From June 7th to June 14th, 2 representatives from CET Platform Macedonia took part in a training course “Un-labelling, a training course about discrimination and acceptance”, which was hosted by Participa Joven CR.
The venue of realization of this training course was Castillo de San Servando, Toledo, Spain. The training course was attended by 14 participants from 7 countries (Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Latvia, Spain, Turkey and Macedonia). The main aim of this training course was to work on understanding and acceptance of differences in order to avoid prejudice, conflicts and hate speech, as well as on the understanding of the emotions behind those human behaviours as the way to prevent discrimination and bullying.
At the same time, this training course aimed to provide the participants with tools, skills and methods which can be used for fighting discriminatory attitudes in and within their youngsters. The training activities were split into 3 parts. The first 2 days were focused on “looking in ourselves” activities like energizers, individual sessions and reflections resulting in self-awareness about our bodies, motivations, needs, habits and behaviours. The next 3 days the focus was on understanding differences, social emotions, discrimination, categorizing and labelling and the importance of attitude in the relations with the other people.
As a result, on June 11th we have prepared a Social Action event in Mercadillo del Martes market in Toledo. The social experiment, developed in collaboration with Aidiscam, the Association for the integration of people with disabilities in Castilla-La Mancha, started with one of the participants, who had no mobility problems, sitting in a wheelchair. He approached one of the stalls, especially crowded at that time, and pretended to drop the lemons he carried in a bag. The aim was to see the reactions of the people, to raise the awareness and to engage the public on subjects such as diversity, inclusion, acceptance, discrimination and intolerance. As an addition, we put ourselves in the shoes of the people with reduced mobility by getting on the wheelchairs and trying to move around the market to feel the first-hand experience of the difficulties faced by those who live in this way. In the meantime, we also had the “Free Hugs” activity and received many hugs from the friendly people of Toledo. On the last day, we were working on reframing reality and developing ways of applying the knowledge of this training course in real-life situations.
As part of the training course, we had an intercultural dinner where we presented our food and traditions, and got to taste the food and to learn about the tradition of the other participants’ countries. In the free time, we explored the beautiful sights of Toledo, exchanged life experience with the other participants, made new friends and collected unforgettable memories of this life-changing experience!