Inclusive Human Rights Education through sport: ENGSO Youth International Youth Camp in Portugal

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Funded by the Council of Europe through the European Youth Foundation.

June was a busy month for ENGSO Youth and this past week was no exception. We spent 6 days in Portugal to organise and facilitate the International Youth Camp which was part of our “Back to Basics – Human Rights Education through Sport” programme. Fifty young leaders from all over Europe joined our second activity of the programme, entitled “Testing and Feedback”.

Back to Basics – Human Rights Education through Sport international youth camp “Testing & Feedback” took place in Portimão, Portugal on 19 – 26 June 2022, and it was funded by the Council of Europe through the European Youth Foundation. 


The aim of the camp was to test and put the tools and methods we have developed at our first activity in Budapest, Hungary, into practice. The participants had a chance to evaluate and improve the existing methods to be more applicable and effective for human rights education of young people, using sport as a learning tool.

Day 1


The camp began as it should; we got to know each other through ice breaker activities and energizers. Apparently “Human Bingo” was the participants’ favourite. The intro session was followed by an interactive quiz and mime game in the park with goals to motivate the group to kick off a discussion on human rights. 


Since sport is at the heart of our education activities, we spent the afternoon at the beach, taking part in the “Survivor-like” type of a game and different variations of volleyball (regular, sitting, towel) to engage in teamwork and inclusion. 

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Day 2


Day two kicked off with exploring the case studies to gain an understanding on how to adapt the sport activities so they can fit different groups of people and human rights. We also tried “speed dating” which helped us open up about our personal experiences with human rights. 


Speed dating was followed by the session in which we looked for and discussed the examples, from our communities and countries, of sport being a promoter and/or detriment to human rights. 

In the afternoon, we explored Portimão and Portuguese culture by taking part in the City Orientation Game by answering questions, capturing memories, posting funny photos and having fun in general.

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Day 3 


Small and large group discussions on the topic of “Education for/by/through sport” and “Sport for all” were the highlight of day three. The participants also had a chance to learn about the differences between formal, informal and non-formal education, while our facilitators presented the Council of Europe’s Compass: Manual for Human Rights Education with Young People.


The session concluded with participants designing their own learning/lesson plans for a Sports Activity that facilitates human rights education and inclusion through sport.

Day 4

Our morning energizer included traditional Turkish and Hungarian dances. After the fun warm up, we started to review and test the activities that were developed at the first international activity in Budapest, Hungary. The necessary improvements and facilitation tips were made.

Day 5

The work which began the day before continued on day five. The participants focused on final improvements of the activities which will be featured in the toolkit. Making the games more inclusive for people with disabilities was the main goal. 

In the afternoon, we went for a hike to explore the coast of Portimão and gain some necessary steps to keep our minds and bodies healthy.

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Day 6 

The final day was all about reflecting back on the previous five days of activities and planning the “activation plan” to bring the newly gained knowledge back to our communities. We brainstormed the best ways to disseminate the camp’s activities and spread the educational content among young people to continue the work on human rights education through sport back home. 

The international youth camp concluded with participants sharing their opinions and feedback on the past six days of educational activities, and with a small awarding ceremony in which we thanked each and single participant for their valuable contribution to the development of the inclusive toolkit on the topic of “Human Rights Education through Sport.”

ENGSO Youth would like to express special gratitude to Gena, Rawand and Isaiah for the facilitation of the activities, as well as the Council of Europe and the European Youth Foundation for supporting the activities. 

Photos: Rasa Lukoseviciute and Gena Sturgon