I have often asked myself: “How can you empower people to find their point of view and assume responsibility in civil society?”
My name is Ursula Krieger. My background is in the education sector; after my studies I worked as a teacher and in political education. My path has not always been straight-forward and a standard 40-hour job is not for me. Besides teaching, I have also done volunteer work and co-founded grassroots organisations in Germany. I have often asked myself: “How can you empower people to find their point of view and assume responsibility in civil society?” Most recently, I was a teacher at a school in Palestine. There, I was able to experience everything from a different perspective. I met many people in peace and conflict work, whose work impressed and inspired me. That is also how I heard about the Academy for Conflict Transformation.
I am not sure yet if I will incorporate the knowledge and skills I have gained during the training course into my projects here in Germany, or if I want to work abroad again. There are so many diverse fields and areas worldwide, but also in Germany, in which peace experts are needed.
The training course at the Academy provides me with new impulses and new insights into all these areas every week. I was most impressed by the people I got to know during the training course. The trainers and the other participants are all such interesting and inspiring people. The topic of peace and non-violent conflict transformation is close to all our hearts. That connects us! It creates trust and a safe space, in which we can let go and try new things. We are almost like a big family.
Of course, not everything is always easy, sometimes it can be difficult. The group and the trainer team are very diverse, and the global south plays a big role, too. These are exactly the differences we work with. The different perspectives are irreplaceable. At the same time, the varying and partly unfamiliar approaches are often a challenge.
The concept of the training course is holistic: Beyond the teaching of skills and methods, the group processes and the process of finding oneself are just as important for the work on conflicts. That takes time and a certain freedom, which are provided here. For that I am very thankful.