Building community resilience: insights from a transformative training on countering violent extremism

The training on strengthening resilient communities against violent extremism proved to be a significant and participatory event, engaging 30 professionals from various fields, including education, healthcare, social services, and more. Their active participation fostered an atmosphere rich in valuable exchanges of professional experiences and knowledge. Professionals gained insights into the complex challenges of violent extremism, providing a suitable platform to share their experiences and practices. Due to the diversity of participants, the training reflected a wide range of perspectives and possibilities for addressing community issues related to extremism. Throughout the training sessions, professionals actively discussed strategies and tools for enhancing community resilience, successfully identifying and addressing factors contributing to violent extremism in their local contexts.

The feedback survey-based overall evaluation of the training indicates high preparedness and satisfaction with the content and format. Professionals expressed that they gained new knowledge and necessary tools to address the complex challenges their societies face. This active participation and focus on the practical application of lessons turn this training into a gateway for capacity development, preparing participants to confront future challenges related to violent extremism.

Psychologist Nora shared her perspective, stating, “The training was a rich and fruitful experience for me as a psychologist. Discussions about the impact of violent extremism on the mental and emotional health of young people were crucial. The outlined strategies for identifying risk factors and strengthening emotional abilities were highly valued. With the tools acquired, we will be able to focus on supporting the mental health of young people.” Coordinator for Violent Extremism in Schools, Arlind, emphasized, “Participation in this training was a crucial step in my preparation to face the challenges of extremism in the school environment. Discussions and the exchange of best practices with psychologists and other professionals were very helpful. I valued the training as a significant resource to build a joint strategy for identifying and addressing risk factors.” Representative from Administrative Unit No. 1, highlighted the essential role of local authorities in strengthening communities against violent extremism. The training assisted them in coordinating local efforts to address contributing factors, emphasizing collaboration with non-governmental organizations and professionals from various fields as a key aspect that increased their local capacities to respond to this complex challenge.