LivingSidebySide® Success Story
Developed and tested over three decades, LivingSidebySide® features complete manuals for facilitators, worksheets for participants, and custom training and certification services. The program has been implemented with mixed populations in the US, and with Israelis and Palestinians, Northern Irish Protestants and Catholics, various Nigerian groups, and Croats, Muslims, and Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Since 2014 Legacy International has implemented a pilot program of the LivingSidebySide® program in the Kyrgyz Republic. Biloldin was 16 years old living in Kara-Suu, Kyrgyzstan. Prior to participation in the LivingSidebySide® Peace Building Program, Biloldin kept his pain to himself, not knowing with whom to share and generally wondering whether anybody would understand him. After becoming a member of this project, he did not immediately reveal it to their peers, but when the class started learning the topic “overcoming the influence of prejudices” he could not control his emotions. On that day we all stayed and listened until he told us everything including the smallest details and added that he felt as a stone dropped from his soul. For the first time he felt at ease, because people listened to him with understanding and gave him moral support. Biloldin said: “I told you my story with ease and confidence for the first time in my life without fear of stigma and misunderstanding. Having become a participant of the LivingSidebySide® Peace Building Program I realized that we must look at many things with tolerance, be tough with challenges and non judgmental with people. The power of a person is in the ability to forgive others” He began to trust people, and realized that if problems are shared with others, there could be many solutions to the problem. He himself began to understand, respect and appreciate personal qualities in other people. “Now I will apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the project in my life.”