New diaconal program teaches conflict transformation

The Learning Programme was developed with interdiac partner organizations. November 2020, Tallinn, Estonia consultative meeting. Photo: interdiac
The Learning Programme was developed with interdiac partner organizations. November 2020, Tallinn, Estonia consultative meeting. Photo: interdiac

Learning Programme focuses on Central and Eastern Europe context

(LWI) - The International Academy for Diaconia and Christian Social Action and Diaconia in Central and Eastern Europe (interdiac) offers a new Learning Programme that teaches diaconal players within the diverse regions of Central and Eastern Europe how to facilitate conflict transformation.

“We explore approaches to building up vision and practice towards a higher quality of well-being for people and for the promotion of new developments in society,” said Janka Adameová director and co-founder of interdiac.

This new learning initiative, in cooperation with interdiac partners in Central and Eastern Europe, is in response to the challenges toward peaceful living in the region. Interdiac works in cooperation with The Lutheran World Federation European Diaconal Process.

The Programme is based on the understanding that working on conflict and violence is based on previous experience and socialization,
Oksana Prosvirnina, Learning Programme Lecturer

The first teaching workshop of the Learning Programme was on 1 February online with participants and presenters from 13 countries representing a diverse ecumenical community, including some LWF member churches. The February workshop was the beginning of a year-long commitment from participants to learn the tools of conflict transformation.

Participants include pastors, deacons and social or diaconal workers, students and teachers exploring their work in multi-cultural contexts across Europe.

The Learning Programme was developed by the interdiac team through a consultative process with partner-organizations to ensure that theory and the practice of conflict transformation would be incorporated from differing perspectives. One of interdiac’s goals is to reveal new ways of recognizing and handling differences through work on conflict transformation.

Working together on the learning initiative

The Learning Programme is based on the understanding that long-lasting change starts with a change in personal narrative

“The Programme is built on the recognition that conflict is very often based on issues of identity and power, separately or combined, and that such conflict prevents convivial life together," said Programme Lecturer Oksana Prosvirnina. The interdiac describes conviviality as “the art and practice of living together.”

The first workshop started with personal reflections from the participants. “The Programme is based on the understanding that working on conflict and violence is based on previous experience and socialization,” Prosvirnina continued.

Participants develop knowledge and understanding of practices to help reduce or resolve conflict when working with people, enabling them to understand the roots of their conflict and work toward a resolution.

In future workshops, participants will explore group conflict and political conflict.

By interdiac. Edited by LWF/A.Gray


International Academy for Diakonia and Social Action (interdiac) is based in Český Těšín, Czech Republic. The non-profit educational organization partners with the Lutheran World Federation, the Silesian Diakonia – founded by the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession and receives financial support from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America an LWF member church.