Anti-semitism means to hate all Jews without any particular reason. In my opinion this skepticism emonstrates an uncivilised person and we should do something to get rid of this kind of thinking.

Sotiroulla Aristodemou,
18 years, Cyprus

Section 9

Peer educators training days

The training for peer educators is based on what they need to do for the planned projects and to provide stimulation for actually carrying out activities as means in the fight against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance. Small group discussions and brain-storm sessions prior to the days will reveal the knowledge and skills they already have and help them to plan the training days.

The training often focuses on topics such as:

You as the peer educator

• Why am I involved in racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance activities?

• Where do I stand?

• What are my support systems?

Designing the programme

• Why include some topics and not others?

• What knowledge is needed?

• Which techniques will I choose and use?

You and the group

• How will I deal with unexpected situations?

• How do I work with the group?

• How people behave in groups?

Planning and evaluation

• What are the expectations of the people involved in the project?

• What makes a good working environment?

• When to organise it?

Training days, usually from morning to evening (10.00 am to 10.00 pm) on a Saturday or Sunday have the advantage of allowing time to work closely with a small group over a longer period of time. These offer better opportunities to get to know people, for finding out what other people really think, discussing problems and getting different opinions of how to handle the problems etc.

The responsibility for planning and running these days can be divided between the peer educators and the peer coach. Three for each day is a good number. Responsibilities should be clearly define by being involved in planning the group will get variety and some implicit training in organisational skills.

The content of the training days may of course be varied enormously. It is important that the topic is one which the group is interested in. That it is relevant for the planned peer education project in the area of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance if they are to be fully involved in the training days.

There are many resource books around from which ideas can be chosen for activities which are fun and will get a group thinking and discussing. With a little imagination many of these can be adopted to suit the theme. The most important thing is to make a start this depends a great deal on the group and the peer coaches. Introducing a range of stimulus materials such as cartoons, video, poster set, articles from newspapers, role plays are good ways of starting and creating an atmosphere in which discussion is possible.

The following activities can be used as a stimulus for discussions, most of them have been tried and tested in a variety of settings and with different groups. The ideal group size for such activities is, depending on the number of trainers involved, 10 - 30 persons. They may need to be adapted a little for the particular age group.

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