Aik Saath, a Slough-based youth group which was formed to reduce conflict between Asian youths, has produced a 24-page booklet and 8-minute video which aims to train young people in resolving disputes in a non-violent way.
Aik Saath (‘Together As One’) was established in 1998 following a period of heightened tension and violence between different groups of Asian youths. Although the pretext for the violence was religious difference, Aik Saath identified disaffection, exclusion, low self-esteem and the need for a sense of belonging as factors leading to conflict.
In order to tackle these problems in a proactive way, a ‘peer education group’ was established in which young Asians from Sikh, Hindu and Muslim communities learned ‘conflict resolution’ skills. In turn, this initial group has gone on to train other young people.
The video resource Common Ground distils this experience into a package that can be used by youth workers based in any community. The video presents the story of Tee and Bucz who fight over a park where they both hang out. In the video, Tee ends up in custody but the video and booklet aim to show, through role-playing activities and awareness about how conflicts arise, how the dispute might have been resolved in a peaceful and constructive way.
Maggie Allen, Centre Manager at the Manor Park Young People’s Centre, said: ‘I have been privileged to experience the impact of this interactive video, written and performed by young people. It has helped create a better understanding of conflict and its effects. This is an invaluable learning tool which fosters community cohesion in troubled areas.’