International training course “Young people in divided communities”

Nowadays there are a big number of societies around Europe that are strongly divided/segregated on the basis of people’s different backgrounds. Youth organizations and youth workers from such countries meet great challenges in addressing the issues arising from these conditions, and in establishing relations and trust between young people.

This project gathered together youth workers and social workers who face these issues in their countries and who are interested in developing knowledge about this subject. The learning process was intended to develop both skills and knowledge for developmental work in this field.

The main aim of this training course was:

exploring the role of youth/social workers in divided/segregated communities which are divided by ethnicity, religion and/or language etc.

The objectives:

– To explore and understand the effects of divided communities on young people

– To explore the role of young people in breaking down barriers and institutionally established divisions

– To compare experiences of youth organisations from different divided communities from

across Europe

– To increase capacities of local organisations to work in divided communities through the

sharing of grass root methods, approaches and campaigns in tackling segregation

– To directly develop participants’ skills and competences that they need in order to work with the target groups in their local communities.

There were 22 young people from: Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Wales, Northern Ireland and France.

These 6 days the participants had opportunities to share their stories from their experience, to learn more about the other’s problems, to plan and implement small workshops with local youth from Struga and to come up with new interesting creative ideas that can be implemented in their local communities in order to improve the situations in terms of segregation and division.

The participants not only that gained new knowledge but they also have developed their skills and capacities to work more efficiently in the field of youth work with the youth living in those segregated/divided communities. The participants experienced an intensive program that helped them to understand that these issues can be really delicate and sensitive and because of that can bring many emotions and frustrations. That was also a learning point where participants’ awareness about these issues has been raised.

All in all, the training course offered vast space for learning about the others and have great fun.

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