In December 2017, I travelled to Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, to work with the faculty of Lviv Polytechnic National University.
With ongoing conflict in the eastern part of the Ukraine, and the influx of internally displaced people into more central and western regions of the country, the Lviv Polytechnic National University requested the assistance of AWB to develop a program in participatory action research (PAR). In PAR, researchers and community members work together to understand challenges facing the community and find solutions to address them. In the process of co-developing a culturally appropriate PAR research course for Lviv Polytechnic, I facilitated a five-day PAR workshop with academics, graduate students and local professionals. The ongoing work of faculty and community will support the development of strategies and programs to address the specific needs of internally displaced people and communities receiving them.
Maureen P. Flaherty is an Assistant Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. She has spent more than thirty years as a front-line social worker, then therapist, consultant and educator specializing in crisis and trauma recovery and intimate partner abuse. Her work in education and community development has taken her to areas of Canada, Ukraine, and Russia. Her research interests include gendered perspectives in interpersonal violence, narrative, visioning, community development and post-conflict community building focused on rebuilding agency through healing and inclusion. She is the author of Peacebuilding with women in Ukraine: Using narrative to envision a common future (2012), a co-editor of Peace on Earth: the role of religion in peace and conflict studies (2014), co-editor of Creating the third force: Indigenous ways of peacebuilding (2016), and lead editor of Gender and peacebuilding: All hands required (2015), all with Rowman and Littlefield.