Mainstreaming peace culture through dialogue in Eurasia
On this year’s International Day of Peace, we celebrate one of our Messengers of Peace Heroes, who is not only a young advocate for peacebuilding through dialogue, but has done an outstanding job at introducing and mainstreaming this concept across her Scout region, Eurasia.
Nika is 27 years old from Ukraine, currently in her second term as International Commissioner for the National Organization of the Scouts of Ukraine, and has been actively involved in Scouting, empowering young people and championing Dialogue for Peace (DfP) in Eurasia. During the 2017-2020 triennium, Nika became a member of World Scouting's communication workstream as well as taskforce working on the World Scout Youth Forum and World Scout Conference.
“I come from a region that has quite some tensions and conflict, and my goal is to unite young people in the Eurasia region and show that in Scouting none of these issues exist, and we work together to make a positive change around us,” said Nika.
She gained her passion for the topic of peacebuilding by her involvement in a global partnership between World Scouting and KAICIID that integrated the Dialogue for Peace programme into Scouting and national youth programmes. DfP invites Scouts to discover how they can incorporate peaceful dialogue into their everyday lives.
Through her involvement in trainings, Nika mastered the fundamentals of dialogue and was determined to mainstream this programme across National Scout Organizations (NSOs) in her region, to benefit Scouts and Adults in Scouting and reinstate the culture of peace among them.
She participated in several trainings on DfP and in 2018 led a training for Scouts at the Regional Scout Jamboree, which was a key component of the event.
“My goal since the beginning, is to activate young people in my region to show that in Scouting, regardless of our background, history and cultures, we work together to make a difference and change any situation for the better.”
Nika directed a DfP training for over 30 people under 30 years old who were official NSO representatives across the region, who represented their NSOs in the subsequent 4th Eurasia Youth Forum and 7th Eurasia Scout Conference. This ensured that the emphasis on dialogue carried forward to official Regional Events in Eurasia in 2019.
Later this month, at the first ever Wood Badge training course to take place in Eurasia, Nika will be working with adults on integrating dialogue into their daily mindsets as they move forward to work with other adults and young people in their own countries. The Eurasia Wood Badge course will be taking place online from 30 September to 4 October.
“There is still much work to be done, but I believe that we managed to plant the seeds of change,” said Nika, “I know that Scouting will become one of the leading forces to help reduce the social and political tensions in our region and change the situation in our countries for the better.”
The Messengers of Peace Heroes Award was created in 2012 to recognise exceptional Scouts, volunteers and professionals for their outstanding work in creating a better world. The award acknowledges and recognises the extraordinary service of young people and their contributions towards community development, the promotion of dialogue and peace, and relief in times of need. Each year, Messengers of Peace Heroes are honoured with a prize at a ceremony that is designed to inspire other Scouts around the world to pursue community service that has a lasting and meaningful impact.