The Trainers

Global Youth Rising will be a collaborate space where you can share your experiences and ideas, as well as having the opportunity to learn from other passionate youth activists and peacebuilders from around the world. However, several experienced trainers from the field will also be present to deliver engaging workshops and training sessions on a variety of key topics.

So far, trainers will include: 


Kristin Famula, National Peace Academy

Kristin Famula, National Peace Academy. Kristin serves as President of the National Peace Academy, which is dedicated to holistic peacebuilding by focusing on developing and offering learning opportunities for bringing forth the peacebuilder in all of us.  Among her activities with NPA, Kristin supports the work of the Truth Telling Project, a U.S.-based group addressing racial inequities in the U.S. through a peacebuilding lens. Kristin also serves as a religious educator within the Unitarian Universalist faith. In this capacity she has created innovative educational opportunities, including, an all-ages program dedicated to service and social justice, a youth curriculum designed to explore the justice issues around immigration in the United States,  and a national workbook for building peace in churches, and has led several service learning trips helping integrate the inner and outer work for social justice.

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Asma Khalifa

Asma Khalifa is a Libyan activist and researcher. She has been working in civil society on human rights, women’s rights and youth empowerment since 2011. Since then Asma became a research student in MA-Peace and Conflict studies, and has started to work on peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Asma is a co-founder at Tamazight Women Movement, a think/do tank that is working on gender equality and research on the indigenous women of Libya and North Africa. She is also a trainer at the “ Young Peace-builders” project by Tripoli Good, a local NGO in Tripoli.



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Bjørn Ihler

Bjørn Ihler is an activist, lecturer, filmmaker, designer and writer working to promote peace and human rights. His work is influenced by his experiences as a survivor of the attack on Utøya Island in Norway on 22/7/2011; however political activism and work to prevent violence and hatred and to build communities resilient to this has always been among his core interests. Bjørn graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Performance Design and Technology from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in 2013, where he focused on video for stage productions, and he is currently approaching a Masters Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Hacettepe University in Turkey where he focuses on narratives, conflict transformation and peace psychology in the case of violent extremism in Europe. His video work has been part of performances on a range of stages, including The Barbican Theatre in London and the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo. 



Jo Berry, Building Bridges for Peace

Jo Berry, Building Bridges for Peace. Jo is the epitome of triumph over adversity and challenge. When an IRA bomb, planted in the Grand Hotel, Brighton killed her father, Sir Anthony Berry MP, she had a choice. She could choose to harbor hatred and anger-craving revenge, or seek understanding and so bring peace back into her life. Her extraordinary journey has led to her to become an established ambassador for peace and reconciliation worldwide. She is experienced in working as a trainer and facilitator in story telling, dialogue and creating a safe emotional place to explore personal reconciliation and transformation. Jo is frequently invited to speak at international conferences and seminars in the world of humanitarian aid, conflict resolution and human rights. She  founded  Building Bridges for Peace and has presented at TEDx Exeter a talk entitled “Disarming with Empathy.”

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Dr Gal Harnat, UN mandated University for Peace

Dr Gal Harmat, United Nations mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica.  Dr. Gal Harmat is an Assistant Professor, Gender and Peacebuilding Programme, Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies at the UN Mandated University for Peace. She was a professor in conflict transformation, peace education and gender and Co-Director of the Social Justice and Peace Education Teachers Training Program, Kibbutzim Teachers College in Tel Aviv, Israel. She has also been teaching in the World Peace Academy (University of Basel), the European Peace University (Austria), and the Arts and Social Change College in Israel. As a Gender and Peacebuilding Specialist, she has extensive experience in training, conflict analysis, dialogue facilitation, capacity building, peace education, research, gender empowerment and gender mainstreaming since 1998 in various countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, and West and South East Asia.



Kai Fritjhof Brand-Jacobsen, PATRIR

Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen,  PATRIR. Kai is the director of the Department of Peace Operations at PATRIR and is regarded as one of the leading pioneers, innovators and practitioners in the field of peacebuilding in the world today. For nearly 20 years he has worked across all continents and many of the most challenging war zones and crisis situations in the world at the invitation of governments, international agencies, and communities affected by war. He is before all else a practitioner working on the ground to prevent violent conflicts, end wars, and support reconciliation and healing after violence. He is also invited around the world to speak to audiences, governments, and national and international organizations, as one of the world’s leading trainers for professionals, experts and leadership, and to teach at many of the world’s foremost universities.


