“Free to be you and me: Courage and tools to create peace and safety for young people of all genders and sexualities”
05.11 – 12.11.2017 in Berlin
Background of the project
SCI has been working to promote peace, non-violence, human rights, social justice & international understanding as an alternative to war since 1920. Through this new initiative we want to draw increased attention both within and outside our movement to the plight of large numbers of young people throughout the EU who, on a regular basis, are subject to victimization, stereotyping, discrimination, lack of human rights and violence; continue to expose & counteract these different forms of social exclusion, create more understanding & empathy for, and express our solidarity, with the victimized groups and individuals. We want to address issues and needs which are often ignored in public or political debate as well as in mainstream media: physical, oral & structural violence against women and against those with different “sexual orientation different from heterosexual” sexual orientations.
With these key objectives in mind, we would like now to go one step further by reinforcing our efforts in this field and making them more visible, outreaching & sustainable by developing a pool of “SCI Gender Blender Ambassadors” to prepare and implement awareness-raising and educational workshops in the existing structured programme of international workcamps, youth meetings & seminars that are taking place annually in the SCI & partners’ network.
This new project entitled “Free to be you and me: Courage and tools to create peace and safety for people of all genders and sexualities” will therefore consist of three integral components:
- A planning & training seminar which will gather together experienced volunteer activists from the Gender Blender international working group as well as additional voluntary service activists, in order to increase their knowledge, skills and competences and together elaborate new workshops to promote awareness-raising and motivate more young people to become active in fighting violence, stereotyping, discrimination and exclusion towards these target groups.
In addition, preparing a Toolkit Guide for coordinators with information on genders and sexualities and with workshops on the topic
- Putting theory into practice: Spreading and multiplying the impact & scope of the objectives by means of the Implementation of workshops and integration of gender issues into international youth exchanges, as well as by educating coordinators of youth exchanges to take up these topics in their youth exchange projects
- Following the implementation phase, the group will gather again in September 2018 in Greece to share & evaluate the results & impact of their workshops, make improvements & additions to the Toolkit Guide and again go one step further by planning several international youth exchanges focusing specifically on the main topics of the project.
The project will deliver an ideal environment for exchanges, learning, confrontation…
We believe that these topics & non-formal methods are an excellent context to promote intercultural exchange and reflect in a tolerant, fluid and open-minded way. Violence against women and LGBT discrimination & exclusion are not discretionary or anecdotic topics but a prism through which we can strongly feel the cultural and ethical questions that are structuring the EU culture & values. To summarize : the more a country exposes & fights against gender violence and welcomes the LGBT identities, presences, manifestations…, the more its attachment to Europe is strong and unequivocal. The more they reject it, the more it plays its difference, its distance with Europe and its values. In the frame of the project, youth workers and volunteer activists will gain new knowledge, know-how, competencies and skills and act as peer multipliers in order to raise awareness and promote such ideals.
Aims and contents of the opening seminar
The activities will enhance the knowledge, skills & competences of the participants by equipping and enabling them to prepare and run thematic workshops specifically on the following topics:
- Gender sensitivity in general in our society
- Gender sensitivity & equality in workcamps, youth events, seminars and international projects
- Romantic love, what does queer/ gender/ etc. even mean, gender violence, reproductive rights, LGBTIQ+ and health, LGBTIQ+ and age, etc
- Tools and roles of project coordinators and the participants
- Civil courage, specifically in situations regarding genders and sexualities
Besides this, they will develop a Toolkit Guide for youth workers in this field, which can be used to assist with subsequent actions within the branches
- Non-formal education – sharing knowledge & competences, taking common responsibility
- Demonstration of best-practice workshops by previous participants
- Project visits to local initiatives
- Guidelines on how to set up and run own activities
- Elaboration of an SCI Gender Blender Toolkit
- Relaxation, party, fun & games
Please note that there will be opportunities to visit the city, but that this is not a “getting to know Berlin’s night-life” project. On some days the seminar also foresees evening sessions.
All participants will be expected and stimulated to contribute to the discussions.
After the training the new pool of gender ambassadors, with the institutional support of their sending organisations, will be encouraged & expected to pass on their knowledge & competencies to their peers by running a workshop at events such as a campleader’s training seminar, an international workcamp(s) or else by taking own initiatives .
Recruitment of participants
All participants selected for this project must meet the following criteria
- be 18 years old or older
- have at least a basic understanding of the fields gender and sexuality
- be active in SCI
- be able to work in English language
- be interested in the training topics and have strong motivation to act as multiplier
- have the support (and if possible preparation for the project) of the sending SCI branch or partner organisation;
- commit to implement the learned knowledge and skills in practice back home;
- commit to send a report of the Berlin seminar to your sending organisation;
commit to actively participate from the beginning to the end of the training.