Internatioanl Semina “Gender Utopia – Who cares?”

10th-16th December 2018 in Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria

Background of the project
Who cooks in international youth work? Who is represented on toilet signs? Who is made fun of? Who shows emotions? Who volunteers? Who doesn’t? There are many ways that young people’s gender or sexual orientation influence their experience of international youth projects and it is very rarely made visible or reflected upon, unless the projects explicitly revolve around gender.

“Gender Utopia – Who cares?” is a 7-day seminar (2 travel, 5 full working days) that will take place in Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria from 10th to 16th of December 2018. It’s organised by the Austrian branch of the peace organisation Service Civil International (SCI). We will be 27 participants from 11 mostly Central European countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland and Croatia, Switzerland). The organisations involved are both international volunteering organisations (from within the network Service Civil International) and queer/feminist organisations working with youth.

In this seminar, we will take a utopic perspective on international youth work. We will (re)imagine projects that are completely void of discrimination, harassment and exclusion based on gender and sexuality. We believe that such a perspective can enable us to come up with radically new ideas and foster an understanding of what it actually is that we want or don’t want, leading to better and more equal projects. We will learn and exchange best and worst practices on how to create safe spaces for young people and on how to make everyone feel welcome, included and free to express themselves.

The outcome of the seminar will be guidelines, methods and other input for the toolkit “Free to be you and me”, which will be released after the seminar in cooperation with other organisations working with gender in international seminars for youth workers. The seminar will use non-formal education as a facilitation approach.

 

Participant’s profile

The participants will be trainers, project and volunteering camp coordinators, educators or activists in a gender/LGBT+ context in a youth context.
All participants will be expected and stimulated to contribute to the activities and discussions. They are very welcome and invited to come up with their own ideas and present some methods or workshops they are experienced in and they want to share. Please contact us in advance to tell us about it and we will see how it can fit in the seminar agenda. 🙂

All participants selected for this project must meet the following criteria

  • be 18 years old or older
  • be able to come to the seminar WITHOUT flying – due to the high impact of flying on climate change; please come with train or bus instead (If you think that there is no other way than coming by plane, please contact us)
  • have at least a basic understanding of questions of gender and LGBT+ issues
  • be active in their sending organization
  • be able to work in English
  • be interested in the seminar topics and have a strong motivation to act as multiplier
  • commit to implement the learned knowledge and skills in practice back home
  • commit to actively participate from the beginning to the end of the seminar

We explicitly encourage participants of all genders and sexual orientations to apply.

Through the seminar, we want to help create a stronger discourse on gender issues and power structures within the SCI network and the work we are doing, as well as in peace and volunteering organisations in general. Those organisations focusing on gender issues in their work can benefit from the broad experience of peace activism and non-formal education work in the SCI network – and of course from the exchange with other likeminded organisations and people.

Please note that there will be opportunities to visit the town of Kötschach-Mauthen, but that this is not a “getting to know the region” project. On some days the seminar also foresees evening sessions.

Financial conditions of participation

All essential costs of the program in Kötschach-Mauthen (including food, travel costs, accommodation and training) will be covered by SCI Austria through a project grant by Erasmus+.

Application

Applications should be sent to your sending organization, which will each select their own two participant(s) and then forward the application(s) to SCI Austria. All those accepted will later receive a detailed infosheet (incl. Info on how to get to the venue, how to book your travels, . Deadline for applying is 02.12.2018

Contact

If you have any questions regarding the project and your application, don’t hesitate to contact us (val_weidinger@yahoo.com).

We are looking forward to your application 🙂
The coordinating team

Valerie, Thomas and Esther