Monday, 29 September 2014

Seminar: «Civic Help for Anti-Racism Measures in youth work – CHARM II»

For «EDRA» , reporting Laura and Matleena, EVS volunteers

As EVS volunteers in EDRA, we participated in the Seminar: «Civic Help for Anti-Racism Measures in youth work – CHARM II», which took place 19th September 2014, in Ilion, Athens. Our trainers were: Katerina and Argyris. In the seminar participated about 20 workers and volunteers from NGO EDRA (coordinators, psychologists, mentors, and us, the EVS volunteers).
The day started with a fun warm up game "I am special because..." where we got to know each other better. After that there was a short movie about human rights, the history and development. "What are human rights?" and "Is it utopic to believe that one day everybody can have equal human rights?" These questions and many more were discussed in the conversation. "Is being homeless matter of personal choice?"-this was a topic that many people disagreed over. Also there was a discussion that water and food are human rights, but many people don't have it, because they don't the have money for it and if people with disabilities have the same rights like everybody else.
The workers of EDRA enjoying the fun warm-up game

After a short coffee break people was divided into different 3-people groups. It was time for an outdoor activity. The game was that one person in the group had to be blind and other two couldn't speak. Each team was given a task. For example they had to go to grammar school, social pharmacy, church and ask there  questions or take a picture. The blind person was the one who had to speak and the other two had to escort him to the right place. In the exercise people used a lot of body language and body signals. The purpose of the task was to make people more conscious of the difficulties blind people face in every day life and to make them more tolerant about it.
outdoor activity
The last activity was role play game. Each group had to make a small play related to the topic about disabilities in EVS. For example, how prepared are organisations to host a volunteer with a disability, what volunteers think about it and how ready they are to help the person in need in everyday life. In conclusion people agreed on that Greece doesn't have the best conditions for people with physical dissability - all the houses dont have lifts and escalators, too narrow pedestrian streets, accessibility for all the buildings, even to the public institutions. 
role-playing exercise

One of the trainers was Argyris. His everyday job is in Kalamata where he is EVS coordinator and soon also a mentor. He has given the seminars for 1,5 years and explains that the main pont of the seminars is to see if the youth organisations respect human rights. In the seminars they also focus on volunteering and EVS. He says that they have visited very different organisations like breast cancer organisation, what was a very memorable visit. Argyris adds that usually organisations are happy to  have them but there have also  been the ones who have declined the offer.
EDRA’s daily care center’s supervisor, Anna, comments that she enjoyed the seminar very much. Especially she liked the outdoor activity because it was practical and interesting. Anna added that because she has been professional for many years she enjoys more active exercises than theory part of it.
EVS mentor of the volunteers, Stella, says that she enjoyed the seminar, she liked the trainers and that it is important to meet all the workers at Edra who work with EVS volunteers, Stella adds that there are so many workers and sometimes it is not easy to meet them. Mostly she enjoyed the outdoor activity, the meeting game and the video. She says that the seminar is important because it reminds us the basic human rights what we sometimes forget and don't appreciate enough.
The seminar ended with evaluating the day. The people got to express their opinion about the activities and the trainers. In conclusion it seemed that everybody enjoyed this fun day and it was a nice change to the usual daily routine.

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