Violence prevention in Jordanian schools - also during corona

Resolving conflicts without violence, mediating disputes, resolving bullying situations and practising democratic participation - the project "Promoting non-violent conflict management" aims to implement these skills in ten Jordanian schools, for which Starkmacher is working together with Caritas Jordan. The project is financed by the Federal Foreign Office and supported by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IfA).
This article:
05.11.2021 / 12 Uhr

Project overview: Solving conflicts without violence

Like many countries in transition, Jordan is also confronted with difficult socio-economic and political problems. The corona pandemic is exacerbating the problems. There is a growing risk that prejudices, conflicts and violence will continue to grow. Schools are also a focal point for such conflicts, which is why the project aims to strengthen children, young people and teachers in non-violent conflict management.

In addition to continuing its work in five already cooperating schools, the project is now active in five more schools. A pilot course for parents is also planned. In 2021, a conference will take place to present the project and the project results to a broader (professional) audience and thus also provide the impetus for further dissemination.

Project is carried out online

After the outbreak of the Corona pandemic prevented the planned implementation of the project and thus all schools were closed, all those involved in the project hoped that the situation would ease again with the start of the new school year and the schools could reopen. Unfortunately, this hope has been dashed due to the worsening Covid 19 pandemic. As of autumn 2020, the schools will remain closed until probably January.

Intensive discussions were held with colleagues from Caritas Jordan on how to implement the project online. Fortunately, there is direct contact with the schools (teachers and students). The first in-depth seminars with the Caritas Jordan multipliers took place online already in the summer. The focus was on activities to promote social learning in classes as a complement to the programmes for dispute resolution (peer mediation) and the bullying intervention approach "No Blame Approach". Preparations are currently underway for direct online seminars with schools focusing on bullying and cyberbullying interventions.

Project also under corona conditions

In the second year of the project, another five schools were added, which were now trained in digital workshops. With the introduction of online teaching, there was an enormous need to address cyberbullying. The Jordanian multipliers developed a cyberbullying workshop for teachers and young people together with the German trainer. The feedback was very positive, especially the young people thought afterwards about how they could spread the impulses acquired in the workshop.

Involvement of parents

In the third year of the project, another element was added: a more active involvement of parents. The project staff designed a special parents' workshop with the aim of communicating the pedagogical approaches and further sensitising parents to the dangers of cyberbullying. It had become clear beforehand that many parents underestimated the effects of cyberbullying.

Although the continuation of the project under pandemic conditions was more elaborate and challenging, it was nevertheless possible to successfully convey the contents.

Summer Camps in summer 2021

In the summer of 2021, small decentralised summer camps could actually be offered for the participating schools. The young people enjoyed meeting in presence with young people from another school, they could exchange ideas and get new impulses. At the beginning of the new school year, the schools have opened again, which also supports the further implementation of the project elements.

How can the violence prevention approaches be further disseminated after the end of the project? This question will be addressed by the project staff of Caritas Jordan and Starkmacher e.V. as well as teachers, experts and representatives of the Ministry of Education at a project presentation organised jointly with the Department of Social Work of the German-Jordanian University in Amman. Teachers and young people from the participating schools are invited to share their experiences.

Here is a project video by Caritas Jordan (with subtitles):

Jordanian Minister of Education supports project

Good news for the project cause is that the Jordanian colleagues were able to present the project to the Minister of Education and he subsequently expressed interest in distributing the project materials on dispute resolution and bullying.

Government support from Germany

The project is organised by Starkmacher e.V. in cooperation with Caritas Jordan and is financed and supported by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office.