Training camp for children on preventing the trafficking and sexual exploitation

Saturday 14 January 2006
article translations български, français

From 2 to 8 January 2006 the holiday complex "Sveta gora" next to Veliko Tarnovo hosted 25 children from different social institutions in Bulgaria, their educators and their trainers.

The goal of the training camp prepared by GERT with the financial support of the Global Fund for Children was to train the children on the topics of trafficking and sexual exploitation. The participants of the training will further train their peers in the institutions where they live.

In the town of Veliko Tarnovo the group was welcomeds by the GERT staff in the sunny afternoon of January after the New year’s eve.

Without loosing a minute we climbed with the children on the Tzarevetz hill, to meet them face to face with the glorious history of Bulgaria. For some of them it was the first visit of the old Capital and the short performance at the entrance of the fortress cought the attention of all. This was also the moment of the first meeting of the members of the group and making first friends.

The training started in the morning and the first two days were led by the volunteer’s team of Doctor Ani Angelova from Veliko Tarnovo. The children learned the basics of the peer-to-peer education and some important techniques for protection of their sexual health.

The interactive training sessions and the games were very well accepted and provoked a creative athmosphere in the room. The walls were quickly covered by posters, collages and drawings, rules and expectations.

The team of GERT led the training in next three days and gradually introduced the children to new and challenging topics such as: human rights and children’s rights, gender roles and stereotypes, prevention of violence. The last day was dedicated to the prevention of trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.

The volunteers Tsveta, Katya and Eva from Zaedno Foundation were keeping the good mood and spirit of children with interesting games, exercises and dances. Jivka Marinova presented the basic themes in a child friendly language in order that they understand and digest the difficult matters.

The children were playing different roles, putting themselves in different situations and presenting their own solutions. Their potential is enormous! All the training sessions were accompagnied by lots of music, drawings, conversations, dances and the warm care of Bojura Pavlova from GERT.

The week passed really quickly! Much quicker than all of us expected. Both children and adults were captivated by the magic of the new friendships, the concentrated communications and the fantastic place on the top of the hill.

We promised to each other to meet again... We, the adults are still dreaming of the voices of the children, their tears and their smiles.