The Gender Positive (GP+) project brought together youth workers, youth leaders and other professionals working with youth, who were interested and ready to strengthen their competences and knowledge of gender and sexuality. Within the transnational youth worker's training and networking project in the field of youth, 8 organizations from Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom created a space for 24 practitioners in youth work to challenge their understanding and knowledge on the main topics of this project proposal. The main activity of the project - the youth worker's training course took place in Slovenia from November 11 to November 16, 2015 in Brežice, Slovenia.
As associations working daily in the youth community, we noted the existence of an educational void as regards to the question of gender, development of sexuality and affectivity, mutual respect and diversity. These aspects are an important ground on which to focus, not only by the construction of the identity of the individual, but also within the formation of relationships and peer groups of a young person. Today in Europe, the need to maintain an open debate on these issues is all the more evident as one is confronted with the negative consequences of the absence of solid education on the latter topics. Therefore, our project proposal is focusing on the daily work needs of youth workers, as well as a need for the exchange of practice and a professional debate taking into consideration the latter topics.
The primary purpose of this project is the construction of a space for dialogue between youth workers and other practitioners from different countries. As well as sharing of their knowledge on the subject of Gender and Sexuality in order to develop an overview of the status about the core topics of the project in Europe. During the course participants were:
- Sharing the problems and difficulties they are facing about the issues they face in their daily work activities as youth workers;
- Using elements of non-formal education develop appropriate methodologies to promote the youth culture that respects gender and sexual orientations;
- Reflecting and searching for means and approaches on fighting stereotypes and inequalities and providing critical tools of deconstruction of harmful media messages;
- Working on the spread of safe sex and embracing the broad interpretation of sexuality proposed by WHO in "standard for sex education in Europe" understood as an area of human potential, which includes in itself the themes of body, identity, affectivity and respect for differences;
- Meeting representatives of organisations and initiatives to increase awareness of the daily practice on the topics of gender identity, sexuality and gender violence of local surroundings and finding more about the issues from the practitioners working daily with the youth.
The project methodology was designed in order to create a space for the practitioners within the youth work to exchange, share and reflect on the practices, challenges and obstacles they face regarding the topics of gender equality, equal opportunities; sexual orientation; sexual security, sexual health; gender stereotypes; sexualisation of the media, advertising and objectification and pornography.
During the training, a non-formal education methodology was utilised: group work, multimedia usage, pop songs analysis, role-play, using cards and board games, creating visual materials, producing informative messages, expressing opinions via physical activities.
The main impact on the participants presents the enrichment of their skills and competences on the topics covered by the training. During the project, youth workers also enriched their social skills, develop their personality, they emotionally and culturally grew as they increased their autonomy and built new relationships. The impact on the participating organisations consists of sustainable network for exchange, support and development of new ideas, as well as for future collaborations. Moreover, the project is beneficial due to the increase of knowledge and skills of the organizations' key personnel with regards to the planning, management and evaluation of projects as well as the increase of their experience in working with the youth and sharing of knowledge and information.
For the target groups, we believe that the greatest impact makes up of a direct benefit in terms of skills and abilities due to transferred lessons learned to daily practices of the youth workers participating in this training. Additionally, the target groups benefit from a positive input to the design of daily activities of participating organizations based on the project results and the visibility for the youth organizations and the emergence of good practices.
Get Access to the 1st Network for European Cooperation