Training on Youth Sexuality and Healthy Relationships

CEUD partners the project which included training course “Training on Youth Sexuality and Healthy Relationships” (Project number 2016-2-EL02-KA105-002345). The training course was hosted by the informal group “Chance” from 23 November till 3 December, in Thessaloniki, Greece.  4 representatives from CEUD participated in this 10 day mobility activity together with youth workers and volunteers from Latvia, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Portugal, Egypt, Moldova, Jordan, Romania, and Greece.

The training course aimed at assisting individuals to raise awareness on healthy behaviors, by experiencing activities in a safe and friendly atmosphere during the training course. It provided the participants with the opportunity to

  • meet and connect with people from different cultural backgrounds
  • express expectations regarding the content and the process of the programme
  • become familiar with the methods and principles of non-formal education
  • develop a deeper understanding of a healthy relationship along with the importance of self-confidence
  • gain knowledge on what is sexual health
  • elaborate on principles of communication.

On the first day in the morning session the participants got to know each other better through different name games and ice-breakers. We discussed the programme in detail. In the afternoon the participants exchanged on their expectations and fears and then worked in small groups on common guidelines for the ensuring effective and productive learning and exchanging process. The second half of the afternoon was dedicated to gaining and improving the knowledge of the Erasmus+ programme and its possibilities. At the end we tested our knowledge through a quiz. In the evening three participating countries presented their cultures – FYR Macedonia, Croatia and Latvia.

The second day started with warm-up activities to boost the learning atmosphere.  Through work in small groups we learnt about different types of education, as well as available tools and methods for the recognition of knowledge and skills gained in non-formal education (Youthpass, Openbadges). In the afternoon we organized the partner bazar which provided space and time to get to know better the work and experience of all the partner organisations, as well as the local reality in each partner country. CEUD also presented our work and especially the new dissemination platform In the evening participants from Portugal and Egypt led us on a tour through their countries and cultures.

The third day was dedicated to relationships and our understanding of sex, gender and stereotypes that are associated with. In the morning sessions we discussed what we consider to be a functional behavior in a relationship, i.e. what contributes to development of a relationship and what destroys it by going through real-life situations that occur in a relationship. It was interesting to observe how culture affects this perception. In the afternoon we focused on the dilemmas young people face in relationships observing that factors that adolescents take into account in making the decision are often disregarded by the adults. In the second part we watched short education clips about gender and gender equality. Finally in the evening, the delegations from Moldova and Jordan presented their cultures and traditions.

The fourth day was dedicated to improving our knowledge on sexual function and sexual health. We listed and debunked myths that are connected with sex. The conclusion was that many sexual dysfunctions are the result of these myths. In the afternoon we exchange our opinions and experience on responsible sexual education, which was complemented by the activity in which we had to develop a campaign and slogans for the raising awareness of the youth about the responsible sexual behavior. In the evening we had intercultural presentations of Serbian and Greek culture.

On the fifth day each national group had the task to present stereotypical family. Different methods and approaches were used for this – from presentations and overview of how the families evolved through decaded, to short videos and role-plays which clearly depicted the role of each family member at home and in the society. These portrays allowed us to see cultural differences, differences in traditions and values in each participating country but in the end we could concluded that despite different cultural backgrounds our families share many similarities. The elaboration on the topic was rounded by the discussion about the modern family and its characteristics.

On the sixth day we were split in teams with the task to interact with the citizens of Thessaloniki and find out what they think is the key to successful long-term relationships. The interviewees mostly mentioned: understanding, communication, common interests and openness about one’s needs. We visited the sites of the city which showed how the male-female relations evolved through history (e.g. hammams with separate entrances and facilities for men and women etc.). In the afternoon we worked on boosting our digital skills by creating presentations and videos to present our research work in the morning. In the evening we relaxed watching a film.

On the seventh day we discussed about the reproductive health and possible approaches to bring this topic closer to the young people in our own countries, respecting the local realities. We were introduced to the techniques that TED speakers used and in small groups prepared and developed own speeches using these techniques. In the afternoon we visited the NGO “Women’s shelter” which provided support to the victims of domestic abuse. We learnt that Greece doesn’t belong to the group of countries that effectively deal with this criminal act and that many villains remain unpunished. The situation is very similar to what we have in Serbia.

The eight day was very dynamic. In the morning session we had a workshop about the communication and exchanged what affects our styles of communication and how we transmit our message. Since it was December 1, the World AIDS Day, the practical part of the workshop consisted of practicing active listening, assertive communication and expressing empathy through role-play in pairs. The task was that one person from the pair tells the partner about the HIV positive test result. In the afternoon session we were introduced to the technique “Papiertheater” which served to sum-up the learning accomplishments till then. The next workshop aimed at helping us observe which competences a youth worker should possess. In small groups we created collages. In the evening we attended the closing concert of the whole-day event dedicated to World Aids Day. The activists from the organization “Positive voice” helped us understand the situation in Greece regarding the HIV positive people, prevention measures and treatment available to the diagnosed.

On the ninth day we discussed further about Erasmus+ programme, with special focus on KA2 Strategic partnership for youth. In line with that, we were divided in small groups with the task to create first draft of the potential KA2 with partnerships among participating countries on the topic of sexual education. The drafts were presented and commented by the trainers with useful hints how to improve their quality. We also had a visit by the activist from the Thessaloniki organization “Positive voice” which supports people diagnosed with HIV.  He could tell us more about the situation in Greece and also answer to our questions about how HIV is spread, prevention measures, state-support etc. In the lunch break part of the Serbian team visited Allied military cemetery and WWI Memorial Zeitenlik. In the afternoon session, we made plans for the dissemination of project results, completed our Youthpasses and had a final evaluation of the week. The farewell dinner was organized in the traditional Greek tavern.

In the coming months tools and material from the training course will be gathered and made available for further use in our local organisations.

The project has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme.

cofunded    na-greece   erasmus

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Dissemination statement

Το σχέδιο αυτό χρηματοδοτήθηκε με την υποστήριξη της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής. Η παρούσα δημοσίευση [ανακοίνωση] δεσμεύει μόνο τον συντάκτη της και η Επιτροπή δεν ευθύνεται για τυχόν χρήση των πληροφοριών που περιέχονται σε αυτήν.