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.
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 Training Programme
The training programme consisted of six different modules, each using drama-based exercises and activities to increase participants knowledge of key areas:
- Module One: Understanding of democracy and use of creative processes and new digital technologies to promote same
- Module Two: Understanding of equality and use of creative processes and new digital technologies to promote same
- Module Three: Understanding of human rights, active citizenship and social inclusion and use of creative processes and new digital technologies to promote same
- Module Four: Knowledge of role of local and national governments and the EU in promoting democracy, equality and human rights
- Module Five: Communication Skills – Public Speaking, Listening and Ability to pass on information to other young people re democracy, equality and human rights
- Module Six: Leadership Skills – Understanding of interpersonal skills, public speaking, communication, listening, ethics, critical and creative thinking, goal setting, passed on through the use of drama workshops and other creative mediums in a safe and trusting environment
The Equality Ambassadors Training took place in Valencia, Spain from Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 June 2022.
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
- To deliver the Equality Ambassador Peer Leadership Training programme suitable for young people from diverse communities with three schools and one third level institution.
- 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.
- 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.