Peer Forum 2016 report

According to the website « Empower yourself with color psychology, « ORANGE is the color of adventure and social communication. The color psychology of orange is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit. In fact orange is so optimistic and uplifting that we should all find ways to use it in our everyday life, even if it is just an orange colored pen that we use. Orange brings spontaneity and a positive outlook on life and is a great color to use during tough economic times, keeping us motivated and helping us to look on the bright side of life ». 

Orange is the color of EPTO and has definitely been the color of this PEER FORUM 2016. Organised in partnership with 4motion and Associação PAR – Respostas Sociais, the event held in Lisbon brought 60 participants from 16 different European countries. It has been a moment of sharing and celebration of EPTO's 20 years engagement in using quality peer education towards a more inclusive, peaceful and democratic society.

Thanks the support of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe and the European Commission through the Erasmus+ programme, the PEER FORUM 2016 was an opportunity to gather different generations of peer trainers and practioners who use(d) peer education as a way to engage young people in tackling social issues affecting them directly. This event was meant to reflect about own practices, to create emulation between the participants, to build new partnerships and to bring new ideas for future projects.

Through a full programme of interactive sessions and peer-led activities, we could showcase EPTO's various training programmes and map peer training initiatives organised in Europe over the past 20 years. The main aim of this edition was to learn from the past and build on it for better demonstrating the impact of peer education on youth empowerment and participation. With the expertise of Robin Sclafani, Vice-Chair of EPTO, the participants had the chance to reflect upon advocacy strategies and share their experience with other peer trainers and professionals in the spirit of peer education.

But the PEER FORUM was mainly an occasion to meet, see and hear about how EPTO and Peer education in general have impacted the life of hundreds of young people; how this particular methodology coupled with the strong belief in the richness of diversity provided a safe space for youth to grow and to fully develop their potential.

If “Orange aids in the assimilation of new ideas and frees the spirit of its limitations, giving us the freedom to be ourselves. At the same time (if) it encourages self-respect and respect of others”, EPTO definitely chose the right color!