“Gender Identity & Violence when Empowering the Youth” (GIVEN) Erasmus+ program

18-28 May 2023.

Fotoessa’s co-founder, John Sourelis, and Intercultural trainer of trainers, Aspasia Protogerou, participated in the 10 days SCI Hellas’ Erasmus+ training program:  “Gender Identity & Violence when Empowering the Youth” (GIVEN) which was held in Thessaloniki from 18 to 28 May, 2023.

The specific program focused on informing, sensitizing and training youth workers and non-formal trainers and facilitators in order to acquire specialized knowledge and skills, and create educational and methodological tools which can be used as an integral part of their working methods, so as to address issues of gender, gender identity, and violence.

The program’s objectives were to contribute to combating the increasing trend of violence, especially violence against women and domestic violence, to promote the acceptance of equal and active participation of all persons, regardless of gender, in all levels of social, economic, cultural and political public life and to strengthen the respect for diversity and gender identity.

For this reason, educational materials and tools were created which will be used by youth workers and non-formal learning educators/facilitators/ trainers in the activities they organise with young people regardless of the topic. The inclusion of these tools in all non- formal learning activities as an integral part of the process will effectively help to change the approach of a larger part of society to the role of gender and the eradication of violence.

During the 10 days’ training, participants from Spain, France, Brussels, Italy, Jordan and Greece had the opportunity to work on the following topics:

  • Definition of violence, forms and types of violence, nonviolent communication, conflict management, conflict transformation
  • Identity and gender, prejudices, gender stereotypes and media
  • Gender roles in different cultures, experiences from participating countries
  • Creating a safe environment for young people and cultivating empathy
  • Youth – human rights and gender identity: support tools and best practices
  • Production of a questionnaire on gender-based violence and fieldwork in the city of Thessaloniki
  • Debriefing on research results and testimonies of abused women
  • Creation of educational tools, online education, social media, platforms, etc.
  • Gender-based conflicts: taking social action, conflict resolution
  • Creation of a targeted campaign against violence and women abuse

Participants had also the opportunity to share best practices of other youth organizations, such as Action Aid Hellas Youth. Undoubtedly, the role of civil society organizations, non-formal learning trainers and youth counselors (youth workers) is important and decisive for strengthening the educational process of developing non-violent communication skills, acquiring knowledge and skills in crisis and conflict management, accepting and respecting diversity, understanding different cultural backgrounds, dealing constructively and the reduction of incidents of violence, especially those involving young people and women, both at the family and social level.

In this context, this training provided concrete support to youth workers and non-formal learning trainers so as to include in their daily work and educational process effective tools and methods to combat domestic and gender violence.