Author: M. G.
Today Ayke and Matteo from Team DAA - joined by our beloved Zoe - went to a Hogeschool in Antwerp for a workshop about sex, safe sex, HIV/AIDS and homosexuality. A lot of things to say and not so much time: we stayed with the students for more than 3 hours and we would like to be there with them an entire day to hear everything they have to say about these subjects.
To be honest, our feeling before starting the workshop was pure terror: we knew the subject wasn't easy and we were aware that our audience- a multicultural group of young people between 14 and 21 years old - wasn't the easiest to deal with. It was only our second time in such a situation, so we weren't sure of what was about to happen. "Will they listen and focus?" "Will they be bored?" "Will they interact with us, or will they throw their notebooks at us?". Plus, we really wanted to deliver a good presentation and make them think about important things like safe sex, prejudice and relationships.
Well, it was simply awesome: we met a group of very extroverted people who accepted the challenge of expressing their own opinion in front of us and their classmates. The atmosphere of the workshop was chaotic and not silent at all, but this is what we wanted to achieve. We could conduct a nice confrontation of personal thoughts and everybody could agree in disagreeing with each other on complex subjects as sex and LGBT. It was a very intense morning, there was a lot of stuff going on and this is the most interesting part, because we saw and heard so many different things. Young people just need attention given to their thoughts, opinions and feelings; they need to be heard. People who treat youngsters as just a bunch of noisy idiots are the first to be blamed.
Even though there is always something that can be done better, we can proudly say that we did a very good job today. There's nothing general that you can say about sex, everyone experiences it in her/his own way and this is the most difficult thing to get -respect and awareness of what you're doing are the fundamental things to know. In a nutshell, this was the reason behind this workshop. We really hope that this is going to be just the first of many other DAA school visits in the near future, we're really looking forward to repeating this experience again and again. People be ready for us and see you soon!