Youth Work against Violent Radicalization: Competencies Development Training Course, March 2019, Italy

Youth Work against Violent Radicalization: Competencies Development

The URI Regional Coordinator for the MENA Region and the Founder of Desert Bloom CC, Mamoun Khreisat, participated in the training course, “Youth Work against Violent Radicalization: Competencies Development,” 4-9 March 2019 in Macerata, Italy.

The training is part of a long-term strategy that aims at empowering youth workers to prevent youth radicalization through:

– Building youth workers’ competencies to enable them to enhance youth resilience against violent radicalization.
– Providing opportunities for NGOs to share their experiences and exchange best practices at the local, national, and international level.
– Providing opportunities for networking and partnership building.
– Learning from the experiences of local Italian grassroots NGOs in field of preventing violent radicalization.

During the first day of the training course, we had the opportunity to meet and gain insight from Tatiana Petrovich Njegosh. She reflected on the ambiguity of definitions of violent radicalisations provided by many institutions, which has a significant impact, as definitions provide a vision of the world and an understanding of the context.

Violent radicalisation is not only a phenomena commonly linked to Islamic religion or to any other kind of belief, but it is linked to the understanding of local communities and society — to the complexity that we are living today. It is more broadly linked with “fears.”

Macerata is a small, tranquil city of cobblestone streets and handsome blond-brick plazas nestled in the craggy central Italian hills. In February 2018, the city experienced an unexpected racially motivated shooting that left at least six African migrants wounded. A 28-year-old Italian man drove through Macerata, opening fire from his vehicle, reportedly shouting “Viva l’Italia!” while making a fascist salute. This tragic event caused the city and many local NGOs to adopt programs to enhance community resilience against violent radicalization. We had a chance to speak with Kofi Wilson, a 20- year-old immigrant from Ghana who was shot in the chest. We listen to his story and how the local community in Macerata supported him.