The ‘Peace Begins at Home’ Intergenerational Dialogue training workshops were developed in 2010 by the Somali Initiative for Dialogue and Democracy (SIDD) in partnership with IofC UK. SIDD is a Somali community organisation dedicated to reconciling Somalis among themselves and with the host community.
The training was born out of the pain and conflict between Somali parents and children of refugees and immigrants background as they continue to grapple with the reality of integrating into British society.
This training now forms part of a wider national ‘Communities’ programme that works with diverse grassroots partners delivering projects aimed at tackling community division, intergenerational conflict, gang violence, religious and ideological divides including but not exclusive to Islamic extremism to the edges of the Far Right.
The training serves as a catalyst for understanding, building bridges across divides and in developing a framework that can be applied in the home and in the community towards an inclusive peace.
So far, we have delivered over 700 training sessions in London, Coventry, Northampton, Bristol, Switzerland (UN Library), Sweden and Netherlands. We use subject matter experts in each area to co-create content with the local team and the community on the ground. We have access to trainers, facilitators and projects at the grassroots as well as trusted connections with leaders from faith communities, police, educators and policymakers across the UK and further afield.
The course consists of three one-day workshop training sessions, each of five hours. This is ideally a whole weekend, and a follow-up one-day session two weeks later.
The training explores wide ranging cultural issues from small grievance and growing internal conflict to unconscious cultural bias. It looks to explore issues of identity, belonging, racism as examples of family and community conflict that may grow in tension and yield in violent extremism.
Training is based on IofC’s principle of open and honest conversation and reflection leading personal change. It includes the use of real case studies, conflict transformation tools and techniques, trustbuilding methods and story telling.
This programme aims to break down the cycle of intergenerational conflict by creating safe environments for communities to come together based on their shared common values. Here, they can learn creatives tools to tackle critical issues, and create opportunities to engage with community leaders and representatives of statutory agencies. We also aim to empower citizens to engage with their community and bring positive change.
The impact of this programme includes the increased understanding of the challenges faced by each generation, which leads to trust building. We have fostered new relationships between families, disconnected youth, police and others, resulting in stronger, more resilient communities. We have also developed a cohort of inspired trained young leaders to run further dialogues in the future to forge broader cohesion within the community, and empowered citizens with a new vision to serve their community.
One the biggest challenges faced by diaspora communities is intergenerational. When there is lack of communication, it can often result in unspoken conflict which remains unaddressed and affects the whole family.
If you’d like to get involved with this programme, you can volunteer with us – just fill in a request form for training in your community or get in touch for chat to find out more. You can email the founder, Amina Khalid for more information.