Civic Education and Human Rights, 04/06/2022-11/06/2022, Mersin, Turkey

Do you enjoy developing yourself while being in an intercultural environment? If the answer is yes, Erasmus + is for you! I participated in the aforementioned training course and my experience was amazing. It was constructive and fun in many ways, because of the knowledge I gained through the sessions as well by interacting with the other participants.

First of all, the topic was very interesting. The participating countries were Denmark, Greece, Italy, Romania, Netherlands, North Macedonia and Turkey. We learned about the universal rights signed by the UN and adhered by the member states and we examined how they are violated in our countries. It is interesting to say I noticed a lot of common ground between the Balkan countries namely Greece, Romania and N.Macedonia. One example is related to right to work where in the public sector you need some connections with political parties to secure a place. Another example is related to the right of non-discrimination where the disabled people do not have the infrastructure they deserve. Especially in Greece, in relation to the right to work we also notice high unemployment rate in young people and discrimination of women in the workplace whereas in Netherlands there is gender equality. Common problems between Italy and Greece are racism, sexism and homophobia.

A common violation of the right to healthy environment is the air pollution all countries face. The country with the most violations was Turkey with implementation of tortures in political prisoners, with no freedom of thought and religion and no freedom of speech. Italy mentioned the lack of right to abortion and right to euthanasia in addition, we had a very incisive debate about equality and equity and what we should implement to secure human rights.

 Equality refers to access of all to the same resources while equity refers to giving resources according to the needs of someone in order to enable them to have the same opportunities Moreover we discussed about the non-formal education and we concluded about the nature and methods of non-formal education. We said non-formal education is life-long and beyond formal education with chosen   curriculum in a specific context. Among the methods, we identified learning by doing peer to peer learning debate, discussions, role-playing, summer camps, team-building activities, workshops, cultural exchanges, games, mentorship programmes and open educational sources. Moreover, we had the chance   to be creative by drafting our own project regarding human rights.
Last but not least, we talked about the desired qualities of a youth worker. We inferred he/she should have excellent communication, social and leadership skills, adaptability, time management skills, tolerance, empathy, open-mindfulness, public speaking, analytical and organizational skills, good at problem-solving and good at stress management.
As far as my interaction with the other participants is concerned, it was a great experience. I realized once more that the people from different cultures can be friends since they share the same concerns, interests and goals, especially the goal of personal development.  I am always glad to make international friends since I believe we can learn a lot from each other. In particular, in this training course, I am glad to confirm we can be friends with N.Macedonian and Turkish people despite the political tension between us.
To sum up, it was a unique and unforgettable experience! I would definitely recommend  Erasmus + programmes  for young people. I encourage them to learn while having fun!

Ilektra Simonetatou Christiadou

July 19, 2024

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