‘How can we find opportunities in conflict?’

Evelyn is a 29-year-old legal practitioner from Nigeria currently on track to receive a Masters degree from the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands. Her personal and professional background motivated her to participate in the virtual exchange ‘Youth Peace and Security’ (2020) offered through the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative.

 

“I took special interest in human rights, gender and conflict and therefore volunteered as a pro bono legal officer with the National Human Rights Commission in Nigeria. Being born in a conflict era in the 1990’s and having experienced the impact of violent conflict, I developed an interest in understanding conflict and how such situations can be transformed to build sustainable peace. “ 

Her personal and professional background motivated her to participate in the virtual exchange ‘Youth Peace and Security’ (2020) offered through the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative. Meeting weekly online in highly diverse groups guided by trained facilitators, Evelyn and her fellow group members explored core concepts of conflict and peace in a way that privileged participants’ lived experiences as expertise. 

“This experience broadened my thinking on peace building and conflict transformation processes. I learnt a lot sharing ideas with peers and having the opportunity to interact with people across the world. 

It gave me the platform to create new connections and relationships. To have young minds across the globe see the need to do something about the conflict situations around us. Indeed there is hope knowing that together we can take steps to make our world better and shine the light for others. I learnt a lot from my group mates, our diversity and the way things are handled in our different countries.”

Evelyn explains how she looked forward to the weekly meetings to connect and discuss. Especially the conversations about youth activation and opportunities for conflict transformation made an impact:

“I had many best moments but the one that stood out most was the discussion on the role of youth in peace building. It was interesting to note that this is our future, it’s about us, which makes it vital for us to take active steps. And I received new insight from the discussion on the ‘how can we find opportunities in Conflict?’ from my group mates. Where I had always seen the negative outcome of conflict, I came to realize that conflict offers us the opportunity to choose the kind of outcome with the way we decide to address it. 

(…) We must not forget our humanity and if we see each other in this light, then we learn to treat each other better and find common grounds to resolve issues amicably.  We must start with ourselves to take responsibility and be accountable with our actions towards each other.”

Thank you, Evelyn Anietie James, for sharing your story.

Subscribe to our newsletter.Stay up to date about our activities and more.

More from our blog

Neeshad Shafi on Youth and Climate Action

Listen now to the inspiring conversation that our host Julie had with Neeshad Shafi.  Neeshad talks about his experience founding and formalising a youth organization addressing climate issues.  They further discuss the realities of organising youth and putting the environment on the agenda in Qatar and the wider (Gulf) region.

Read more

Mariam Traore Chazalnoel on the climate-migration nexus

Listen now to Episode #4: The Climate Migration-nexus with Mariam Traore Chazalnoe. In this packed episode of 'The Big Climate Movement' our host Julie got the chance to talk with Mariam Traore Chazalnoel, who works with the United Nations Migration Agency as an expert in migration, environment and climate change.

Read more

Listen now to 'The Big Climate Movement' episode #2

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: who are they and what do they do? In this weeks’ podcast episode, our host Julie talks with Anna Pirani, who, next to holding a Ph.D. in Oceanography, is the head of Working Group I Technical Support Unit at the IPCC.

Read more

How to adapt core learning elements to be effective online

Based on our expertise in Virtual Exchange pedagogy Sharing Perspectives Foundation is organizing a workshop series on harnessing the opportunities of online education. In three sessions we will provide step-by-step techniques, practical tips and unique exercises modelling online interactivity and student engagement.

Read more

The Sharing Perspectives Podcast is here!

As young people across the globe mobilize around one of humanity’s biggest questions, we ask: what is the impact of climate change on the planet, political action and the movement of people?   Join us in exploring this subject in the Sharing Perspectives Podcast and listen to nine episodes with powerful perspectives from speakers at the centre of the climate change movement.

Read more

Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange as a new form of education

What the Virtual Exchange format introduces, is a continuous connection between the local and the global, online and offline, personal and common, or differences and similarities. The format does not introduce a radical disruption from or for traditional forms of education, but establishes new dimensions and connections to existing, formal education settings. 

Read more

Physical distance, but socially close

Many of us were confronted with earlier this year with sudden closures of universities, schools, travel restrictions and even lockdowns. Check out how some of our active Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange community members feel about Virtual Exchange during challenging times.

Read more