The Alliance of Civilizations (www.unaoc.org) is a United Nations’ initiative that aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions and, in the process, to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism.
It covers four main fields of action: education, youth, media and migration.
For the third time the Alliance is organizing, in cooperation with other partners, its Summer School, to be held from 04 to 12 August 2012 at the University of Coimbra and in Braga (PORTUGAL).
The aim of this Summer School is to bring together young people (from 18 to 30 years old) from various regions and different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, academic and professional profiles, walks of life and interests.
During the course participants will acquire knowledge and tools to strengthen their ability to communicate across difference, interact with the “Other” and look at diversity as an asset for cross-fertilization and inter-cultural exchange from which mutual trust, better understanding and an innovative mindset can emerge and proliferate.
Furthermore, the course is a unique moment of practical follow up and implementation of some of the outcomes of the Global Forums of the Alliance held in 2008 (Madrid), 2009 (Istanbul), 2010 (Rio de Janeiro) and 2011 (Doha) in particular of its Youth Program.
The course will also provide an excellent space for strategic networking and finding partners; this dimension will be most strongly encouraged by the team of trainers as well as for intercultural dialogue and intercultural learning.
The week-long course will gather close to 100 participants. It is designed using a process of mutual learning, being the participants’ experiences the starting point of the training-learning process. Active participation and in-depth reflection are key methodologies used in the course. Participants will compare their approaches to youth work, youth participation and youth role in our increasingly diverse societies as agents of change, engaging in the preparation of concrete projects to be carried out once back home.
This Course is an opportunity given to youth leaders to share, better understand and integrate the objectives settled by the Alliance of Civilizations at the international level and better contribute to their achievement. Some of these objectives help enable youth to take an active part in implementing the Alliance’s goals and objectives at the national and regional level and be further equipped to participate in cooperation projects:
1. Promoting the empowerment of youth by strengthening intercultural skills and competences
2. Strengthening young people’s capacity to get involved in the preparation and implementation of cooperative action across divides
3. Facilitate moments of encounter and exchange between young people
4. Developing a network of participants in the Alliance summer schools