The project Camp Up- Advocating for Gender Equality was organised and implemented by YEU Cyprus with the funding and support of the European Youth Foundation and the Council of Europe. The project involved a 4-day series of workshops which were hosted at the environmental centre Terra Cypria, in Kritou Terra, Paphos.
The overall aim of the project was to facilitate sessions and activities aiming to bridge the advocacy skills gap regarding gender equality issues and to monitor progress touching upon Youth Goal 2 “Equality of all Genders” and Youth Goal 4 “Information & Constructive Dialogue from the European Youth Strategy 2019-2027”, as well as upon building a peaceful and inclusive society in Cyprus, thus contributing to the Council of Europe youth sector’s priorities.
The content of the sessions was developed in accordance with the main agenda which consisted of the following targets: end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls, ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life, and lastly guarantee access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
The activities took place from the 1st of October to the 4th of October 2021 and involved interactive sessions with informative presentations, creative collaborations, role-playing games and guest visits from the Cyprus Family Planning Association and the founders of Thkio Logia initiative.
Furthermore, a number of follow-up activities were decided upon and designed by the participants of the project. Some of these activities included drafting formal correspondence to request meeting with teacher associations to discuss the issues hindering the effective implementation of sexual education at schools. Moreover, a digital campaign raising awareness about the services offered by a newly established women shelter which provides both short-term and long-term support to women and girls who are victims of sexual and domestic violence. Additionally, within the work done to promote effective sexual education at schools, we visited a school to host a debate session where students shared and discussed their opinions regarding the subject. At the end of the debate, students shared questions regarding sexual education, which were collected and in collaboration with professionals and volunteers from the Cyprus Family Planning Association, were answered in a video which was then disseminated through our social media channels.
The success of the project was largely due to how relevant and impactful the participants found the issues at hand. All activities were carefully designed as to enable participants to take control of their contribution and using their creativity, knowledge and passion become skillful advocates who will become active both on a local and national levels in order to promote gender equality, equal access to opportunities and access to fundamental needs regarding sexual health and reproduction rights.