In a resounding commitment to tackle violence against children in schools, Terre des hommes Hellas recently conducted a Training of Trainers (ToT) event in Athens, Greece. Held from December 1 to 3, 2023, the training focused on the development of skills to prevent, mediate, and address school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV).
The recent Training of Trainers (ToT) event, conducted in Greek and orchestrated by Terre des hommes Hellas, gathered educators dedicated to challenging social norms contributing to violence against children. Under the guidance of Eleftheria Aravidou, MHPSS Coordinator, and George Kanaris, Child Protection Project Coordinator, both from Terre des hommes Hellas, the training was designed not only to empower educators but to extend their impact further.
Empowering Educators to Lead Change
In addition to equipping educators to:
- Acquire knowledge on gender and its social dimensions.
- Understand and recognize dimensions of gender-based violence.
- Develop skills to prevent, mediate, and address school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV).
- Recognize different types of child abuse, including SRGBV.
- Understand the role of educators in creating safe environments for children.
- Reflect on managing disclosures related to incidents of SRGBV.
- Train school staff and management on preventing SRGBV.
- Learn basic principles of adult education and apply them effectively.
The ultimate goal is to empower these educators to take on a crucial role beyond their classrooms. They are now prepared to train school staff and administration in their respective school environments. By imparting knowledge and skills, these educators become catalysts for positive change, fostering safe and inclusive spaces for every child.
Interactive and Practical: The training employed a variety of tools, including handouts, presentations, videos, activity sheets, questionnaires, case studies, and resources from both Greek and international contexts. Utilizing adult learning processes, the methods employed were experiential, participatory, interactive, and involved brainstorming, open discussion, individual and group work, and active learning.
Positive Feedback: The ToT received commendable feedback from participants, who found the content practical and engaging. Educators actively participated in exercises and lively debates, using anonymized case examples from their experiences. Positive ideas for addressing SRGBV through creative means like music and sports emerged, and there was extensive reflection on the role of parents in combating gender-based violence in schools.
Despite the success, educators highlighted a crucial gap—the lack of clear institutional protocols when dealing with SRGBV. Educators may often be exposed to challenges and threats when deciding to address concerns or intervene in incidents. Observations from participants also underscored alarming trends in Greek schools:
- An increase in violence within schools.
- A consensus on heightened homophobia leading to verbal and physical violence.
- Questions on identifying gender-based aspects of school violence, especially in instances of bullying.
Feedback from educators emphasized the practical and experiential nature of the course, empowering them in their roles and fostering a sense of community. Key takeaways included effective management of incidents of gender-based violence and considerations when students disclose serious issues.
Terre des hommes Hellas remains committed to raising awareness, empowering educators, and fostering environments that prioritize the safety and well-being of every child. By challenging norms, addressing gaps, and listening to educators' voices, the organization continues to work towards a violence-free future in schools.
The ToT took place in the context of CARING. The CARING program is coordinated by Terre des hommes (Tdh) Romania in collaboration with Tdh Hungary, Tdh Hellas, Brave Phone Croatia, Institute of Social Activities and Practices (SAPI) and Association Roditeli Bulgaria. The program is co-funded by the European Commission (Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme).