOVA training.

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