Online Toolkit

Foreword (Mr. Andreu Claret)

I take the pleasure of congratulating the Foundation Catalunya Voluntària and the Peace Bag partnership on the launch of this 'Peace Bag for EuroMed Youth' publication in my position as the Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation, and more importantly on a personal note as well, as I had the chance to interact personally with some of the young authors. In July 2010, during the preparatory workshop for the toolkit, I followed with great interest the discussions of the highly motivated youth, who proved to be the real actors of change, dialogue and peace in the Euro-Med region. It was an unforgettable meeting, very much useful for me for understanding better and sooner what was happening in the minds and hearts of many Euro-Mediterranean Youth.

Since its establishment, the Anna Lindh Foundation has been promoting a culture of peace and good neighbourhood in the region within difficult contexts by focusing on youth. The Foundation supported international training initiatives on conflict resolution with youth leaders, such as the training 'Cultural Conflict Resolution and Project Development for Youth Workers and Teachers '. Among the granted projects it is also worth highlighting the 'Anatomy of Peace Training' aiming to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean knowledge-based community, where coaches and young leaders learn and exchange expertise on how to incorporate peace building, tolerance and conflict resolution skills, by means of sports training and youth work. Other new pedagogical products were also produced through the granted initiatives, including the 'Adventures of Joha in the Mediterranean' story-telling book circulated in secondary schools in Morocco, France , Italy and Algeria, the 'Youth for Change' Guidebook adapted to Mediterranean realities and published in Arabic and the tool-kit 'Conflict Resolution and Cultural Cooperation' with good practices for trainers and educators.

The 'Peace Bag for Euro-Med Youth', reflects not only the Foundation's goal to promote a real culture of peace, but also its aim to support cross country partnership. 18 different Euro-Med organizations across 14 countries partnered successfully to put this initiative together offering practical tools to raise awareness on the culture of peace, emphasizing the importance of mobility and participation of youth in developing initiatives through long-term partnership.

The Foundation is happy to know that some of its partners are planning for next phases of the project and others have agreed to start implementing the toolkit as a peace bag program in their own countries and organisations. Furthermore, partners are planning to create an informal network of the peace bag to be registered and recognized by the European Commission, enabling access to network funding, etc. in the near future. Good luck for all this initiatives and thank you very much for providing the Anna Lindh Foundation with such an innovative resource for promoting dialogue among Youth.

Andreu Claret
Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation