A few weeks ago, 3 participants from PEL came back from a training course that was organized in Wroclaw, Poland from 6th to 14th of November 2014 by our partners TDM2000 Polska.
The project was about Council of Europe’s COMPASS Human Rights Education Programme and the Compass Manual and it gathered 24 youth workers and youth leaders from Poland, Macedonia, Croatia, UK, Italy, Romania, Lithuania and Bulgaria.
One of our participants, Magdalena Mihajlovska, decided to share her impression from the training course we participated in.
While I am writing this report for the training course in Poland, I am still under the strong impression of the student’s protest in my country towards the defense of their students’ rights. In moments like these man recalls how to live: truly, honestly, with a clear conscience, without fear, fraternal and together for one purpose, for justice. I will not go into explaining all the problems Macedonian students and citizens face when it comes to their rights and defending them, but I’ll get right to one of the conclusions I made from the yesterday’s protest. Although it was massive and students joined it in great numbers, still it was not in the extent that it could have been. I will have the freedom to say that only if the students were educated about their rights, the right to protect them and how to protect them, the protest would have been even more massive and successful. Doing that conclusion one becomes aware of the importance of what we three young representatives of the non-governmental organisation PEL from Macedonia together with participants from seven other countries learned on the training in Wroclaw, Poland.
This training despite being educative about human rights, their history and the people who were brave and educated enough to fight to defend them, it also showed us how to pass this knowledge on to the other young people in our countries. We were shown how to take the initiative and use activities and methods described in the COMPASS manual or as we participants of the training called it “the Bible for Human Rights education”. Divided into groups and motivated, we had the opportunity first handedly to try and see how that education would look like.
Besides the practical application of the COMPASS manual, we had activities in which we had enough space to share our own countries experiences when it comes to the human rights and the extend in which they are respected or violated. That way we learned a lot about each other’s countries.
The project main objective to increase the competences of participants in facilitating human rights education activities was achieved, but the TDM2000 Polska team succeed in something equally important. The polish team made a surrounding in which we felt safe but also challenged. They helped us grow as individuals. We learned to work in a team, to respect the different opinions, to respect the different cultures and traditions, not to judge but also to feel free to express our selves better without being afraid of being ridiculed or judged. We learned to turn ides into reality, or at least try to. We improved our logical and critical thinking. We were learning and having fun at the same time.
And although this was the most important and official part of the training, what rounds this kind of events and makes a whole circle, is exactly the informal part of the training. All the discussion, communication, mutual sharing of experiences, traditions and customs, finding differences and similarities, entertaining each other, having fun and making many memorable moments throughout the beautiful Polish city. All of that made this training and all the learning – unforgettable.
– Magdalena Mihajlovska
More about the training course, its objectives and outcomes, you can read HERE.