Volunteers Centre Skopje, starting officially from April 2017, has become new member of the “European Peer Training Organisation” (EPTO) network of organizations, based in Brussels.
The members of EPTO are various CSO’s, which are coming from different countries from the European continent. In that occasion, members of the VCS team attended the annual event of the network, including the annual assembly meeting, which was held from 8th till 10th of April 2017, in Berlin, Germany, where most of the members were present. The thematic of the annual event was the rising of extremism on the European continent and the event opened the floor to youth workers and practitioners to address how the issue of extremism could be better tackled through peer education.
Historically, EPTO has always been involved in understanding the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion in society and in tackling what is feeding all types of extremist ideologies: xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamo-phobia and/or anti-Semitism and/or Roma-phobia and/or Afro-phobia and now hatred against the so called refugees. This Event for members was an opportunity to assess the needs of the EPTO membership and to develop partnerships that could bring complexity, accurancy and subtility into the discussion in the spirit of peer education; meaning allowing us and youth the right to test, to try, to make mistake, to use the wrong terms when talking about the topic.
The European Peer Training Organisation (EPTO) provides a space where young people can be learners and educators, sharing with their peers their competencies in a spirit of collaboration. In EPTO, individual knowledge becomes collective knowledge. EPTO members are catalysts for peer education. They may train their peers themselves or create the conditions for peer education to happen between young people through training, mentoring and coaching creating a snowball effect.
In EPTO, young people can:
- Learn more about themselves and discover the great gift of human diversity.
- Learn how to become a peer trainer and train their peers about a variety of different topics: diversity and anti-discrimination, well-being, participation…
- Get to know other peer educators and youth workers using peer education.
- Participate in European meetings with other young people.
- Become activists and initiate their own projects.
- Make a difference… and risk having fun along the way (http://epto.org/).
We, from Volunteers Centre Skopje, are more than happy to receive the invitation and to join this network, as the only CSO from Macedonia. In this occasion, we are also introducing that starting from June, VCS will be partner and co-organizer of two trainings for peer educators, together with EPTO, one in Romania and one in Macedonia, which will give opportunity to three youth workers/leaders from Macedonia to become peer educators on European level…
Volunteer Center Skopje