As a peacebuilding pracademic, I reflect daily on how to continue positively transforming our world. 

With many of us now at home, the opportunity to pause and analyze who we are, where we are now, and where we want to go is even more possible. In this moment, there are more chances to discover new ways to be engaged and build stronger communities, particularly online. 

Working with Soliya as an Online Intercultural Dialogue Facilitator during these times has been a profound experience, as I meet students around the world who are all in quarantine and trying to make the best of the situation. 

I additionally opted to facilitate courses in partnership with Sharing Perspectives Foundation, such as “Youth, Peace, and Security”. Their free courses are open to youth between 18-30 and present a meaningful opportunity to connect with passionate individuals who are in the process of making a social impact or already have peacebuilding experience. 

As a facilitator, I help navigate the dialogue process and am personally inspired by their social impact projects and how students support and learn from one another.

I’m currently a 2020 Initiatives of Change Community Trustbuilding Fellow, and I’ve realized even more how complex feelings of uncertainty can make a difference in how we view ourselves, individuals, groups, and our world. 

Many people often cling to what is familiar to them or thrive in an organized structure. These elements have been disrupted, as we all navigate our daily lives. 

Sometimes we must put trust in the unknown and go outside of our comfort zones to make a difference. Though we will never know what can happen if we remain inactive. 

The online world has presented itself with new possibilities in cultivating peace, and I wish all of you much success in being able to continue connecting, building bridges, and finding enriching new virtual experiences that may last a lifetime!

Submitted by: Yehuda Silverman 
Country: Canada
UNAOC Programme: EUNA Fellowship 
Year: 2018

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