To help young people connect safely during lockdown, within the social isolation measures imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, a new online, interactive programme was developed – DARE to Connect Safely.
The programme is being delivered by TIDES Training (who are core funded by the Community Relations Council) and in partnership with Bryson Care.
Due to not being able to deliver peace training in face-to-face groups, DARE to Connect Safely brings people together via a virtual space as a Facebook Group. In coming together, they create a common understanding of safety, calming and peace despite much uncertainty.
The programme is part of the DARE to Lead Change programme supported by the European Union's PEACE IV Programme and delivered by DARE/TIDES Regional Trainer, Carole Kane.
The Creative Process
The creative process taps into available resources: there may be lockdown, but Summer is bursting out all around. Also, it is important for people to engage in a daily walk and connect with self, others and nature.
There are various entry points:
- Initially, participants are invited to go for a walk and intentionally engage their senses; to see, feel, hear, taste, touch. Based on whatever catches peoples’ attention on their walk, they are invited to take a photograph or make a drawing and accompany this with a descriptive phrase, set of three words or write a Haiku. These are shared in the Facebook Group. It is not a competition and keeping the process simple, works best. Words are then collated into a collective poem on a daily basis and shared on the discussion thread.
- At the start of this process, DARE regional trainer and mediator, Carole Kane, shared live sessions which gave some grounding and context to the page – linking practical engagement with theories relating to peace. These can still be seen in the group. These slots have now evolved into bi-weekly “reflections” which frame the opportunity for people to do a little free writing or drawing.
- These slots have also evolved into weekly interactive Zoom sessions also led by Carole which last for one hour. They are growing in numbers and open to whoever wants to be involved. Again, they relate to theories of peacebuilding.
Promoting Safety and Hope
The main aim of DARE to Connect Safely is to use a Facebook group as a platform to promote a sense of safety, calming and hope.
Research states that these interventions and preventative efforts should be made in the early to mid-stages of broader public health and emergency management, and therefore relevant in this pandemic crisis.
Participation in the group offers a sense of self and collective value as individuals can be involved alone or connect with others.
Anyone can get involved
Anyone can get involved, whether they have participated on a DARE programme before or want to get involve now for the first time.
To get connected and join in, just send a “friend request” to the Facebook Group.
Tides Training is core funded by the Community Relations Council. Learn more about CRC’s Core Funding Scheme.
Find out more about the Dare to Connect Safely project here: https://www.brysonintercultural.org/news/dare-to-connect-safely