European Project: Equality Ambassadors

Using creativity and new digital technologies to promote democracy, equality and human rights with youth workers and young people in an equal Europe

Equality Ambassadors is an innovative transnational partnership project bringing together five partner organisations from Ireland, Croatia, Serbia, Greece and Spain who work with young people including those most marginalised. The project promotes an exchange and transfer of good practice and the sharing of ideas at a European level between five partner organisations involved in youth work, bringing them together to collaboratively design a new European Equality Ambassador Peer Leadership Training Programme, resource book and digital app.

The Equality Ambassadors curriculum is an innovative training programme that uses creative processes of theatre-based workshops combined with new digital technologies and online resources to develop a range of skills with young people in order to train them as Equality Ambassadors. An Equality Ambassador is a young person who receives training in personal and social development, in leadership and communication skills, in creative practice and the use of new digital technologies to engage with other young people to promote democracy, equality and human rights and active civic engagement at a European level.

Six transnational partner exchanges are held in addition to steering meetings, workshops and Skype sessions. Ten Youth Workers are trained in how to conduct the Equality Ambassador Curriculum, which is then rolled out with 200 youth across Europe to train them as Equality Ambassadors. A communications strategy is conducted and the project culminates in an International Youth Symposium held in Dublin, Ireland. Activities are open to youth workers, leaders, educators, teachers, facilitators, artists, young people and all those interested in the creative arts, youth work and the promotion of democracy, equality and human rights.

Growing consensus around the world recognises education for human rights as essential. It can contribute to the building of free, just, and peaceful societies. Equality and Human rights education is increasingly recognised as an effective strategy to prevent human rights abuses and assists in promoting a more inclusive, tolerant and diverse society. The Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) exhorts every individual and every organ of society to ‘strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms’.

The EU is founded on principles of liberty, democracy, gender equality, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. This project uses the creative mediums of theatre and new digital technologies to promote democracy, equality and human rights, all key values underpinning the EU. Young people are actively involved in the democratic life of Europe and gain expertise in supporting the role of the EU to promote diversity and respect for all.

Equality Ambassadors is supported by Erasmus+ and the partners are Smashing Times, Dublin, Ireland (lead); Dah Theatre, Belgrade, Serbia; Youth Peace Group (Danube), Vukovar, Croatia; KANE, Kalamata, Greece; and Ifescoop, Valencia, Spain.

What is an Equality Ambassador?

An Equality Ambassador is a young person who receives training in personal and social development, in leadership and in the use of new digital technologies in order to engage with other young people to promote values of democracy, equality and human rights and active civic engagement at a European level, making society a better place for all. An Equality Ambassador has a knowledge of:

  • Democracy, equality and human rights and how equality and human rights underpin a strong democracy
  • Understanding of how EU policies are shaped and Information on EU processes, procedures and policies for actively promoting democracy, equality and human rights
  • Awareness of anti-racism, diversity and inclusion
  • How to use creative arts-based processes and new digital technologies to promote democracy, equality and human rights and to raise awareness of the role of the EU to promote and advance democracy, equality and human rights for all citizens

An Equality Ambassador can provide other young people with links to the Equality Ambassadors curriculum, book and mobile app with information on 25 Role Model biographies for democracy, equality and human rights, a bibliography, glossary of terms and useful contacts. An Equality Ambassador has strong leadership, interpersonal, public speaking and communication skills and can:

  • Share their own experiences and listen to other’s experiences of inequality
  • Aim to identify changes needed to promote democracy, equality and human rights
  • Aim to identify ways for bringing different communities together
  • Be open minded, non-judgmental and willing to listen and learn
  • Provide access to an on-line list of resources to promote democracy, equality and human rights

For information on human rights, click here.

EQUALITY AMBASSADORS LGBTIQ+

In Ireland, Smashing Times received funding to run four workshops to develop and deliver the Equality Ambassador Peer Leadership Training programme suitable for young people from diverse communities. The programme uses creative processes to promote awareness raising and skills development for young people, training them to become Equality Ambassadors so they can go on to become leaders in society, promoting human rights, equality, diversity and LGBTIQ+ rights within the wider community.

We delivered training to four youth groups in schools and third level education:

St Paul’s CBS North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7

Stratford College co-educational School 1 Zion Road, Rathgar Dublin 6

TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama, Rathmines, Dublin 6

Objectives

  1. To deliver the Equality Ambassador Peer Leadership Training programme suitable for young people from diverse communities with three schools and one third level institution.
  2. To deliver the Equality Ambassador Peer Leadership Training programme that engenders in young people a belief in human rights, empowerment and active citizenship and a respect for shared social justice values including gender equality, human dignity, diversity, LGBTIQ+ rightsand respect for all.
  3. To foster the inclusion and employability of young people from marginalised communities by providing them with training and support services for building confidence, self-esteem, leadership and social skills, and to create an opportunity for young people to learn new skills and leadership skills through drama workshops and other creative mediums in a safe environment.