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Training of trainers in Poland

In response to the growing need for educational and psychosocial support for overweight or obese youth, on 07-09.03.2024, within the framework of the YOUnite educational project, contract number: 2022-1-AT01-KA220-YOU-000087069, co-financed by the Erasmus+ program, a comprehensive training course for youth educators ha taken place. The goal of the training was to equip participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively support youth in the areas of medicine, stress management, nutrition education, physical activity promotion, awareness development and preparation for entry into the labor market.

The training was attended by 8 participants.

The three-day training combined theory and practice, offering participants lectures and interactive teaching methods, presentations, discussions and exercises. The latter enabled the recipients of the training to put into practice the knowledge they gained. The training included the following thematic modules, each focusing on a different aspect of support for overweight or obese youth: medicine, nutrition education, physical activity, stress, awareness, employment.

On the first day of the training, the educational content so far developed by the project partners (theoretical knowledge and examples of practical activities) on the various modules was presented. Participants discussed the problems of obese youth and the difficulties in working with such youth. They asked many questions in the context of proper communication with obese youth and proposals for interventions aimed at helping youth with this problem, without stigmatization. During the day, participants gained knowledge about the causes and consequences of obesity in youth, and understood its impact on physical and mental health. They understood the importance of changing eating habits and learned how to teach youth to plan balanced meals. Participants learned how to motivate adolescents to engage in regular physical activity tailored to their abilities and preferences, emphasizing that any form of exercise is valuable. They learned stress management and relaxation techniques. They also gained skills to support young people in career planning. On this day was assigned, among the participants, the responsibility to work independently on the following day (i.e. 08.03.2024r). Participants were informed about the possibility of receiving support from trainers on the day of independent work. 

On Saturday, March 09, 2024 at the headquarters of Zdrowy Kształt, the participants presented the practical activities they had prepared the previous day, in terms of selected modules. Eagerly and with full commitment, creating an atmosphere for discussion, they shared their ideas on working with obese young people and opportunities to improve their quality of life and increase their employability.

One of the more interesting concepts was the idea of creating a team in educational institutions from whose support an obese student could benefit. The team would consist of a group of youth educators, responsible for a dedicated range of topics, e.g.: a nurse – advice on medicine, a biology teacher – advice on nutrition education, a PE teacher – advice on physical activity, a school counselor – advice on stress, another selected teacher – advice on career counseling.  One of the participants in the training was the director of the educational institution, who expressed interest and curiosity about the above idea.

The sessions were led by experts, ensuring a high level of content.

The training was positively received by the participants, who emphasized its comprehensiveness and practical aspects. They expressed the conviction that the skills and knowledge gained will significantly enhance their effectiveness in working with obese youth, contributing to improving their quality of life and better chances in the labor market. They also stressed the value of exchanging experiences and building support networks among professionals.

In terms of follow-up, participants pointed to the need for continued education on new research and methods for working with obese youth, highlighting the dynamic nature of the challenges facing educators in this area. This training is an important step toward building educators’ awareness and competence, and thus better support for youth in overcoming obesity-related barriers.