Non-Formal Education will Stop Discrimination

Participants' photoreports April 2019 Cyprus

The project Non-Formal Education will Stop Discrimination is a training course which took place in Paphos, Cyprus, from 4th to 11th October 2018. During this period, 25 youth workers from Cyprus, Romania, Poland, Italy and Spain were learning non-formal methods that can be used to prevent and to stop discrimination attitudes among young people.

The purpose of the project was to teach youth workers to identify, understand and disarm discrimination. We focused on youth workers that work in an area where discrimination is a problem. From our interaction with the young people in our communities, we discovered these main needs of our youth workers:

  • a deeper understanding regarding discrimination
  • quick identification of discrimination
  • ways to discourage  youngsters to discriminate and to be discriminated
  • knowing methods of underlining the negative effects of discrimination
  • a better way to communicate with the young people they work with
  • more confidence in the capacity to make a change
  • a bigger motivation to improve their work
  • examples of good practices
  • personal and professional development

With this information in mind we formulated the following objectives:

At the end of the 8 month project, the 25 youth workers:

  1. Will have accumulated knowledge regarding the types of discrimination, the negative effects of discrimination, what are stereotypes and prejudices and how to avoid them, what is non-formal education and how can we use it to fight discrimination
  2. Will have developed their ability to use non-formal methods to raise the awareness regarding the negative effects of discrimination, they will have succeeded in adapting non-formal methods to different target groups, they will have prevailed in communicating more efficiently regarding difficult subjects, they will have improved their abilities in working with youngsters and to work in a team
  3. Will have more confidence in their own strength, will have developed an protective attitude regarding the people that are discriminated, will be trying to stop discrimination and to explain to young people what are the side-effects of discrimination, they will pay more attention towards their attitude to other people (especially youngsters).

Together with the volunteers from the IEEN association and our partners, we structured the projects schedule in such a way that the participants were able to extract as much as they can from this experience. We discovered together what the best methods to prevent discrimination are and through our visits to Pafos Technical and Professional School of Education and Training high school, we put in practice what we have learned.

Because of the activities done during the project, the participants now have the instruments necessary to identify discrimination and to find solutions suited to the needs of a targeted group. Thus, through the accumulated information, the participants now have more confidence to act when they see a discrimination behavior. Also, they better understood the European dimension of this situation and they are better equipped to handle intercultural interactions.

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