Between April and July the Portuguese Equi-X team was mainly involved in piloting the Equi-X program in three residential foster centres for children and youth and in one temporary residential foster centre in the region of Coimbra (Mira, Semide, Coimbra and Figueira da Foz respectively).
After a period of qualitative research, which included a mapping of needs and a more in-dept study of the four settings through exploratory and semi-structured interviews with professionals working in the institutions, we adapted the modules and decided about the respective order and came up with: Gender; Masculinities; Sexual and Reproductive Health; Violence; Fatherhood and Care. In total 13 group education workshops of 2h each were conducted with children/youth aged between 12-18 years old, based on the H and M methodologies, Manhood 2.0 (USA); Youth Living Peace (Brazil) and Program Y (Croatia). A distinguishing feature of our pilot was the inclusion of a session on online sexual violence.
In July, the team was also involved in assisting the development of the pilot youth-led campaign. Six of the fifty participants in the group education sessions (4 girls and 2 boys) met twice to decide the topic and format of the campaign. The topic chosen was Gender Equality and the slogan is “Gender inequality? Don’t let anyone restrict you!” (in Portuguese, Desigualdade de género? Não deixes que te limitem!”) The group wrote a few sentences related to the issue and took photographs holding signs with the chosen sentences. They also filmed a short video talking about their personal experiences of gender inequality and positive messages about how to achieve gender equality. At the moment, the photos and video are being edited professionally and campaign’s graphic identity and materials are being designed and will serve as basis for the future national campaign.
Additionally, the Equi-X team conducted open sessions in high schools and in elementary schools in the Coimbra region to introduce the Equi-X project and make the first contacts with the schools’ director boards. The main subject of this open sessions was Gender and Masculinities.
At the moment, we are starting to revise, adapt and add a few new sessions on sexual and reproductive health, with the assistance of a sexologist, Vânia Beliz, who will act as a consultant and will revise and adapt the workshops on this topic and train the Portuguese team, namely the facilitation team. We are also at the initial stages of researching and adapting a few sessions that directly address issues of race/ethnicity and that we plan to test in the schools of Porto with the help of Danielle Araújo, a Promundo consultant who has broad experience and knowledge in this field (https://ces.uc.pt/pt/ces/pessoas/investigadoras-es-juniores/danielle-pereira-araujo).