New for 2021: 4 month LGBTQI+ resilience training in Eastern & Central Europe

June 4, 2021

For over a decade, Ulex trainers have been working on psycho-social resilience training for activists. In recent years we have been developing a curriculum aimed specifically at the LGBTQI+ community, alongside supporting social movements in Eastern & Central Europe.

To address the specific challenges of the LGBTQI+ community in this region, the Ulex Project is now launching a 4-month long  LGBTQI+ Resilience Online Programme.

So why now? The global pandemic has made it impossible to host in-person international meetings and gatherings. At the same time the pandemic is hitting the LGBTQI+ community particularly hard with reduced access to healthcare alongside increased levels of domestic violence, state repression and economic precarity.  Read more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the community in this report by Transgender Europe (TGEU) or this report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) Europe.

Protestors in Belgrade, November 2019

Even before the pandemic struck there was already enormous pressure on LGBTQI+ movements in Eastern Europe and post-soviet countries, with people finding themselves working in increasingly hostile and prejudiced environments. Activists across the region are working daily with high levels of stress, media attacks, and repression driven by state and non-state actors.

Being able to navigate the challenges and uncertainties of everyday life alongside working for a social change is challenging, demanding and draining. Especially now.

»»» Read more about the Ulex Project LGBTQI + Resilience Project

As a response to the COVID-19 crisis the internet has become even more overloaded with information on how to take care of ourselves. A wide range of tools for wellness and resilience building, apps monitoring mood and sleep quality, online workshops for mindfulness and more are available in abundance! The world moved online and the amount of people promising ‘fixes’ can feel overwhelming. The Ulex team decided that we want to create a space that feels different and offers something that will support LGBTQI+ activists in Central and Eastern Europe in a more sustained and in-depth way. Hence, at the beginning of April 2021 we are launching a 4 month-long online training on LGBTQI+ Psycho-Social Resilience for activists from Central-Eastern Europe and other post soviet countries.

This will be an opportunity to build community together and explore topics such as burnout, trauma, repression, emotional literacy and psycho-social resilience in a focused, closed group, preparing participants to go back to their groups and communities to apply the tools learned and keep the movements in the regions nourished and resilient.

The aims of the training are to:

• Equip participants with basic knowledge and tools around personal, group and movement resilience

• Offer a nourishing and supportive space to explore one’s own resilience

• Build meaningful relationships among participants

• Enable participants to implement changes in the groups and networks they are working with

The topics we will focus on are:

• Relationship building and sustaining

• Burnout basics, prevention and how to work with it

• Repression and suppression analysis, prevention, risk assessments

• Trauma basics and community based healing tools, first responses

• Emotional literacy

• Navigating power in our groups and in our movements

• Conflict transformation and communication cultures

• Ecology of Social Movements

Who will be participating?

Ulex will be working with a range of partner organisations, grassroots organising collectives and movements involved in LGBTQI+ activism, supporting people who identify as LGBTQI+, and are coming from and working in Eastern Europe, Western Balkans and other post-soviet countries. We are specifically working with those in positions who are able to pass on the knowledge gained at the course to benefit their communities. We are really excited to be working with committed people who will be both engaging with learning and tasks outside of the online sessions, as well as taking part in the online group sessions.

Want to learn more about the training?

For more information be in touch with Ilaj:

READ ON: Resilience as Resistance: LGBTQI+ Movement Building in the Balkans »»»