Guido de Graaf Bierbrauwer, PAX

Guido de Graaf Bierbrauwer, PAX. Guido developed the concept of Peace Activism 2.0 and currently manages The Activist Hive, a project of the Dutch peace organisation PAX to support the on- and offline community of activists worldwide in their quest for peaceful change. In his almost twenty years of peace work, Guido rallied civil society organisations and activists from all parts of the world to collectively put pressure on the UN and UN member states to recognise and support the key role of civil society in the prevention of armed conflict, he was engaged in second track dialogue processes in the South Caucasus, with a focus on the conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, and focuses on making the field more strategic, more innovative, and more inclusive (meaning: include more young activists and unusual suspects) .


Meghann Villanueva

Meghann Villanueva is a freelance trainer on Conflict Transformation, Peace and Human Rights Education, and Nonviolent Communication. As a consultant, she specializes as a strategist in sustainable peacebuilding and youth work, having worked in this sector for the past 10 years.Meghann is a co-founder of the Peace Superheroes project (PSH). She has an extensive background in grassroots peace and conflict work, having lived in the Philippines (her home country), USA and Spain. She currently lives in Zugdidi, Georgia where she is exploring alternative ways to bridge peacebuilding work and environmental sustainability through a social enterprise start-up.  She supports UNOY Peacebuilders‘ advocacy work on youth, peace and security and preventing violent extremism as an external advocacy adviser.


Katrien Hertog, IAHV

Katrien Hertog, IAHVDr. Katrien Hertog is a peacebuilding researcher, trainer and practitioner with 15 years of experience in the academic and non-governmental sector. She is Director Peacebuilding Programs for the International Association for Human Values, which specialises in effectively transforming mindsets, attitudes, wellbeing and behaviour of all people involved in or affected by conflict and violence.  With an MA in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford and a PhD from the Centre for Peace Research at the University of Leuven, Dr. Hertog has worked as project manager for different peacebuilding INGO’s and as Senior Peacebuilding Trainer and Facilitator at International Alert. She has trained 1500+ people, including UN and EU personnel, Dutch and UK government, NGO’s and CSO’s, students, journalists, refugees and prisoners.

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Manuela Puscas, Peace Revolution

Manuela Puscas, Peace RevolutionManuela is a mindfulness and meditation coach, trainer and mentor with World Peace Initiative, Peace Revolution project. She has had extensive training on peace education and peacebuilding in Asia and Europe. She is passionate about exploring the idea of peace in a holistic manner and tapping into the individual potential through self empowerment. She believes that the mind and imagination are our most powerful assets. The quality of our thoughts, our inner talk and individual peace determines the quality of our lives. She is passionate about exploring ways to remain peaceful and balanced amidst the rush and expectations of modern life.




Pim Gerritsen, PAX

Pim Gerritsen, PAXPim comes from the Netherlands, but has a profound love for the Middle East and the many beautiful and creative initiatives for social change. By building links, supporting creative initiatives and sharing the stories of young peace activists he aims to support the work of young change makers in the Middle East. Pim works for the International Peace Organization PAX (the Activist Hive) and co–founded ‘M.OOST’, a Dutch initiative to show the inspiration and beauty of the Middle East, an alternative story, in the Netherlands (





Celina del Felice

Dr. Celina Del Felice is a peace educator, youth worker and researcher originally from  Argentina and currently based in Spain. She is an e-learning tutor and educator for the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, the Network University and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Master in Conflict Studies). She has worked in the past for the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (2003-2006) and since then she cooperates with this network as an external resource person. Currently, she is involved with UNOY and PATRIR in a project to improve monitoring, evaluation and learning capacities in youth peace organisations. In 2015, she co-edited a book called “Peace Education Evaluation: Learning from Experience and Exploring Prospects”.

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Andra Tanase, PATRIR

  Andra Tanase, PATRIR. Andra has lived in several countries and graduated with a Masters degree from the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. She has a background in Economics and International Studies from Macalester College in the USA. Her work includes international training and facilitation, peace and development research and programme coordination on the themes of peacebuilding and conflict transformation, conflict mapping, development cooperation, development education, human rights, multicultural communication and organisational management. Andra has worked with PATRIR, the Romanian Peace Institute, participated in the Board of FOND, the Romanian NGDO platform and also was engaged as the vice-chair of the Development Education Forum of CONCORD.

