February 2022 – Erasmus Plus on Extremism

Desert Bloom CC conducted “Youth stand up to Violent Extremism Training Course” in cooperation with EUROMED EVE Polska- Poland in Jordan, from 12-16 February 2022

The training aimed at building the capacity of youth workers in the field of the prevention of violent extremism while reinforcing global competence and universal morality that promotes values of respect, cultural diversity, continuous improvement and self-confidence to advance a shared respect for human dignity.

The training achieved its main objectives of:

  1. Supporting the professional development of youth workers in the field of P/CVE through non-formal and informal methodologies, tackling the Root Causes of violent radicalization, Radicalization Process, Intercultural Citizenship, Digital & Media Literacy, critical thinking and effective communication.
  2. Fostering youth civic engagement in public life (economic, political and socio-cultural participation), through:
  3. Economic empowerment by building youth entrepreneurial competencies)
  4. Enhancing young people’s engagement in political and public life by developing youth advocacy skills to develop effective youth policy, improve youth access to service, defend youth rights and challenge horizontal inequality.

The project was coordinated by EUROMED EVE Polska (Poland) and hosted and implemented in Jordan by Desert Bloom for Training and Sustainable Development (Jordan). is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Thirty youth workers/leaders participated in this training representing the following 9 organizations, out of which are 5 URI CCs:

  1. EUROMED EVE Polska- Poland
  2. Desert Bloom- Jordan (URI CC)
  3. Have A Dream- Egypt (URI CC)
  4. ASSOCIAO MEDESTU – Portugal
  5. BRIDGES-Eastern European Forum for Dialogue- Bulgaria (URI CC)
  6. Beit Ashams for Self-Development – Palestine (represented by Volunteering for Peace CC)
  7. Moroccan Youth Forum for Cultural Exchange & Scientific Research – Morocco (URI CC)
  8. Kalamáris Egyesület- Hungary
  9. Association Euro-Med EVE Tunisia- Tunisia.

The participants along with 5 URI members in Jordan attended the World Interfaith Harmony Week celebration in Madaba, a city well-known for churches, Byzantine and Umayyad-era mosaics, and archeological complexes. We listened to inspirational stories of the deep-rooted cohabitation between Muslims and Christians in Jordan by distinguished religious leaders. Then we visited religious sites the city including the Church of the Beheading of John the Baptist, the mosque of Jesus Christ, St George’s Greek Orthodox Church (which has the oldest mosaic map of Palestine and other biblical sites and important places such as Jerusalem, Gaza, Dead Sea or Nile Delta, it goes back to the 6th century) and Mount Nebo (famous pilgrimage site).

The participants will continue working on PVE, they agreed to develop a practical and user-friendly Toolkit to serve as a guide on building youth resilience to PVE. Also, they launched a Facebook page under the name “United Against Violent Extremism” to serve as a Social Media platform dedicated to preventing violent extremism (VE) through raising awareness of the root causes of VE, and counter extremists and terrorists’ online propaganda.  Please like the page.

Feedback from some participants:

  • Even though the topic was harsh, I enjoyed the workshops and we’ve discussed some very important and interesting topics. I liked that we talked and brainstormed about things we don’t usually talk about at home with our friends and family. Here we learned new perspectives and we could share our thoughts with each other.
  • The content of the course is quite interesting. I learned a lot.
  • I like the diversity of activities and the diversity of participants and their perspectives. I learnt a lot of new information, and got new experiences.
  • I liked the activities, the cultural diversity of the group as well as teamwork
  • I enjoyed expressing our identities in painting. Also, I liked the religious leaders’ presentations on the occasion of the World Interfaith Harmony Week.
  • Interesting and useful course content which opened my mind to a variety of issues in the Middle East and Europe, mobilized me to work and thinking about solving problems that lead to Violent Extremism in a peaceful way through understanding the roots of various problems. I like the diversity of participants and making new friends as well as the accommodation and the delicious local food.
  • The training opened many opportunities for developing further projects.
  • I appreciate the fact that this training was not only based on lectures, we had hands-on practices and activities
  • I liked everything about the course. It was great. I loved the diversity of activities, experiences, culture and getting to know new people from whom I learned a lot.

In Love and Peace

Mamoun Khreisat

Regional Coordinator, URI Middle East & North Africa