e-MPOWER - Partnership to Overcome Challenges of Online Learning and to Empower Youth Actors in the Field of Sexual Health Promotion in the COVID-19 Era

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The response to the COVID-19 pandemic around Europe has caused several NGO’s engaged in providing support to vulnerable groups to either completely stop, postpone or adapt their activities. Organisations working with vulnerable populations, have experienced extreme difficulties and pressure due to restrictions and sanitary emergencies causing severe limitations of resources to advocate for the needs and rights of those populations. This might have resulted in increased feelings of isolation, helplessness and risks for physical and mental health for their members and users. In these circumstances building the capacity of young advocates is of extreme urgency, and is challenged by the fact that the task has to be almost exclusively transferred online.



The project will focus on an adapting training activity for young advocates/activists, offered by organisations working in the field of sexual health (HIV and coinfections, sex workers, LGBTI) to the new virtual reality (as a consequence of COVID-19). It will have a specific focus on mental health as the trainings are not only providing knowledge, online safety & digital rights’ (data protection, privacy issues, censorship) which can be relevant to young stigmatised or criminalised populations, but also personal growth. It will also create an online youth activist toolbox, which can be used by partners in the projects and by any other youth activist or organisation it may be relevant to. The project will develop an online platform that will act as an exchange of best practices for youth training programmes between organisations. Create online tools/trainings that would be useful for youth advocacy work in the field of human rights/ organisations led by key populations.


With whom?

ICRSE- network of sex worker organisations and allies supporting the development of national and international law, policy and practice, which respects and upholds the human and labour rights of sex workers throughout Europe and Central Asia.

LEGEBITRA- Local Slovenian LGBTI+ NGO, offering counselling (including online), active on HIV and sexual health, working with youth.

The project will target young advocates working or volunteering in the field of sexual health, to address the challenges of the key populations (sex workers, people living with HIV, and LGBTI persons).



Through the project activities, and the following intellectual outputs (IOs), the project will result in a clear and implementable model of online training provision for young advocates with a focus on sexual health, as well as a freely accessible online toolbox of guidelines.

IO 1: Needs assessment and recommendations.
The project will conduct desk research and quantitative and qualitative research will be conducted to inform the design of future activities with the needs of the key populations.

IO 2: Written recommendations.
The needs assessment will provide a solid base for written recommendations. Following that, the project will conduct an online training for trainers to train them according to the written recommendations, which will be updated after the training. The written recommendations will serve as a guide for how to conduct trainings online for youth activists.

IO 3: M&E Framework.
In parallel, evaluation will be done with training participants before, during and after conducting the training. The project team will prepare an M&E framework to assess the impact of the training activities.

IO 4: Guide for assuring psychosocial well-being during online trainings.
According to the chosen methodology, the psychosocial aspect will be measured during the pilot training. A guide for assuring psychosocial well-being during online trainings for youths with clear recommendations will be written after completion.

IO 5: Youth activist training materials online toolbox.
All partners together will select and review the materials, that are relevant for young activists working in the field of HIV, sex work or in the LGBTI field. The online toolbox will be freely accessible.

IO 6: Presentation of the project outcomes.
Project partners will host a public webinar, presenting the outcomes of the project. Particular focus will be on online trainings recommendations and presentation of the common database. This webinar will be recorded and shared online via project partner social media platforms, and hosted on the online common database/toolbox.

IO 7: Training programme outline and training materials.
Once the trainers are trained, the project team will conduct a pilot training to test the written recommendations in a real setting. The team will work together with the trainers to develop the training programme outline and training materials.


For what outcome?

  • To develop an online platform that will act as an exchange of best practices for youth training programmes between organisations.
  • To create online tools/trainings that would be useful for youth advocacy work in the field of human rights/ organisations led by key populations


EATG contact person(s):Sarah North – sarah.north@eatg.org
Duration of the project/initiative:March 2021 – September 2022
Project/Initiative Leader:EATG
Project/initiative Main Partner(s):ESWA – European Sex Workers Rights Alliance (formerly ICRSE – International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe) (https://www.eswalliance.org/)

LEGEBITRA – Association Cultural, Informational and Counseling Center Legebitra (https://legebitra.si/en/)

Budget:78.398 €
Main Funding Sources:ERASMUS+
Communication Disclaimer:This project has received funding from the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme under grant agreement No 008320


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