25 Stories for Peace’ is a collection of personal stories published in celebration of UNOY Peacebuilders’ 25th anniversary. It is meant to be a way of honoring the contribution of young people in the field of peacebuilding. In a co-creation process, young peacebuilders around the world will be invited to share their experiences and stories on peacebuilding in their local realities. The publication will give a face and recognition to the contributions young people have made to peacebuilding efforts. It will carry the voice of young peacebuilders and tell the powerful realities of youth participation. It will be a source of empowerment and function as an advocacy tool as it can be used to show policy makers the potential of youth as positive change-makers in peacebuilding.

The project ‘25 Stories for Peace’ is part of a broader strategic plan denominated ‘Advocacy through Storytelling: 25 Years of Youth in Peacebuilding’. Linked to the publication is a workshop and online platform ‘Storytelling in Youth Peace Advocacy’ (27 April – 3 May 2014) and a Young Peacebuilders Forum (19 – 21 September 2014). These two events will be used as a platform to demonstrate progress of the publication and to collect further stories.

Storytelling in Youth Peace Advocacy

Stories, as the universal carriers of human experience, have been used all over the world by people to pass on messages about their history, culture and values. Stories enable us to understand our pasts and imagine futures; through stories we remember, engage and dream. From myths and legends to the simplest tales of people’s every day, stories cut across borders and boundaries, they travel around making their way into people’s hearts, engaging mainly their emotions and imagination. As such, they are the true bearers of change as they transmit messages about what people care about and envision for their lives; through stories we connect, share and understand each other.

It is essential for youth peace activist on all sides of the world to be able to tell stories of peace and coexistence and to use these stories to advocate for diversity, intercultural dialogue and youth participation in peacebuilding.

The project brought together 25 young peace activists from these regions in order to jointly embark on the journey of storytellers for social change. Both through an interactive online platform and a face-to-face training organized in the Netherlands (28 April to 03 may), the participants had the chance to reflect upon different elements of storytelling and develop their skills to use it in their professional as well as personal life. More information can be found here.

The “7 Short Stories Blog” has been created as a result from the workshop. This initiative, from writers that are based in different countries, aims to provide narratives and a glance of daily life routines from Sweden, The Philippines, Lebanon, Tunisia, Spain, Palestine, The Netherlands and Morocco.

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