Xenophobia is the psychic trauma after a dramatic event that has to do with something unfamiliar or someone from other countries. The effect of the disorder is the irrational
fear of anything strange...

Anthony Bargilly,
17 years, Cyprus

Session 8.6

Your role as a coach


This case study activity is focused on the peer coaches involved in peer group education programmes it is designed to help them to examine their role, the empowerment of young people and possible conflicts which can arise.


Case studies and questions


1.5 - 2 hours

Group size

10 - 20 people


Ask people to work in small groups (4-5). Each group is given a copy of a case study. The task is to read the description and to consider the questions and note down the responses. Each group needs to identify a spokes person and feedback with a short presentation in the large group.

After the presentation several questions could be raised and common areas and differences between the groups identified.

• Who is in control?

• What are potential areas of conflict?

• What would the feeling of the young people be in these situations?

Case study 1

You are involved in a peer group education programme which has been running successfully for 2 years, the young people are responsible for planning and running sessions with other groups of young people on Human Rights and conflict mediation. Sessions take place in youth centres although some take place in schools, they have also recruited new members and the team numbers around 15 with 10 of these being more committed. They have organised themselves with roles and job descriptions, recruitment, planning, publicity, dealing with administration, etc. The funders of the project made up of local education authority and private sponsors feel that the young people are not responsible enough to manage their funds. They would like the youth leader or coach to take financial responsibility for the project. The young people feel that they should have control of what they do.

• What are the issues arising?

• What strategies would you pursue with the young people?

• What skills are required to deal with this situation?

• What support and resources would you need to handle the situation effectively?


Case study 2

You work in a school as a teacher, your subject area includes work on equality and Hu­man Rights. Your headmaster has recently attended a conference on peer education and is very keen to see that you develop such a programme with your class. He has a model from the con­fe­rence and you have been instructed to implement this for project which aims to deal with a num­ber of racist in­ci­dents in the school and local community. When the idea is suggested to young people there is little response, they are not excited by the idea of peer education or the sub­ject of racism.

• How do you react?

• What do you say: to the headmaster? to the young people?

• How do you follow up this situation?

• How do you respond to the issue (racism incidents) within the school?


Case study 3

You work at a youth centre where for the past twelve months there has been a successful programme organised by a committed group of young people. They work in youth centres across the town to reduce prejudice against people who have physical disabilities. Some of the group are able bodied and others are not,

they are interested in the issues and many people acknowledge that the project is a great success both in integrating able and disabled and in the peer education work they do. Three new members of the youth centre would like to join the

group, the members of the main group are resistant to this and feel that they will not 'fit in'.

• What are the issues involved?

• What do you do?

• How do you reflect this issue within the youth centre programme?

• What strategy would you develop to prevent a repeat of this or similar situations?


Activities which are case studies have the advantage of allowing people to connect themselves with a situation before investigating in their own roles as peer coaches.

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