As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, a series of activities were launched this spring. A first training session of the first thematic cycle was held on May 12. The objective of this training was to highlight the importance of an approach based on sports or artistic practices in the prevention of violence and the creation of a bond of trust with young Montrealers. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the lessons learned, successes and potential challenges that can be encountered in this type of approach.
The activity was facilitated by Nicolas Barbeau-Lachance, founder and coordinator of the school of intervention through martial arts and combat sports at RAP Jeunesse and Cloé Daguet, counselor at the organization La Collective.
In addition, two clinical supervision activities of the 1st thematic cycle took place on May 19 and June 2. These clinical spaces aim to promote mutual aid and the horizontal transfer of knowledge by providing organizations with strong practices needs to find support and methodological coaching.
Some of the highlights of the training include:
- The Theatre of the Oppressed (TOP) is a participatory, supportive, and demanding practice that mobilizes the body as a vehicle for a message. It creates change and provides a framework for collective reappropriation and awareness on a variety of issues.
- Martial arts and combat sports can be a tool to support the modification of violent behaviors in young people, but also to be used for collective empowerment for certain at-risk or vulnerable populations.
- Although they are two disciplines that at first glance seem rather distant, i.e. combat sports and TOP, similarities and shared challenges in terms of intervention can be raised. Through body and movement, these practices require young people to learn continuously and to master themselves in order to act on interpersonal violence or to intervene on oppression.
Furthermore, the success of both disciplines requires active and sustained participation from the practitioners and the young people in order to be part of a long-term follow-up and intervention approach.
- It is beneficial for practitioners to name and introduce the underlying objectives of the intervention to the young people through the practice of sports or artistic activities, in order to preserve and strengthen the bond of trust.
The activities of this first cycle reached 25 workers from Montreal community organizations working to prevent juvenile violence.