Take part in an international seminar on toxic masculinity in youth and volunteering projects in Madrid!


We are looking for 2 participants for the International Seminar “Reacting to Toxic Masculinity in Youth & Volunteering Projects”, which will take place in Madrid from 22 to 28 May!

*To participate in the international seminars or trainings, you only need to become a member of SCI Switzerland. The travel costs, your participation fee, food and accommodation are covered by SCI Switzerland and the Movetia Foundation.

About the Project

Men who talk much and loudly in group discussions but do little of the care work? Or who make sexist jokes and generally take up more space than FLINTA persons (=Females, Lesbians, Inter-, Non-Binary, Trans- and A-Gender Persons)? This sounds familiar and you are annoyed by behaviours like this?

At youth projects, participants and facilitators are repeatedly confronted with challenging situations caused by male socialization similar those mentioned above or even worse. These behaviors make a seminar less comfortable for everybody and need to be addressed and reduced by the facilitators. Especially when we discuss topics like Peace, Justice or Discrimination a safe environment is crucial.

“Toxic masculinity” is the term coined for a harmful set of behaviors that some men still continue to uphold. There is nothing toxic about being a man, but some men act in destructive ways based on the gender roles they learned during their socialisation and think that they need to fulfil those: violence, intimidating aggressions, hyper-competitiveness, sexual objectification, and emotional detachment. Misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia are often reinforced through these behaviors. Women, non- binary people, and also other men are the targets of these behaviors. And “toxic” men even direct these behaviors towards themselves because they feel that they do not meet what is required of “a real man”.

We have observed these behaviors on larger and smaller scales in our volunteering and youth projects. With “Detox your project”, we want to address the problem and enable facilitators to deal with toxic masculinity in their projects. With varying interactive methods, we will reflect on our own gendered socialization, discuss the topic and our experiences within the group and deepen our knowledge about toxic masculinity, sexism, gender and patriarchy. Based on this, we will develop strategies to deal with toxic masculinity in our projects and share these through a toolkit that we’ll write together at the seminar. We will also discuss ways how to encourage and shape alternative masculinities during projects.

During the seminar we are going to use a broad variety of non-formal education methods, such as world café, snowball discussions, research, silent exhibition, theatre, visual harvesting, arts, energizers, self reflection, teambuilding games and more.

The team

The seminar will be facilitated by an experience team of trainers of SCI: Sima* Jakob & Mira Weinberger. They are active trainers in the field of anti-discrimination, gender and climate justice. They cover different personal perspectives on the topic of gender and masculinity.

Our objectives

  • Providing young workers with basic training in masculinity studies so that we all understand the context and background to the behaviors of young men
  • Normalize basic activities for gender-safe spaces, also in projects where gender is not the main E.g. asking for the pronoun for everyone or creating awareness for gender equality on seminars, for example concerning talking times, distribution of care work….
  • Raise awareness of how toxic masculinity behaviors can be observed among young people and during youth
  • Develop strategies on how to deal with conflicts around toxic masculinity and create methods for interventions
  • reflect on own socialization and how their gender roles influence their behavior today
  • Build foundations to support young people in developing positive views and understanding of masculinities
  • Exchange with other people and learning each other’s experiences: good and bad


As an outcome we would like to create guidelines for youth workers and volunteering organisations on toxic masculinity, possibly as an annex to SCI‘s „Free to be you and me” -Toolkit.

The venue

The seminar will take place in the youth house “Albergue Juvenil El Escorial”. It is located in San Lorenzo de El Escorial which is in the countryside about 50km northwest from Madrid.

Participant’s profile

The project aims to gather 17 participants (up to 1-2 per partner organization). The participants will be youth workers, trainers as well as staff, activists, camp coordinators and active volunteers from volunteering organizations. The seminar is open for all genders. All participants selected for this project should meet the following criteria:

  • be vaccinated against Covid 19 or recovered (obligation – see exact rules on the next page)
  • be 18 years old or older
  • be able to work in English
  • be interested in the seminar topics and have a strong motivation to act as a multiplier
  • Able to attend for the full duration of the seminar
  • be committed to spreading their new skills and competences to their sending branches, g. via a workshop or a camp coordinator training
  • If somehow possible and feasible, be committed to come to the seminar without flying, and to travel instead by overland

We explicitly encourage participants of all classes, educational backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and ethnic backgrounds to apply. For this project you should either have the nationality of one of the following countries or living in one of them: Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, Finnland, Georgia, Germany, Italia, North Macedonia, Polonia, Rusia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey.

Please note that there will be just few opportunities to visit the region, but that this is not a “sightseeing” project. This seminar is a serious commitment, and it needs to be taken as such. Thank you!

Logistics, financial conditions and sustainability

  • Simple life: The seminar will take place in a seminar house with simple living conditions. You will sleep in a room shared with few other people.
  • Money, money, money: We can cover all essential costs of the program (including vegan food, travel costs up to a maximum amount per distance (maximum travel reimbursement amounts: 10-99 km = 20 Euro, 100-499 km = 180 Euro, 500-1999 km = 275 Euro, 2000-2999 km = 360 Euro)., visa costs, accommodation and seminar) through a European project grant by Erasmus+. Your sending organisation might ask for a small participation fee.
  • Sustainable food: The food we provide will be plant-based (vegetarian/vegan). This is not just a practical decision, but also an ideological one: SCI believes in the values of sustainability and climate justice – and if we want to contribute to a more peaceful planet, we need to give up on industrialized animal agriculture and its destructive effects on our planet.
  • Sustainable travels?: This is also why we ask you to come to this seminar through more sustainable means of transport rather than flying (e.g. by train or bus), if somehow possible. There are good train and bus connections to Madrid from many places. We will give you more guidance on how you can reach the venue, once you are accepted to the seminar.

COVID-19 during the Seminar

At this point, we assume that in May it will be possible to organize the seminar in-person in Spain. We will have a hygiene concept for the group during the seminar and will follow all regulations by the authorities.

For the protection of all participants on site, we will only accept participants who are fully vaccinated with one vaccine accepted by the Spanish government and the last dose (second or third) is not newer than 14 days and not older than 270 days. After it you need a third dose (booster).

  • BioNtech/Pfizer  Comirnaty/BNT162b2/Tozinameran
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca/Covieshield/R-CoVI
  • Sinovac/Sinopharm
  • Johnson/Janssen + a second dose with another vaccine from one of the above

If you’re recovered, you need a Covid-19 recovery certificate. This is valid until 6month (180days) after your positive PCR test. After 6 month you need one vaccination shot with one of the vaccines, mentioned above. This is valid 270 days after the vaccination, then you need a second dose.

We will also ask you to bring your own supply of FFP2 masks and a certificate of a negative Covid19 rapid test result no older than 48 hours (no exceptions). If the current situation in May forces us to do so, we will either do it online on the same days or postpone this seminar to another date and will inform you immediately. Upon confirmation, you are responsible to ensure that your trip complies with the latest recommendations of the health authorities regarding the spread of Covid19. For Spain, the regulations of the ministry of health apply.

How to apply?

Registrations can be made directly here.

Deadline for applying is 27th February 2022.

All those who are accepted will subsequently receive a detailed information sheet (including information on how to get to the venue, how to book their travel and further information on the project program) after the deadline.


If you have any questions regarding the project and your application, don’t hesitate to contact us: loretta.scherler@scich.org

We are looking forward to your application 🙂 Anna, Mira & Sima*

You May Also Like…

Share This