The 6 day training event in Poland was hosted by the Association for Legal intervention in Warsaw Poland. The main aims of the event were to:

-          Raise awareness of the particular needs of marginalised young people but also bring to light the realities of the marginalisation they face.

-          Develop new skills of working with young people.

-          Provide useful methods and tools that can be applied to our organisations target groups.

The 6 day agenda was filled with many different elements such as meetings with various directors, art therapy workshops and a forum theatre workshop. All of these fulfilled my expectations and made the training even more engaging. It was even more amazing working with professionals from different countries and cultures who were all likeminded individuals with a commitment to standing up against discrimination.

Day 1 and 2 involved meeting the team in Warsaw and also gaining a comprehensive insight into what they do and the effectiveness of their projects. It also allowed for us to learn more about the abused no more project and some of the outcomes that were met. I learned a lot about what SIP do from meeting with the President of SIP Dr Witold Klaus and Olga Hilik the volunteer coordinator.  I was particularly interested in their various methods of engaging the youth with the older generation and I think this is something that can be directly applied to working with some of the target groups at IARS.

Day 4 and 5 took place at the multicultural centre in Warsaw, it first involved an introduction to the theatre of the Oppressed and Forum theatre methods, which was something I was unaware of previously.  Upon being introduced by the two concepts which I was instantly engaged by the methods of the innovative Augusto Boal. Forum theatre an interactive form of theatre that encourages audience interaction and is a powerful tool for exploring solutions to difficult problems. We prepared a short performances based on this model and it was such a success. The performances gave us the opportunity to be interactive and gave us all a part to play in each-others performances.  The last two days were the highlight of the entire trip as it really bought the group closer together and allowed us to produce something that we were all passionate about.

Even though we were all from diverse backgrounds we all shared something in common which was our passion for standing up against inequalities. It was also nice to come together and share our experiences and exchange knowledge issues regarding discrimination and inequalities. Overall I benefited so much from the entire training and I developed an even greater awareness of youth-led models of empowerment and engagement. I am so happy to have made many new friends and many thanks to Ela who made everything possible. I look forward to hearing more about SIP’s work in Warsaw and I hope to apply what I have learned to working on more projects in the UK. 

This blog post was wrtitten by Chioma Wuch, IARS Equalities Projects Interns