February 20, 2008

Latest IGLYO-OBESSU Event in OSLO a BIG Success


The latest event organised by IGLYO with OBESSU has been a success. It was “enlightenment”, a fast-track session of  days to train participants to go to schools and talk about homosexuality.

29 young participants came from IGLYO member organisations, as well as other youth NGOs from Europe. The event aimed to follow-up and put in practice the guidelines created a year ago in Strasbourg (UDIP, Understanding, Developing and implementing LGBT-inclusive Policies in Schools across Europe, April 2007), and allow participants to go to real Norwegian classrooms to test out their methods.

The result was astonishing. From the 28th January to the 1st February 2008, participants worked extremely hard to put together their own program, and present it to real classrooms in and around Oslo. The event was facilitated by prep-team members Christian Mollerop and Andreas Nilsson (LLH), Antonia Wulff (OBESSU), Claire Anderson and Bruno Selun (IGLYO).

On the first day, all participants were welcomed by the team, and got together to brainstorm and come up with understandings of LGBTQ-related terms and issues. That way, everybody knew about the issues at hand, and we all reflected upon the necessity to talk to other young people about homophobia and human rights for sexual minorities. An expert from LLG, who had extensive experienc in Norwegian classrooms, joined us to talk about what was involved.

The second day focused around the actual planning of the classroom interventions. 6 groups of 4 participants prepared their own recipe, helped by the team, external resources, resources from their own oragnisations and the rest of he group. The tension rose in inch at the end of the day, when the next day would see the group go each to their own classroom, assisted by team members and LLH activists.

6am on the third day saw an army of European warriors wake up in various states of freshness: time to jump in trains, buses and subways to get to the schools early! The tams separated, and re-jopined all together at mid-afternoon. It had been a resounding success for almost every participant, and certainly for all of the teams. Project ideas where exchanged, and techniques and advice were enthusiastically shared.

The final day was certainly as intense as the first part of the week. We sat together to compile and extensive list of guidance, advice and reccomendations for going into classrooms in schools across Europe. We hope this experience-based documentation will be available through IGLYO and OBESSU soon, as it gathers the experience of over a year’s worth of efforts, and concrete actions done in Norwegian classrooms.

More than the participants, the students and teachers we visited were delighted by our visit. We provided an intercultural insight to a large group of Norwegian youngsters, and raised awareness about homophobia and LGBTQ people.
The event was so successful that there are plans to make it happen again in early 2009 and beyond… Nothing is sure yet, but stay tuned!

IGLYO wishes to thank LLH for hosting this event in Oslo, as well as the hosting schools for their kind welcome.

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