Spreading a culture of peace through the Internet
Scouting provides young people with the tools to create a better world including techniques of building a culture of peace through dialogue. Sol is a Scout from Argentina who is working to scale-up peace culture in her country through the Internet. With the support of World Scouting’s partner KAICIID, Sol and her Scout friends have prepared an online training in Spanish to train adult leaders on peacebuilding and replicate it across the country.
Our team has interviewed Sol to learn more about her project and what inspired her to start it:
Sol, tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m Sol Conte. I was born in Argentina, but I prefer to identify myself as a Latin American woman.
I’m 22 years old. I’ve studied recreation and now I’m studying Science Education. I believe in Scouting as an educational movement that is able to show us other possible worlds and giving us tools to build them.
How did you come up with the idea of an online course on Dialogue for Peace? What attracted you to this cause?
Argentina is a large and diverse country, that’s why we thought an online course is the best way to improve everyone’s capabilities and enable participants from across the country to share different viewpoints. This is a way to offer a new development opportunity for Scouts, within the Scout youth programme, that encourages them to reflect while learning about dialogue.
Who is this course designed for?
The course is designed for Rovers and Scout Leaders. We expect that those who have taken the course carry out activities around the implementation of Dialogue for Peace projects in their communities.
Why is Dialogue for Peace so important to you and why do you choose to work on it?
I believe in dialogue as a tool to put on the table as a topic that affects our daily lives. Building your own stance, listening to different points of view and trying to understand where people’s opinions are coming from, all allows us to broaden our perspectives about critical topics such as feminism, climate change, conflicts, inequality and more.
Doing that, we can learn and transform ourselves while also transforming others. Mainly, it teaches us to find a necessary mutual understanding for us to live together in this world.
How has Dialogue for Peace influenced you?
Dialogue for peace has helped me to find the meanings behind the concept of “peace”. It helped me answer questions like ‘what is necessary to achieve peace? What is a fair world?’ and many more.
The course does not address a vague concept of peace, nor the mere abstraction of dialogue. We aim to focus on how each and every one of us is related to these concepts in different way, with different implications. Coexistence is something that affects everyone, so rethinking our perspective and our ways to coexist in this world, does too.
What would you say to someone considering to become an advocate for Dialogue for Peace? What do you think other people should know about it?
As Scouts, we are already working to contribute to a culture of peace. The dialogic perspective gives us more tools to understand the world, therefore improving our impact when it comes to peacebuilding in our communities. It’s an interesting way to reflect on ourselves, society, and our performance in it. But it’s mainly a wonderful opportunity to meet with others.
Is there anything you would like to add or say to other young people?
We are living in an unprecedented global situation that is changing all orders of life. Luckily technology allows us to stay connected. I believe we should make an effort to keep meeting with each other, to pay attention to the people who don't have the means to achieve this kind of connection and keep knitting supportive bonds. It makes me happy to believe that “spreading dialogue for mutual understanding” is a big step towards a better world.
How has COVID-19 affected your project? Are you still working on it?
Luckily, the feeling of togetherness and working through the Internet is quite common for Scouts teams with people from different places. We always try to use technology to our advantage. Of course, everything is changing now, our days, our tasks, the feeling of time and I think we should be aware of that.
But we are Scouts, and we want to give our best, always! So “spreading dialogue for mutual understanding” is now an excuse to keep moving, to stay together, and to spread the power of dialogue. It is our way to contribute to this difficult time, and an amazing opportunity to keep growing! For sure we are still working on it !
From awareness raising campaigns to food deliveries, Scouts around the world have been mobilizing to serve their communities in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic. World Scouting has established a Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund to allow Scouts to continue helping their vulnerable communities during this time of urgent need. Take action for the global response and donate now.
Sol presented her project idea in this video in November 2019 as part of her application for Dialogue for Peace Fund: