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Activating Young Peacebuilders in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq through University Partnership

PREP project director Katerina Siira spoke at the NYU Conflict, Development and Security series at the Wagner school. She described the work of PREP and offered frank reflections on its work in strengthening youth peacebuilding capacity in Iraq in light of the international community’s overemphasis on livelihoods and education programming that have proven to be ineffective. That work has included 200 Community Peace Education workshops and the the participatory and contextualized process of co-developing and co-facilitating a conflict transformation simulation exercise with CGA alumna Love Odih Kumuyi and Dr. Mamoun Mohammed, a trainer at the University of Duhok Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies in three communities in Iraq. She shared her initial findings that participating youth indicated that the non-proscriptive three-day role playing exercise in a semi-fictionalized world, allowed them to develop confidence, enhance problem solving skills, and address vertical inequalities between youth and traditional power holders, and horizontal inequalities among youth.