Algeria + 1 more

Boosting self-confidence to promote peace

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Conflict transformation and peacebuilding are the overarching objectives of cfd projects. Based on an analysis of a society’s social inequalities, tensions, and power structures and their causes, the projects are designed to include peacebuilding elements. The cfd always takes a human rights-based approach.

The Nashat – Action project in Algeria, for example, is aimed at young adults and zeros in on their social inclusion. Youth unemployment is one of the biggest problems in Algeria. Exclusion from the paid labor market also leads to social exclusion, combined with feelings of frustration and a lack of prospects. Furthermore, the brutal violence of the civil war still weighs heavily on society; cruel massacres took place in the 1990s in the Sidi Moussa project region, south of Algiers.

Violence is widespread and diverse

Since repression and social prohibitions are widespread in society, youth violence is not just being directed against others, but also against themselves. This violence affects their self-esteem, self-image, and self-confidence.

Of the various forms of violence, domestic violence is the most widespread. So-called El Harraga (illegal migration) is also a precarious and well-known issue. El Harraga, or Harga, literally means “to burn papers or laws.” This means that someone is not only “burning” their identity papers, but also their culture, identity, and origin and migrating illegally across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe – a widespread response to the economic and political blockade, especially among young men. It reflects the fears of a fragile society – impoverishment, unemployment, fractured social relations, loss of values, especially when it comes to raising children, violence in all its forms and contexts.

Raising awareness and providing education and support

El Harraga is one of four issues – in addition to violence at school, sexual abuse of children, and violence against women – that the young people address as part of the Nashat – Aktion project. Two years ago, a group of course leaders were trained to head up the various stages of raising awareness and providing education and support to the young people. In order to raise awareness about illegal migration, the course leaders produced their own film featuring young people (see link). After screening the film, they discuss the issue with vocational school pupils, youth groups, and young people from associations like the scouts. The aim is also for the young people to build up a more positive self-image. The awareness-raising workshops have aroused great interest. For many young people, finding out about a different view of the issue of Harga and exchanging ideas with one another is a new concept.

After the initial experiences with the project, the course leaders developed a program early this year to work with the young people over a longer period of time. The course leaders impart knowledge and skills for communicating, dealing with conflicts, leading groups, and planning and carrying out activities. The aim is to strengthen their personal skills and competences. Participating in the project helps young people to boost their self-esteem, enabling them to cultivate friendships. They become aware of their abilities and begin to see their future and their place in their own environment.