A volunteer travelled with GAIA to a workcamp called ‘Youth for Human Rights’ to Tirana. Here she writes about her experiences:
The work camp, which took place in the village of Ndroq, 18 km southeast of Tirana, started off with two brainstorming sessions for the planning of awareness raising activities on the topics of human rights, anti-discrimination, domestic violence and environmental protection with students from the elementary and high school.
The volunteers planned 45 minutes sessions, which comprised non-formal ways of education such as role plays, discussions, songs and creating posters. These activities covered the above mentioned issues and addressed them in a simple way so as to make people think about their own stereotypes and behavior.
The activities were designed to point out what kind of stereotypes exist and to make them aware that such stereotypes hinder positive interactions between people of different ethnicity and nationality.
I think such activities should be repeated on a regular basis and they should also include trainings for teachers and parents. Second, I think there should be a stronger emphasize on the role of the students that receive training and the impact they can have on their families and friends.
The project ended with the presentation of the theater play that the students had prepared. It included a singing part, a rapping part, a dancing part, an acting part and ended with the entire school dancing to Albanian folksongs in the school yard. For me, it was a special cultural experience I will not forget. I learned how to interact in a different cultural environment and to handle a big group of students. Above all, I enjoyed very much working with the students that contributed enthusiastically to the final theatre play, which raised awareness among the rest of the students in the school.
text and pictures by Laetitia Sengseis