Çavaria: improving equality in the schools of Flanders

Çavaria is an NGO in Belgium that inspires, encourages and supports organizations and individuals who stand for an open understanding of sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity.

Their education project is funded by the Flemish Department of Education, a longstanding collaboration that started 18 years ago. 

At first, Çavaria’s education project focused on students by delivering workshops in the secondary schools of Flanders, and now it focuses on training the teachers. In 2016-2017 Çavaria offered 155 workshops to teachers in primary and secondary schools, and began offering training to teachers going through their initial education (Bachelor and Master).

The organisation customises this training as much as possible to the different needs of each school. It also encourages schools to invite it back for more in-depth work on how to transform schools into safer and more inclusive environments for all.

Besides the workshops, it develops educational materials for teachers that are easy to access and apply in the classroom. For example, this year, responding to the inadequacy felt by many schools as to how to help trans* or intersex children, Çavaria published a new brochure, Trans* @school. The brochure gives some simple answers to the main questions schools have on dealing with such sensitive issues.

Last year Çavaria published a successful educational toolkit for toddlers, Lou on his way to school (Lou op weg naar school) that can cover 70% of the material of Flemish nursery education. The toolkit deals not only with gender and sexual diversity, but also with diversity in terms of ethnicity, age and religion.

Çavaria’s educational material can be found here in Flemish.