The training course “I Am Nice as Well” in Malta was an X-Periment in Overcoming Youth Bullying through Theatre of the Oppressed Application. The project was organized by the NGO “Active Youth Malta” and was implemented with the support of the Erasmus + programme. Project was organized from 15 September 2022 to 26 September 2022.
The project was attended by 26 participants from various European and neighboring countries – Latvia, Georgia, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Italy, Malta and Ukraine. Representatives from EA “World – Our Home” were Eleonora Ivanova, Julija Springe and Artjoms Springis.
The project aim was to provide a space for youth workers/leaders/social workers/youth managers/teachers from 8 partner and program countries so that by the end of the training course participants became aware of:
1) the devastating effects bullying has on teenagers.
2) that a Theatre of the Oppressed (TOTO) is a theatre of social intervention, it can be a creative, innovative and alternative process that could be applied in youth work to address effectively bullying among teenagers.
During the project, participants deepened their knowledge of bullying, TOTO theatre, analyzed methods of combating bullying, acted out performances, and also organized one large Forum theatre performance for the invited public to acquaint people with the problem of bullying and attract them to help find a solution to the problem. The project participants boldly raised questions about different types of bullying, discussed how they would behave in the place of a person being bullied, what can be done to prevent this from happening, and how to influence the situation if you see that someone is being bullied.
During the project, all participants deepened their knowledge and developed skills about bullying, learned that bullying has a devastating effect on people, and also that the Theater of the Oppressed is a theater of social intervention, this can be a creative, innovative and alternative process that can be applied in working with young people to effectively address the problem of bullying among people.
The project participants learned how to use the theater of the oppressed to show the problems of bullying, they learned how to perform on stage. Moreover, they improved their ability to leave their comfort zone, as well as to think differently – “Think outside the box.”
Since intercultural knowledge is a very important part of the Erasmus+ program, a traditional cultural evening was organized during the project, during which the participants got to know the cultures of their countries.
In order for participants to share their experiences during the project, reflection was held every day, where participants gathered in their “family groups” and shared their impressions of the past day. This also helped to improve or acquire Youthpass competencies through various methods.
As a result, the participants were able to expand their knowledge of countering bullying and at the same time explore an alternative innovative approach to effectively address the situation of bullying among young people.