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Together we are strong: international training on girls empowerment between Europe and Mena
Start date: Jul 1, 2015, End date: Feb 29, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Initiator of this project was the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft (LAG) Mädchenpolitik of Hessen as a regional network of institutions active in the pedagogical approach focused on girls-empowerment. With this project the LAG organized an international training-event for professionals including Europe and North-Africa, who wanted to qualify their work with girls and young women and to build up international networks. From October 4th up to 12th 2015 forty-three (50) women from seven different countries met in in Frankfurt on the Main aiming to strengthen girls and young women in the MENA-region (Middle East and North Africa) and in Europe in a sustainable way. Related to the European network „empowerment in the work with girls“ that exists for several years, there were 8 organisations from the program countries Germany, Austria, Latvia, Poland and Turkey who cooperated with two institutions active to empower girls and women in the partner countries Egypt and Tunisia. Background of the project was on the one hand made up of discrimination towards girls and young women in the MENA-region, in Turkey as well as still in European countries, on the other hand the shortcoming of establishment and professional projects, offers, institutions and staff, who are willing to strengthen the target group of girls, especially those with fewer opportunities in the evolved countries. But at the same time many of the partners as well as the coordinator possessed rich knowledge and experience in working with girls, they command skills in international youth-work as well as profound feministic engagement. All these needs, necessities and potentials were meld together during the 7-day lasting activity and build an enriching experience. The target was to setup and expand the pedagogical work with girls as well as to contribute to networking and professionalization of staff who is active in youth-work specialized in girls and gender-issues. During the training, the participants got a lot of professional input (workshops), they exchanged experiences and knowledge (open space), they developed gender-sensitive and intercultural attitudes (self-reflection and sensitization), visited proven establishments for girls in Frankfurt (visitation) and got informed about the international day of the girls child on October 11th 2015. Furthermore they could build up networking with regional and national institutions working on girls-empowerment during an open conference of experts as a part of the training. Through all these activities the participants did build a common content base for future projects and networking. Following the training, the results were worked out in a documentation containing the content of the training, profiles of involved organisations and participants as well as a little manual including exercises how to work on empowerment with girls (in 6 languages), publishes on the website and as CD. Furthermore a little movie was produces to show the project and the impact on the participants, publishes on youtube and the website. All together both the training itself and the developed material contributed to a sustainable qualification and establishment of empowering pedagogical work with girls and a gender-sensitive and intercultural attitude. The benefit is the strengthening and education of girls and women, gender-equality and process of democratization in European and North-African societies as well as intercultural understanding between Europa and the MENA-region. Besides Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Mädchenpolitik Hessen, the involved institutions were the girls-club Klagenfurt, girls-club Aranea Innsbruck and the associations for gender-justice Amazone Bregenz (Austria), the Andrejs Upits Skriveri secondary school from Latvia, Publica Fides and Fundacja Edukacji i Rozwoju Spoleczenstwa Obywatelskiego from Lodz (Poland) and the Izmir Governorship (Turkey). Furthermore professionals from the Cairo Center for Development (Egypt) and the association Sanabel Tounisia, Nabeul from Tunesia joined the international training-event.
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