By Sarah Dolah and Linda Skogsby, DPC Trainers for Fryshuset, Sweden
Fryshuset is Sweden's biggest youth organisation, focusing particularly on working with youth at risk of finding themselves in destructive environments. We believe that young people can change the world by following their passions.
Young Peacebuilders is a project that trains young leaders in peacebuilding and mediation, so that youth can inspire youth to build safe and peaceful communities around them.
Our collaboration with DPC and Different Tracks has been central to the project and we are now proud to say that we are moving towards becoming a DPC Hub, as the method has been incorporated in our organisation and sought after by external actors in Sweden. Since 2018 we have trained 85 young leaders in DPC. This fall, Linda Skogsby and Sarah Dolah became accredited trainers in DPC, which marks a big cornerstone for us.
Here are some of Linda’s and Sarah’s reflections on the past couple of months working with DPC in Sweden:
Linda: Working with DPC in this project has been incredibly instructive and empowering. My journey with DPC has been quite intense and I have learned so much and grown as a person and facilitator together with the methods. It is a lot to take in and to grasp the flow of the methodology, that has been a challenge. I believe so much in DPC and therefore I want to know and understand everything and more around it, but hey, it takes time! The experience to stand in front of the room has had its ups and downs, but together with an amazing team and coaches I’m finally an accredited trainer and looking forward to the next chapter of DPC in Sweden.
Sarah: I sometimes have to stop and take a moment to think about how we got here. Five years ago, I became a DPC Facilitator attending a training in Corrymeela, and was first introduced to the methodology. I thought, I want to work with this! And now here we are, building a hub in Sweden, and I’m really so happy and proud of how far we’ve got with this. I feel like I’ve grown so much with this work, and I’ve stepped into the role of a trainer feeling like I’m eager for more. I would like to become a coach! The project will continue until September 2021, and we are hopeful to train more trainers, and to be able to give more trainings outside of the organisation, as interest is growing for learning more about mediation and conflict resolution in Sweden. The need is certainly there.
Reflecting on a training we did in September, in Nyköping, together with DPC Coach Courtnae Dunn:
Linda: This was the first training of the year, and it had almost been a year without any trainings. I think it went really well. We had a group of coworkers and young people from all over Sweden, and they all had a clear purpose of why they were there. With Courtnae as a coach I learned a lot during that week. I got to throw myself out there again with her and Sarah's support and feedback. All the participants are working in the field and in various different environments. I felt that we managed to get these different types of field workers together and they all saw how this methodology can be used in their daily work, but also how they can learn from each others' work.
Sarah: What an amazing coach Courtnae is! In working with this training Linda and I soaked up all the feedback we got, and took every moment to learn from Courtnae. The fact that she is in Stockholm and can be a part of this work is a blessing. The group was great, we had a mix of ages, backgrounds and fields of work, though everyone in some way worked with youth. This really set Linda and me up for the upcoming training, where we were going to hold the room by ourselves.
Reflecting on the first training we did as a team in October:
Linda: This was the first training I and Sarah Dolah held by ourselves, without a coach in the room. And wow, what an experience. We had a younger group, from the age of 15, with were 8 participants.
We had a few worries before entering the training, but what an amazing group to
work with. They were really engaged and grasped the methodology without a problem. We had really interesting reflections and they could relate to it in a different way than our co-workers in the previous training.
Sarah: This was a big moment – Linda and I training by ourselves and our first time selling the training to an external actor. And it went incredibly well! As Linda said, the group was wonderful, and we can really attest to that 15-18 year-olds grasp the ideas in DPC very well. They are living in it, right now. We had guidance from Colin and from Jim Hyde, DPC Coach from the USA, who had experience with younger groups from before. And what I really took away from Jim’s coaching was: "Teach if you need to”. If the group is already there, reflecting on the right things, and bringing out the knowledge by themselves, confirm their hard work and the learning they’re bringing to the rest of the room. This happened a lot with this group and we learned as much from them as they did from us.
We’re really looking forward to more trainings, but are held up a bit by Corona at the moment. So, we are focusing on digitalising some of the modules and preparing for how to deliver training in that way, in collaboration with Colin. But also hoping that we can get out there physically next year – as this is what really gives us energy: meeting young people and supporting them in their work to create a more peaceful Sweden.
Fryshuset DPC trainings in September 2020 (left) and 2019 (right).