Name of the project: Thanks but no Tanks
Date: 27th August 2017 – 03rs September 2017
Country/City: Austria – Velden

What was the main topic of the event?

Ann Aro – The project was nonviolent communication
Aliis-Nett Seppel – We spent the first half of the week working and developing our knowledge about how to deal with social conflicts and use non-violent communication as a tool for peace building. Apart from this we also focused on our own societies and had time to analyze what each country needed and develop an idea to improve the situation on a local level.

What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?

Ann Aro –I think I learned so much about other cultures. We even had presentations from UK and Cyprus participants about what type of conflicts there are in those two countries. Also we did lots of teamwork where I heard from different people what type of values are prominent in their countries. I think it made me understand those countries a lot better.
The most important thing I learned was how our environment changes us. The first day we had to work as a team was hard. Because people did not communicate very well but as the days went on people started to adapt to the new environment. In the end the teamwork was very good.
In conclusion I think in the future I would also start to look more into the environment we live in. Because it could hold a solution for our problems. Before I use to look into the individuals/events that were blamed for the problems.
Aliis-Nett Seppel – My personal biggest ‘Ahhaa’ moment was when we learned about the spiral dynamics theory, which explained how individuals and society develops in a certain way. It gave a very clear understanding of why the development goes in certain steps, as we did a simulation of social evolution, working both individually and in teams, and later analyzed how development needs these different stages.

Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?

Ann Aro – I think I’m going to take what I learned and apply it on my EVS. In what way I do not know yet but will see.
Aliis-Nett Seppel – I am very interested in further development of the campaign, as the group was very motivating and we got a lot of inspiration through workshops, where we got the necessary tools to start building it.

Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?

Ann Aro – Yes I would I think it would be eye-opening training for lots of people. Because for me it really opened up my mind about where does the problem lie in today’s society.
Aliis-Nett Seppel – I would definitely recommend this because such a project is a great opportunity to learn something that can actually bring value in your community, but also because all of the activities are done in a way that you’re never bored and it makes you value time as you want to spend every moment you’re there wisely.

This Project was financed by European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme