- Target Audience
- General publicLocal community organisations/NGOsYouth/pupils/students
- key themes association
- Violent far-left extremismViolent right-wing extremism
The House of Peace Foundation is an NGO based in Wrocław, Poland. It runs programmes in the field of peace education, conflict management and peer mediation.
Since 2013, in close cooperation with the Municipality of Wrocław and the Municipal Social Assistance Center, it has been conducting pilot projects implementing conflict management methods in the Polish education system and in local communities.
The foundation is also managing the cross-sectoral ‘Romanian Roma Residents of Wroclaw Program’, which has been listed as one of ‘50 Out-of-the-box Housing Solutions to Homelessness and Housing Exclusion’ and has been presented as a good practice in Brussels during a meeting of the European Commission in 2019.
Type of Organisation: NGO
The aim of the practice is to build a safe space for dialogue among groups from radical right wing to radical left wing in the city of Wrocław and three smaller cities of Lower Silesia Region in Poland, using knowledge from the field of mediation and restorative justice. It is aimed to reduce polarisation and escalation of social conflicts in local communities. Thanks to creating a common space for understanding and decreasing common prejudices, we prevent violence and further radicalisation.
Our understanding of polarisation is that it stems from poorly established democratic mechanisms, a low level of cultural diversity, low social capital, and economic and ideological stratification in Polish society. The problem is also caused by narration of media that is based on populist slogans, stereotypes and antagonism. This can be seen outside large urban centres, in the Rust Belts (homogeneous ethnic structure and negligible activities to promote diversity).
Stages of the dialogue between polarised groups:
- Diagnosis on inflammatory subjects (media analysis and preliminary interviews with leaders of the social hubs of their community).
- Actors mapping (desk research and interview with opinion makers) and looking for allies, who are in good relations with extremist organisations (for example, representatives of Catholic Church and Human Rights Commissioner).
- Preparatory process (individual meetings with representatives of extremist organisations open for
- dialogue, building relations and trust, introducing rules of dialogue).
- Dialogic process – cycle of meetings between up to 30 participants (closed group) on subjects that are important for the group led by qualified facilitators.
- Individual mediation or smaller facilitated meetings around specific, problematic issues (for example, members of LGBT+ community and members of Catholic Church).
- Trainings for journalists about their role in the disinformation process and about impact of language in the context of conflict escalation. Building a network of journalists involved in counteracting disinformation.
- Scaling, mainstreaming and systemic change – Equal Treatment Council and Restorative Justice Council in Wrocław.
Educational podcasts and videos showing the challenges of local media and impact of language in the context of conflict escalation, Handbook ‘Model of building dialogue step by step’