27 April 2020
A story about young girl Parassat from al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, who partnered with UNESCO Almaty Office and initiated a workshop on the Conflict-Resolution Skills for youth in the framework of her PhD programme.
Her first experience with the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office was in June 2018, during the training provided for youth on writing project proposals. The training introduced the UNESCO project planer toolkit: Top Tips for Youth Action, which can help young people transform from vision to viable project plans.
During the two-day training, her follow-up colleagues and Parassat had a great opportunity to prepare a draft project proposal for the current challenges of urban and rural youth in Kazakhstan. Due to the positive environment and well-organized plan, they were deeply involved in the process of creating and promoting their ideas, through which Parassat gained valuable experience and made new friends.
As Parassat said it was the first time when she learned more about UNESCO's work and programmes in the field of youth. And when she had an idea to conduct a capacity-building event for students as a part of her PhD programme on the ‘Conflict Research’, at the first onset she contacted UNESCO Almaty team and gained their support. Thus, on 6 April they conducted a workshop on “Conflict Resolution Skills for Youth” in the framework of the UNESCO Operation Strategy on Youth, 2014-2021, and celebration of the UN 75th Anniversary. In response to the situation with COVID-19 crisis, the workshop was conducted in the online format.
More than 30 post-graduate students participated in it, which included trainings on using intercultural competences in conflict-resolution, on safeguarding of cultural heritage in time of crisis and on combating hate speech and disinformation during the conflicts. In the second session of the workshop, young people put forward their ideas of youth participation in conflict-resolution.
"The experts from the UNESCO Almaty office made this event truly memorable and professional. Many participants expressed their desire to cooperate with them and work under their guidance. We have also developed an Action Plan for our continuous partnership" - Parassat said afterwards.
Thanks to the contribution of Parassat and her friends in organization and implementation of the workshop, it become possible to accomplish the main UNESCO's goal of strengthening youth participation, promoting peace, constructive dialogue and sustainable development in accordance with SDG 16.
"Overall, my impression is very positive, and I am very grateful to UNESCO Almaty Office for providing young people with useful activities, novel ideas and correct values through their work. And like other young people, I hope I can participate in other youth projects promoted by the UNESCO in the future"- she concluded.