We never asked the young people to talk about the conflict in their lives but instead focused on the fact that they had overcome conflict, and were continuing to transform conflict, that they are role models and we would explore the process, not their own life story.
We spent lots of time on team building, setting up agreed ways of working, and exploring what roles each preferred taking in a group.
We were strong about the distinction between Conflict Transformation and Conflict Resolution – we were talking about transforming conflict as being the critical process that needs to be explored and understood. We do not assume that the conflicts we experience reach a resolution or can reach a resolution – that is part of a longer journey where some will and some won’t. The important thing is the process, the journey.
Identity is a critical factor – young people need to choose their own identity – ethnic, national, political, cultural, sexual, gender, religious etc – and be given safe space within the work to test these for themselves as they are challenged by what they hear and experience from others. Part of this work may involve doing work around identity labels such as refugee, female, working class, drop out, and the connotations of belonging to a particular ethnic group etc.