Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution
Through our programs, hundreds of youths and young adults from the United States and from war-torn parts of the globe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Cambodia, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Georgia and Abkhazia, Northern Ireland, and South Africa) have begun a process of personal healing and constructing new purpose and hope for their societies. Participants gain the skills and shift in perspectives needed to begin to break cycles of intolerance and violence and transition from a culture of conflict to a culture of participation, with respect for rule of law.
When the goal is to develop tolerance, Legacy establishes the foundation and sets the stage; carefully creating the environment in which the interaction will take place; getting agreement from each person to fully participate.
Once the foundation is laid, participant are guided through the different levels. At the first stage, the goal is to build familiarity among the participants utilizing the communication skills of listening and of expressing oneself.
At the second level, participants come to a state of recognition of their common humanity. Here the skills include gaining a sense of identity of self and identity of others through cross cultural understanding.
Building upon that, the third level, is a discussion of common concerns. At this stage, the skills of analysis, the understanding of the importance of restraint, and the values of generosity and empathy are brought forth.
The highest level is mutual problem solving, where relationships have been built and there is a level of trust.
This is not a linear process, depending upon the goal and where there is no severe conflict, several of the first levels, may be enough for respectful co-existence to blossom.