NDI training for young GSA activists began

Belgrade, 15 December 2014

In cooperation with National Democratic Institute (NDI), a training course began last weekend for the first group of young activists of Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). At the start of the course, representatives of NDI and GSA, as well as Kevin Furey from the US embassy in Belgrade, addressed the participants – wishing them good work in a positive atmosphere, and to learn as much as they can.


The training course is going to take place until February next year in several two-day sessions, and NDI trainers are going to work with GSA activists on improving their knowledge and skills in team work, leadership, creation and transfer of messages, public speaking, advocacy, campaign, and similar. In addition, the training course aims to provide the participants with efficient and apllicable mechanisms which they can use in their future work, in GSA as well as in the socio-political sphere generally.
Even though initially a smaller number of participants was planned, the training course will have seventeen participants, due to a lot of interest among GSA members. This internal training for activists meets a real need in the development of the organization and it marks the beginning of a strategy for continuous growth of the organization’s capacities and education of GSA members who, we believe, represent future leaders of the Alliance and of various other areas of social and political life. In partnership with NDI, and knowing their way of working and the great international experience of their trainers, GSA is certain that the criteria such as quality, usefulness and systematicity of information will be fully met.

At the start of the course for the young GSA activists, president of GSA Lazar Pavlović said: “We are very pleased with the group that participate in this NDI training, because they have already shown, with their dedication, initiative and motivation to gain new knowledge and skills, that they deserve to be chosen among all other applicants. This group also symbolically represents the inclusiveness of GSA of which we are very proud, because it is comprised of young people who have different political and ideological attitudes, who come with different practical experiences and have different professions and interests, and because the group is comprised of both LGBT and straight people. We are especially proud that there are 9 female and 8 male participants – out of 17.“

Executive director of the Alliance Mirjana Bogdanović said that for GSA the issues of tolerance and human rights have always been political issues and that this training course is designed to help young GSA members in LGBT human rights lobbying and advocacy, which makes up a huge part of GSA program activities. In addition, the knowledge and skills they receive here will help them in their future positions – within GSA, in political parties, institutions, business sector, and so on. “I truly believe that it is the responsibility of all of us who do some kind of public work and manage different organizations, whether political or civil society organizations, to devote part of our activity to future leaders and help them develop their potential“, she added.
One of the most experienced NDI trainers will be working the most with GSA activists: Nebojša Andrić has worked for many years with various organizations, political parties, companies… “After a training such as this first one with GSA, I always feel convinced that our society can be better, that it can, for a start, come closer to the societies in which most citizens are satisfied with their lives,“ Andrić said, and added: “And what happened at the training? What is it that strengthens my belief that we can be better? People, always people. Wonderful, young, educated, versatile people who are ready to change their society for the better. I expect great cooperation with them, and I’m sure that by the end of the training course I’ll learn a lot myself and I’ll use that new knowledge to contribute to the fight for a society of equals.“
The greatest part of the first training session was devoted to creation, development and transfer of messages. Here is what one of the participants Milica Radović, activist in GSA, says about the training: “I’m very satisfied with the first session and I believe I’ll learn a lot that will help me in future, working in GSA and in my future profession. As a future politicologist I am already familiar with the content, but I really like the way our trainer works; it’s quite different from what I’m used to at the university. I expect that through this training I’ll get a chance to apply my knowledge in practice and improve myself. I am looking forward to sessions on team work and media appearance.”

Info Centre GSA