Moldova Efforts to eliminate stereotypes and prejudices

Project : Moldova 2 May 2012 discrimination integration social exclusion inclusion

2988_picture_408_smallMarch 22, 2012, Soroca, Moldova: In an effort to fight stereotyping and prejudice, Terre des hommes has elaborated a module and conducted trainings. One of the regions where this training is most needed is Soroca, where most of Moldova’s Roma live. The social community assistants from Soroca were invited to attend the ‘Stereotype and Prejudice’ module training with the aim of diminishing this “epidemic”.

In the course of the training the participants were asked to get involved in different activities, games and discussions. The game “Which of the people you wouldn’t like to spend a week with in a train booth” revealed many of the social workers’ stereotypes, mainly the ones related to Roma people, this being the category of beneficiaries that they are most in touch with. Acknowledging these stereotypes is the first big step in overcoming them.

2986_picture_450_smallThe second part of the training, the ‘Management of conflicts’, included an interactive game which was based on role play, elaborating situations that appear in a typical day of work. The social workers played not only their own role, but also the one of the usual beneficiary. Being in the skin of another person is a valuable experience for each individual and can lead to good results. Although the exchange of words could sometimes get ugly, loud and the situation can become conflictive, a good social worker can always “calm the spirits”. The role playing offered new perspective and different perceptions for the social assistants. “The management of the case, which we represented, was based on real situations and people. When a conflict arises, I try to offer support to my social assistants in order to settle it without any serious and negatives outcomes.” said Aliona Perechiatco, the chief of the Community Social Assistance Department of Soroca who had previously participated at such seminars on “Stereotypes and Prejudices” topic. She also mentioned that this training was still quite useful and interesting for her. “This training confirmed me the things that I knew before. Each person has his own prejudices, and so do I. I just try to ignore them and treat each person equally. I try to keep my emotions gestures and mimics that may reveal some of my stereotypes to my self when working with a beneficiary.”

2987_picture_433_smallAlthough the topic of this training is something that everyone is familiar with, it was very useful for the Tdh team, because it brought awareness of how important conducting these kind of trainings is, as many social workers have issues, in many instances being judgemental, which often may lead to unwanted results.

The “Stereotypes and Prejudices” training was conducted in Calarasi and Gagauzia, where the MOVE project has introduced the psychosocial approach and methodology to new educators just recently, while the training also covered the already familiar regions, like Falesti and Ungheni. (MS)

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