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Learning to Live Together to Address Violence against Children and Discrimination in Macedonia

A diverse group of twenty-one teachers, school counselors, educators and social workers participated in a Facilitator Training Workshop on the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Programme in Skopje, Macedonia, with the common aim to tackle violence and discrimination against children from different ethnic and national groups.

The 4-day workshop, which was organized by the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and the First Children's Embassy in the World – "Megjashi" (FCEWM) with the support of Arigatou International Geneva, took place from 2 to 5 March 2018, immediately after a Regional Meeting between the GNRC, End Child Poverty in Partnership and FCEWM titled “Mobilizing Faith Communities to End Child Poverty and Violence against Children”.

While the Regional Meeting aimed to develop a relevant community mobilization and advocacy strategy to address child poverty and violence against children, the subsequent Facilitator Training Workshop offered an efficient tool to reach these objectives and to develop and strengthen the local GNRC.

Macedonia 1The Facilitator Training Workshop aimed to build capacities in teachers and social workers on how to use the LTLT manual in their work with children and young people with different ethnic backgrounds. Their role as multipliers of the LTLT Programme will ultimately contribute to advocating for quality education for all children in Macedonia.

The participants had the opportunity to explore and discover the key concepts, learning modules, methodologies and learning process of the LTLT Programme, gaining a better understanding of the Ethics Education Approach.

“During the workshop we guided participants in the exploration of methodologies to stimulate participation, horizontal communication and critical thinking in children, as well as ways to nurture spirituality in children and to build a safe learning environment for them, offering a new pedagogical approach for the participants to work with children and youth” said Ms. Laura Molnar, who facilitated the workshop together with Ms. Ana Žnidarec Čučković.

Based on their local needs, participants elaborated a customized ethics education program based on the LTLT Programme and exercised their facilitation skills by carrying out ethics education sessions for their colleagues. The

y also created action plans focused on addressing violence against children, bullying and the discrimination of Roma, Albanian or disadvantaged children in schools and in the local communities. The action plans also aimed to promote the rights of the child, especially their right to quality education and participation.

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The workshop also helped participants visualize how the implementation of the LTLT Programme with the children they work with, could help meet their specific needs, like nurturing ethical values that are conducive to living respectfully together with people from different cultural and religious backgrounds. 

After the workshop, a community of practice was established to strengthen the network and support the implementation plans.

Arigatou International Geneva thanks the GNRC and FCEWM for their support and commitment; Ms. Laura Molnar and Ana Žnidarec Čučković, both official trainers of the Learning to Live Together Programme, for their outstanding professionalism in carrying out this workshop, and, and all the participants for their enthusiasm.