23 young people from 16 countries from the Region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia participated in the Annual PETRI-Sofia Training of Trainers (ToT), which took place on 12-18 July 2016 in Borovets, Bulgaria.The training was organized by the Regional training and research institute PETRI – Sofia, established in the National Centre of Public Health and Analyses with the support of the Regional Office of UNFPA for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The training aimed building the capacity of youth leaders from the Region as Trainers of Trainers in Peer Education to plan and lead training sessions for their peers and to use theatre techniques related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV prevention.  The second aim of the training was to focus on advocacy: strengthening the capacity of young people to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate advocacy campaigns and actions related to SRHR in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Development Agenda.

Annual PETRI-Sofia Training of Trainers photoDuring the seven days of the training, the participants developed their knowledge, skills and competences to work with their peers using new interactive methods of education  as role plays, small group discussions, brainstorming, energizers,  techniques for sharing information, team building and trust building exercises etc. They learnt how to explore values and attitudes, how to organize recruitment and retention of peer educators, how to communicate on issues related to SRHR, HIV, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation and social values. The Advocacy part of the training was focused on SRHR in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Development Agenda, messaging for key decision makers, networking with stakeholders, building and maintaining partnerships, lobbying, developing advocacy strategies, developing age-appropriate messages and youth-adult partnership, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of advocacy campaigns.

The international training faculty consisted of experienced Y-PEER trainers from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Romania supported by professional master trainers from PETRI team.

On the 18th of July, at the closing ceremony of the training, Mr. Rayko Raychev, General Director of the Global Affairs General Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, officially gave the certificates of attendance to all the participants and congratulated them for taking part in the training, for being active and for working on these important topics related to the 2030 Development Agenda.

The training was a unique opportunity for the young people from the Region to develop their knowledge and skills, which they will use in their home countries for the further development of the Y-PEER national networks and for the effective delivery of peer education programmes focused on SRHR and other related issues.