“Youth for Dialogue”-
Spring Academy for Youth Workers

April 24 – May 23, 2021

About the Course

In the context of a globalized world, due to migration and the refugee crisis, European societies are going through a process of increasing ethnic and religious diversity, which leads to new realities and challenges. One negative side effect is the rise of racism, xenophobia, hate-speech and a process of segregation within the societies, affecting young people as well as older generations. New realities are being faced by young refugees, as well as by young people from the hosting countries. Also, the current pandemic situation challenges our societies fundamentally and shows tendencies to broaden societal separation. This raises the question of how we communicate with each other and understand our differences in the attempt of creating a collective identity. How can we create an atmosphere of solidarity, mutual respect and understanding?

To address this issue, Initiative Mittel- und Osteuropa e.V.  organises a 4-week online training “Youth for Dialogue”, where participants will learn the methodology and different tools of “Dialogue” as a form of communication and dealing with conflicts, in order to run their own dialogues back home with young people from their community. The training is also seen as a space for reflection and community building process by using online community building platforms.

Goals and Objects

– To transfer knowledge to organize and lead a dialogue through equipping participants with different dialogue tools

– To prepare and support the participants in organizing and implementing a dialogue in their country, based on a topic chosen by the participants

– To create a multinational network of youth workers that promote and use dialogue, by providing networking opportunities and an online platform to exchange dialogue tools, best practices and share skills

– To encourage participants to form a positive attitude towards ethnic and religious diversity

– To share community spirit

When and Where

The training will be held in English, without translation. Commitment to participate in all sessions is essential. This is an online course, hosted on Zoom

→ April 24rd, 11:00 am – 14:00 pm CET→ May 12th,  17:00 pm – 20:00 pm CET
→ April 25th, 11:00 am – 14:00 pm CET→ May 19th,  17:00 pm – 20:00 pm CET
→ April 28th, 17:00 pm – 20:00 pm CET→ May 22st, 11:00 am – 14:00 pm CET
→ May 5th,   17:00 pm – 20:00 pm CET→ May 23nd, 11:00 am – 14:00 pm CET
The duration of the sessions will be 3 hours (with a short break) per day

Personal Requirements

– Citizens or residents of Germany, Poland, Romania, Republic of Moldova or Ukraine

– Min. 18 years old

– Fluent in English

– Engaged in youth work (youth workers, teachers, school psychologists, school mediators etc.), interested in learning the technique of organizing and facilitating a dialogue for young people, interested in the topic of diversity, willing to engage in constructive conversations and exchange about diversity, willing to actively participate in the entire duration of the training


Diana Damsa/ Romania:
Diana Damsa holds degrees in law and music and has postgraduate studies in Healing of Memories, Mediation and Intercultural and Inter-faith Communication.  Since 2004 she has been active in several programmes of Initiatives of Change in different parts of the world, facilitating sessions for people coming from a variety of backgrounds. For many years she has been active with Foundations for Freedom in Central and Eastern Europe, as a member of the Management and Coordination team as well as a designer and facilitator of youth and leadership programmes, and of inter-ethnic dialogues in Ukraine and Romania. Since 2009 she is a Creators of Peace facilitator and trainer, and currently holds the position of Vice-President. She is a founding member of Center for Social Transformation in Romania, an NGO that works to promote peace, prevent conflict, build trust and empower women and Roma youth. Currently, she is also the Managing Director of Tools for Changemakers, a training programme of IofC Switzerland.

Angela Starovoytova/ Ukraine:
Angela Starovoytova is passionate about building connections between people and communities. Her expertise are in non-formal education and participatory facilitation methods in creating safe and trusting environment to inspire personal transformation and change of relationships between individuals and groups. Angela has 20 years of international experience organizing and running workshops/conferences/long-term programs on ethical leadership, conflict-resolution, trust- and peacebuilding, critical thinking, etc. Angela is one of the founders of an International NGO ‘Foundations for Freedom/Initiatives of Change (Ukraine)” having worked in Ukraine, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Uganda, etc. Currently involved mainly with the ‘Network of dialogue facilitators’ using non-violent approach in running dialogues, trainings, forums and other events on conflict-resolution, participatory facilitation, peace-building and social cohesion as an invited expert in some projects with UNDP, IOM, GIZ, IREX, OSCE, etc. both in Ukraine and abroad.

Neil Oliver/ UK
Neil Oliver is a Certified Professional Facilitator with the IAF (International Association of Facilitators). For most of his career he has worked with large public sector, and smaller, not-for-profit organisations in the UK and across Europe, developing a reputation for managing conflict within complex, multi-disciplinary teams. Since 2011 he has been part of the design and delivery team for conferences organised by Initiatives of Change Switzerland. During this period he has also delivered workshops, to an international audience on, ‘Working Inter-Generationally,’ Working with Difference,’ ‘Facilitating Multi-Cultural Groups,’ and Dialogue. Neil is a founding director (ex chair) of Edventure Frome, a School for Community Enterprise, based in the south west of England. Edventure trains young people to set up their own community/social enterprises. In the ten years of it’s existence Edventure has taken students from the local area, the rest of the UK, Europe and Asia. It is an established organisation with a world-wide reputation in it’s field.Through his work with Edventure, Neil has become a trainer with the ‘Kickstart’ programme, a UK government led initiative aimed at helping young people, affected by the coronavirus pandemic, to gain meaningful employment in organisations working to mitigate the impact of climate change in their communities.

Application Deadline

10th April 2021
Apply now by filling in the application form here

Selected participants will be notified by April 12.

Organizations of the Training

The training will be implemented by Initiative Mittel- und Osteuropa e.V. (Germany), in cooperation with our partner organizations Centre for Social Transformation (Romania), GFPS Polska e.V. (Poland), EcoVisio (Republic Moldova) and Foundations for Freedom (Ukraine).


The project is funded by the Erasmus + program of the European Union

Contact and further Information

If you have any questions about the Training, please contact the project coordinator Timo Pfender:

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