Peace for young people is deeply personal, associated with well-being and happiness in their communities. Young people involved in the research for the Study describe that peace manifests itself in physical, psychological and institutional forms, and is tied to issues of belonging, dignity, hope and the absence of fear. Peace is also seen as fundamentally gendered, particularly in relation to personal safety, with sexual and genderbased violence as a core concern. According to ABS data, Sudanese people have the highest imprisonment rate per capita of any ethnic group in Australia. But incarceration has not been an effective deterrent in reducing crime – many young people re-offend after returning to the community as they lack relevant support systems and opportunities to reintegrate. Widespread stereotypes associate young people, and particularly young men, with violence. There are three main misconceptions regarding young people: 1. That bulging youth populations present an increased risk of violence. 2. That young migrants, refugees are potential threats to host societies and a drain on social services. 3. That young men and women are drawn to join organized crime groups, particularly if they are unemployed or uneducated. These myths have triggered a “policy panic,” producing un-nuanced policy responses that involve hard-fisted law enforcement and security approaches, which are counterproductive and not cost-effective. These approaches further alienate young people and diminish their trust in authorities. Such approaches may work against the good work done on recognizing the cultural diversity of Australian communities. Episodes of violence among Australian youth of African descent in 2018 to 2020 have been a topic of mounting concern for indigenous Australian communities as well as Australians of African descent. It should be noted that community crises and conflicts in NSW multi-dimensional: ideological, sociocultural (degradation of values), psychological (suspicion, fear) and economic (unequal access to economic and social opportunities with regard to education, employment and health).
CCPE Worldwide is proposing the African therapeutic model of transformation as a vehicle for training and communicating values to young people. The model will focus on using youth volunteers as other youth are more apt to listen and learn from like-minded youths in their communities rather than authority figures. The program will be implemented in two phases. Phase One was dedicated to training 40 youth volunteers between the ages of 18 and 29 to become peer mentors. This training involved a six-month program where they will learn about using African music instruments, community conflict analysis, micro mediation tactics, conflict resolution, the importance of self-esteem and identity, the history of migrations to Australia, the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, financial management, music and creative arts in conflict resolution.
Out-designing conflicts for positive life change
To see the full project details in PDF format, download the file from the button