More on the POG conference in Odessa…

As described above, Peacebuilding UK and partners conducted a 3-day Power of Goodness conference in Odessa 29 June – 1 July, open to all Ukrainian Power of Goodness practitioners who have attended at least 9 days of training in 2015-17. The conference was primarily a training and coordination event made up of a series of panel discussions and parallel master classes on the following themes:

1. Opening of the conference (panel discussion):
Participants noted that it was important for them to remember the common values, to define the goals and objectives of the conference, to learn how the project develops not only in Ukraine but also in the world.

During the panel discussion, talks were made by Nadine Hoover (USA, Indonesia) about the place of the project “The Power of Goodness” in the world peacebuilding movement, Chris Hunter (UK), on the history of the project in UK, Chechnya and Ukraine, Rustam Musaev (Chechnya), on the development of the project in Chechnya,
Elena Melnik (Ukraine), about the stages of the project development in Ukraine, the geographical scope of the project, the existing tasks and plans of the project development. Victoria Alexandrov (Ukraine) talked about the collection of Ukrainian stories for the collection ‘Power of Goodness’ in Ukraine and work with authors of stories in accordance with the criteria for new stories.

2. Peacebuilding and reconciliation.
The practical understanding of the transformative power of life and the algorithm of working with it,, as well as non-violent ways of conflict resolution, were valuable for the participants.
3. Ecology of the choice of form: Training or therapy, seminar or training session. What do you prefer?
The choice of this topic was important, because among the trainers of the project there are not only psychologists, but also teachers and volunteers without psychological and pedagogical training.
4. Use of art therapy when dealing with stories “The Power of Goodness”.
5. How to ensure the trainer and the group are on the same page? Methods of evaluating the effectiveness of training sessions with Power of Goodness.
6. The use of relaxation in the work on the stories of “the forces of goodness.”
During the Master class the methods for self-healing were given.
7. Development of emotional intellect through the methods of presentation of the text of stories “Power of Goodness”.
8. “The Power of Goodness”: self-knowledge, identity and personal transformation.
9. Values that unite us. My place in the project.

85% of the conference participants noted that thanks to the conference they were able to find a new vision and practical approaches to the work on “Power of Goodness” methods.
Substantial work was also conducted before and during the conference on editing new potential Ukrainian stories to add to the international pool of ‘Power of Goodness’ stories. Our partner Nadine Hoover, attending from the US, gave a lot of assistance with this and the work continues with Nadine’s input during weekly Skype meetings.
Independent evaluators of the Power of Goodness project in Ukraine were present at the conference and were able to interview many of those involved in the project, including conducting focus groups, to forward the work of the project evaluation.