Donna Craine – Programme Professional

August 21, 2015 | foundation4peace

Donna’s five steps to peace

P – Project at the Foundation everyone should know about

My Former Life is a multimedia educational resource that is aimed at people aged from 14-19. It is based around a documentary film that explores and shares the personal stories of four former extremists, or ‘Formers’. What I like about this project is that it brings real life experiences to young people with the aim of taking a young person through a journey of understanding and learning about the causes, effects, and legacies of violent extremism. My Former Life is a unique project that allows participants to engage with firsthand accounts of radicalisation, extremism and their consequences.

E – Extremism challenge that needs resolving

With all the comment on social media and in the news about the current refugee crisis, I think an important role for the Foundation is helping people to discuss the issue and develop an understanding of the reasons why people from conflict zones flee their own homes and seek safety in the UK and elsewhere. Many people have preconceived ideas about refugees and what motivates them to come to the UK even though they might never have met one. Through the Survivors Assistance Network (SAN) we bring people together who have experienced of a range of conflicts to talk about recovery from trauma and to share their experiences. By spending time with people who are different from themselves people become able to see the things that they have in common as well as the differences and to see them as human beings. I believe that we can all do more to broaden our frame of reference and maybe challenge our own perceptions about people who are different to us.

A – A fact people might know about the Foundation

We are situated right next door to a beautiful green space, Sankey Valley Country Park. This is ideal when The Peace Centre hosts functions or conferences as people have a nice space to break out to. Sometimes, when we run training we encourage the participants to make use of this space and go for a walk, talk about the course content and test ideas and theories.

I think it is really important to take the opportunity to enjoy fresh air and pleasant surroundings. Some of our participants, as a result of their experiences may not feel comfortable enjoying the outdoors alone so having the chance to go for a walk with a fellow participant or with the group can make a big difference.

C – Colleague at the Foundation you want people to

Neil is our Development Officer within the Commissions Management Office. His job is to research and develop new project proposals to tender to commissioners and to monitor compliance with service agreements and contracts. He also helps my team greatly with developing impact measurement tools so we know how we are creating change in our participant’s lives.

E – Everyone can help the cause of peace by….

Being open to new ideas and ready to challenge our perceptions about others.