Friday, 18. September 2015
I came here to listen: peacecamp 2015 in Lackenhof

36 youngsters from four different cultures and nations – Jewish and Palestinian from Israel, Hungarian from Budapest and Austrian – and 14 adults, experts in the fields of education, art and psychology, met from July 5th to 15th, 2015 in the midst and solitude of the Austrian Ötscher mountains for a 13th peacecamp to discuss the meaning of the word peace in the light of the relevant contemporary issues within their respective countries.

At home, before they came, they had reflected on “4 questions about peace”, prepared a documentation of their families, prepared a “Culture Evening” and a documentary about the ways in which minorities are being related to within their respective groups and societies.

During the peacecamp, enjoyable, playful, exciting, creative, but also serious and challenging workshops offered various opportunities to elaborate on these topics and to debate the issues which stand in the way to peaceful cooperation and coexistence between the groups and people of their respective countries.

A daily “large group” discussion led by an expert offered opportunities to practice active listening – a listening that allows addressing complex issues from one’s own subjective perspective and withholds knee-jerk reactions which obstruct the way to empathic and constructive discussion.

A final show4peace presented to a large audience in a theatre in Vienna gave evidence of what was elaborated upon and worked through at peacecamp. Within a formal act all participants were awarded with the EU Youthpass as well as the “Ambassador of peace” certificate – endorsement of the mission to pursue peacebuilding activities within their own home context.

peacecamp owes gratitude to its sponsors: EU-Programme Erasmus+, Karl-Kahane-Foundation, wienXtra, Federal Ministry of Education and Women's Affairs, Province of Lower Austria, Rotary Club Perchtoldsdorf as well as a large number of generous private donors.