Peaceful mind = peaceful future (strengthening youth workers impact against radicalization)

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 Peaceful mind = peaceful future (strengthening youth workers impact against radicalization) Learning for changeViolent Radicalization is the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

But, when, why, and how do people living in a democracy become radicalized to the point of being willing to use or directly support the use of terrorist violence against fellow citizens? And how can youth work intervene to address this challenge Europe is currently facing?

Over the past years, several terrorist attacks and foiled plots inspired by militant Islamism have grabbed European and American headlines. At the same time, one million asylum seekers and migrants reached Europe by sea last year (2017), and more than 65,000 crossed the Mediterranean in January 2018. Fearmongers talk up the threat of terrorism, demagogues thunder that asylum seekers just want to steal jobs or bleed the welfare system dry and xenophobes warn that Europe’s cultural identity is at risk.

Fear, demagogues and thread are taking huge dimensions in easy to manage target: the young people. Young people, lacking on their own critical thinking, are brainwashed by people, media, or social media. The attention and care deficiency from their homes intrigues youth into violence and abuse of fundamental values. Violence in schools is recognized as a major social problem that not only affects the well-being and educational achievement of students, but can undermine democratic values and education for citizenship.

The European Commission promotes actions empowering communities and key groups that are engaged in the prevention of terrorist radicalization and recruitment, one of which is youth work. Youth work can have a significant impact in cultivating critical thinking and fundamental values among young people, preventing this extremism, violence and radicalization. Given this, youth workers need competences and methods for preventing violent radicalization of young people, particularly to the hard to reach young people (minorities, migrants etc.).


Ognian Gadoularov

"Confident, Responsible, Engaging, Calm, Well-mannered, Passionate, Positive, Protective, Interesting, Creative, Communicative, Very friendly, REVOLUTIONARY" - These are just some words that my friends and colleagues have said about me. I leave you to judge whether they are true. I am Youth worker and Trainer from Bulgaria. Currently working as a trainer specialized in trainings for communication and presentation skills. I am involved in interactive teaching and environmental education for children and youth. Also prepares and educates instructors for working with children and young people. Expert in conducting adventure programs based on methods of experiential learning and improving team performance. Certified instructor in rock climbing and slack lining. Since the autumn of 2011 I am part of the team of trainers of SALTO EuroMed, intended to promote international team conducting trainings in the context of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and youth work.

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