From 21-25 October 2015, at the Mariapolis Centre in Castel Gandolfo (Rome), a workshop dedicated to the second phase of the Cayrus* International Youth Project, entitled “Launching Peace”, brought together 60 members from eight countries who belong to associations aimed at highlighting the use of arts to promote awareness and to inspire creative activism in peace building.
The meeting started off with participants sharing their impressions from the previous conference held in Cairo, Egypt, during April-May this year. This was followed by a presentation of the European Union programs by Marco De Salvo, and the idea was launched to work together on a project.
After working in groups, some very interesting proposals emerged. One which attracted everyone was using the culture of food as a tool towards fraternity and promoting peace. The idea is to bring together young people from all participating associations and to share foods from their cultures. During the experience, which will last for five days, the young people will also deepen the theme on how to be builders of peace in their respective nations.
One very interesting initiative which is worth mentioning concerns a Palestinian couple, Milad William and Manar Whab. Together they run an NGO called Vision Center for Culture and Arts (VCCA), a non-profit and non-political organization which aims to promote music, arts, and drama as communication for peace and understanding, in order to serve the four villages Al-Azaria, Abu Dees, Al-Sawahra, and AL-sheikh Sa’ed.
* The Cayrus Project is co-financed by the European Union in the contest of the Erasmus+ program which offers opportunities for cooperation across the education, training, youth and sport sectors.