Conviviality and Sustainability

The Context in which we Work

The transformation processes in the region, have led to different stages of the development of civil society and the creation of a welfare state and social security. People and communities have also been confronted with political changes, which have promised new hope for the future, yet there are new and old challenges in each society. The process of change itself, as well as the emergence of new conflicts has raised questions about the direction of the democratisation processes in the whole region. Furthermore, a look at the shifting boundaries of the map of Europe and awareness of the movements of people due to war and civil conflict, or for economic, social or environmental reasons, reveals a picture of the complex and changing diversity of origin of the people in any given locality.
With the background of these developments, interdiac has chosen to focus on ‘conviviality’ (‘Konvivenz’) as a key word. Conviviality refers to the everyday interactions and practices of living together across diversity and without domination.
Diaconal institutions and churches are also a part of these changes and the ensuing patterns and models of diaconia are very much shaped by culture, historical experience and memory, as well as by present conditions and challenges.

What are we Aiming for?

The Programme aims to develop the knowledge and skills for practice, which will enable participants to engage effectively with marginalised or uprooted people in their multi-cultural & multi-denominational/multi-faith contexts and to work for change. Therefore in the learning process, through personal capacity building and by implementing the approach to convivial community development, our long-term aim is to start with the creative involvement of the people affected and seek the ways in which the resources on the spot can be engaged effectively for innovation and change.

How is the Programme Designed?

The Programme has been developed by the interdiac team and is accredited with the Diaconal University of Applied Sciences (DIAK), Finland. It contains the following learning elements:

  • 3 international workshops in the partner countries of interdiac, including local study visits. Each workshop  lasts 6 days including travel days.
  • Mentoring and a peer learning system for the period between the workshops.
  • Self-directed reflective learning supported by the use of a Handbook for practice related learning, a Course Handbook, a Spiritual Journal, a Learning Diary and access to an on-line learning platform and e-libraries.
  • Job shadowing in partner organisations: Each participant is provided with the possibility to visit another organisation for 7 days including travel days.

The Participants in the Programme

The Programme embraces social and diaconal workers, pedagogical workers, pastoral and youth workers in diaconal organisations, community centres and congregations involved in the process from many countries Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Programme Venues & Workshop Content

Three Workshops have been held with the participatory work and local visits in Gyumri (Armenia), Gusev (Russia) and Tallinn (Estonia). The participants were involved in reflective processes on their own biography and motivation, roots of personal vocation, personal service models and those of diaconal organisations. Contextual focus is on visible and invisible borders in the society and specific issues facing marginalised people.Practice to enhance social cohesion and develop the role of the church in society and to support advocacy has been highlighted.

At the last workshop, the participants concluded the programme venue with recommendations for good practices and convivial living in peace with justice.

interdiac will share these recommendations widely with churches and diaconal bodies as well as social work organisations, training institutes and networks. Alongside this, each participant has developed own Action plan for further professional and organisational implementation.

The programme runs from January 2018 until the end of June 2019.


International Academy for Diaconia and Social Action
Dukelská 264/5
737 01 Český Těšín - Czech Republic

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