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Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, Youth Icons Ghana

Nana Yaw Osei-Darwka, Youth Icons GhanaNana is a renowned young Ghanaian peace and nonviolence activist and Founding President of Youth Icons Ghana, a vibrant youth-oriented nonprofit organization committed to the empowerment of the youth of Ghana and Africa that creates a platform for young people to engage in peace and nonviolence education, socially conscious leadership, community service and global friendship. He has led several nationwide peace education campaigns in Ghana and a multiple awards winner for peace and nonviolence  promotion in Ghana and beyond. He is a co-author of a global book project  titled ” Kingian Nonviolence : Applications for International & Institutional Change ” published by the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies of the University of Rhode Island USA where he is an alumni and the first recipient of the Bruce W. Tancrell Memorial Scholarship for Peace and Nonviolence education and promotion. Nana is a level II certified trainer of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, University of Rhode Island USA.


Imre Veeneman, UNOY

Imre Veeneman, United Network of Young PeacebuildersImre is a Program Coordinator of UNOY Peacebuilders, she is responsible for the capacity development program at the International Secretariat of the network based in The Hague, The Netherlands. She has been involved in the creation of on- and offline training courses and tool kits for youth organisations active in the field of peacebuilding, with a specific focus on training multipliers and trainers in peace education and conflict transformation. Currently she is coordinating a partnership to improve monitoring, evaluation and learning capacities in youth peace organisations. Imre holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology with a focus on youth, refugees and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Romeral Quintilla, UN Volunteers

Romeral Quintilla, UN Volunteers. Romeral Is the Regional Peace and Citizen Security specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean at the UN Volunteers Program Regional Office in Panama. She works on designing and providing support to programs on peacebuilding in the region highlighting the role of volunteerism in preventing violence and building peace.
She herself is active as a volunteer trainer in developping the competences of young people on peace, nonviolence and conflict transformation.
She is a member of the Youth Advocacy Team of UNOY and a committed advocate of the UNCSR 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security.
In 2009 she did her European Voluntary Service at PATRIR and since then she has grown as peace practitionner from volunteer, coordinator and trainer positions in many projects related to youth role in social inclusion, peace, disarmament and development from grassroots and youth organizations to international institutions (EU and UN) in Europe, MENA region and Latin America.

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Sabin Muresan

Sabin Muresan has been involved with civil society organizations for the past fifteen years and has been working with PATRIR since 2001 as peaceworker, programme manager, researcher, strategist and trainer. He has been closely involved with organizations and communities across Romania and internationally, focusing on peacebuilding, conflict transformation by peaceful means, prevention and eradication of various forms of violence, promoting equality between men and women and promoting alternative and informal education for young people and adults. In the recent years he has been focusing on developing inner-to-social transformation and peace projects.


Ms Alexandra Matei

Alexandra Matei, World Vision

Alexandra Matei, World VisionBorn in 1988 in Romania, Alexandra is currently acting as Policy and Advocacy Officer with World Vision in Brussels, working at the European Union level to influence its external policies in the development, humanitarian and peacebuilding sector. Holding a Master degree in Human Rights Law and Research from University of Manchester, UK and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences from University of Babes Bolyai, Romania, Alexandra has a wealthy experience in youth rights, conflict prevention, resilience and disaster management. As a strong advocate of children and young people’s participation since 2009, Alexandra has also initiated the European Partnership for Children and Youth in Peacebuilding with headquarters in Brussels. Past working experience includes Council of Europe and European Commission.


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David Prater, War Prevention Initiative

David Prater, War Prevention Initiative. serves as Program Manager at the War Prevention Initiative where he focuses his work on communicating the social and economic costs of war and the promotion of nonviolent alternatives to conflict. David is also co-editor of the Peace Science Digest, a research publication providing access and useful analysis to top research from the field of Peace and Conflict Studies. David holds a M.S. degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University.  Prior to his interest in Peacebuilding, David worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as a civilian navigator and rescue swimmer. Over the period of three years, his work took him across the Middle East, Europe and South America. While experiencing many regional conflicts through the lens of an American DOD employee, David took interest in learning about the more viable, nonviolent alternatives to address conflict; alternatives that don’t involve the traditional tactics seen in today’s foreign policy and warfare.


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Manas Dowlani, International Youth Council

Manas Downlani, International Youth Council. Manas is a creative thinker, MENSA member and a Young Leader towards sustainable development. He is currently the Global Executive Designate at the International Youth Council and has also served as the Country Coordinator for the Youth Assembly at the United Nations amongst other things. Manas currently works with the Policy and Strategy Group of the UN’s World We Want and as a social entrepreneur he leads the Indian Legal Foundation as its CEO. He remains involved with various global organizations such as the International Bar Association, World Energy Forum and Karios Society, where he remains committed to growing their outreach internationally.