In early October 2018 YouthLink conducted its first YPEER Training - called the Auroville Peer Education Training (APET). Juan and Anna have had experience in this field of work for many years, so they worked together with YouthLink to design a locally adapted curriculum, using the Y-PEER UNFPA methodolog
APET is a 1 week program that aims to educate the youth on sensitive topics such as drug abuse, addictions, rape, consent, and prevention of STI's. By prodiving information on such topics to a group of young people, they are then empowered to take initiative and help those around them who are currently or at risk of facing such difficulties.
The training is designed to raise awareness about difficult topics through various types of sessions. The course was conducted through games and theatre based exercises, where the youth were shown the many different ways people interpret situations and what course of action to take, always mindful of the situation at hand and the context one finds themselves in. The program also included a First Aid training. This of course goes in hand with understanding the limits to peer education - and when is the suitable moment to reach out to "experts" such as psychologists, doctors, ambulance, security service or police.
We have now 20 graduates ! These graduates are now are part of a global network of YPEER educators. They are also the first batch of pioneers as we are building a Auroville Peer Education Network (APEN) to create a stronger support for youth in this bioregion. YouthLink plans to conduct another APET course in early 2019.