Monthly Archives: November 2013

Learning project management: Day 2

DAY 2
Good morning, world!
It’s such a beautiful and sunny winter day! Well, somebody wished it could be a snowy day but for now it’s not and we enjoy the sun in the garden in front of the hotel. We have slept just a few hours because of the “spinning out” of the Intercultural Night but at least it was worth it, and so we’re ready to go on with the program!

The first big subject of the day is “identity”: we started focusing on our own individual identity to arrive to debate on diversities between everyone’s identity and what it concretely means. But we don’t like the ordinary kind of lesson, you know, we prefer active options to boring monologue, so we are already used to discuss all together, to share opinions and to stand up and practice.

Take a step forward
Take a step forward

So the trainers, Laura and Sebastian gave to all participants (put in a line at the bottom of the room) a little paper where they could find a new and different identity for each one: for example “you are a ” “ and so on. Then Laura started reading some sentences about various events of daily life: for example “take part to the elections”, “invite friends at home for dinner” and so on. The task was to take a step forward every time the person that you represent, according to the paper, was able to do that activity in daily life, otherwise you had to stand still.

Mariam from Georgia
Mariam from Georgia

“In this activity I’ve had the role of a director and I could realize why I was going on and on and other people were remaining back… I mean, I had a lot of people in my back! What would change if I would be in their shoes?! I think this was really useful to open your mind.” says Mariam from Georgia.

Now we are working in groups: the previous reflections are the starting point for a new debate: which problems do youth face in your country? From this discussion, the guys arrived to three topics and they represented them in a sort of “living sculpture” in order to show to the other groups the results of their reflections.

Youth unemployment
Youth unemployment
Police violence in demonstrations
Police violence in demonstrations

The groups were divided on the basis of geographical area: two groups included people from the European Union and the other two from the Eastern Europe and Caucasus, just in order to see if in the same area we can speak more or less about the same problems.

Racism
Racism
Corruption
Corruption

Unfortunately we saw that, irrespective of geographic area, youth unemployment is a common problem for every country. Even brain drain,  the emigration of individuals with technical skills or knowledge, is a common reality for the most of the areas.

Alina from Germany
Alina from Germany

It was really interesting to know problems from other countries. It was difficult to recreate the whole complexity of a problem in only one image, it’s reductive and you need to tell more, but we had to be concise! I like doing something active, I always prefer it to sitting on a chair, and it was funny even to see how the other groups decided to show their problems.” says Alina from Germany.

Time flies and even today we are at the end of the sessions, it’s time to self-evaluate the work of the day but there’s one more surprise for us… When we opened the door to go out from the seminary room it was already dark but everything was white!

Finally we have snow in Bakuriani!!!

Tania

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Learning Project Management: training (and snow-battles) for youth workers in Georgia

People from Armenia, Italy, Azerbaijan, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Ukraine and Georgia: twenty six participants to realise a training course to enhance competences of management staff of youth NGOs in project management and to get to know the youth context in different parts of Europe.

By using a set of non-formal educational methods such as group work, role plays, exercises and trainee-led workshops, the participants are expected to improve their soft skills in intercultural team work and communication, decision-making, their competences in project management and their understanding for the challenges young people face in Europe.

This is the project on paper: now let’s go to see what the project is in concrete!

Long trips, strange travel companions, annoying delays, trains, buses, planes, and then buses again and so on but finally, we are here in Bakuriani, a small city on the inner mountains of Georgia and a famous ski resort (in fact snow is all around but not here in the village). Fortunately the hotel is pleasantly and “woodly” warm, ‘cause outside it’s freezing! In dribs and drabs all the participants and the staff members arrived: we put ourselves up in the rooms and we tried to become presentable, after the long trip (some of us were successful in this, but some other not at all… clearly I was part of these last ones…). At least, after a good night’s sleep we can start. Let’s go with the first day!

Welcome night
Welcome night

DAY 1
Smiles, curiosity and positivity are in the air and the first hours have been committed to funny “games” to introduce ourselves to the group and to know something about the others. For sure this will be a great group, I feel that we can work usefully and that we’ll be satisfied.

Pelin from Turkey
Pelin from Turkey

“I like this kind of games, I’ve already partecipated to other 3 projects and I think it’s a perfect way to break your barriers, to make people don’t feel shy, to make them feel relaxed and comfortable. And what about the drawings?! It was so funny! I mean, for sure they were not masterpieces but the point is that they are funny. They would not be so beautiful if they’re not funny! It’s strange, if you watch those portraits it looks like we know each other since a life…” says Pelin, from Turkey.

So, now we are ready to take a rapid look to the details of the program and then we start to share with the group the expectations and the fears we have about this seminary and the contributions we are going to give. At first the guys are working in groups and then individually, writing 3 expectations for person on a post-it and putting them on a poster in a position that will be changed day by day, following the expectations’ development. By this way it should be easier at the end of the seminary to understand if the objectives will be reached.

Expectations and fears
Expectations and fears
The group
The group

We are almost arrived at the end of the daily program, so in the plan we have some funny activities in order to create feeling and connection in the group: the most amazing it was the “eggs game”. The participants have been divided in groups and they every group have a kind of mission: to save an egg from a 5 meters fall. How should they do that? They have a pen, some cardboard, some adhesive tape, some paper and some minutes to decide what to do with those materials and then other minutes to create (now without speaking) the “safe machine” for their egg. We enjoy so much! 🙂 Take a look to the diligence they have during the session! And to their faces when the eggs are thrown down from the balcony! It looked like we were throwing down their own son!

Preparing the strategy
Ready and “packed” to go!
Will it survive?
Will it survive?

Last but not least we have the self-evaluation moment: we create five groups and their members will be the same in every day and at the end of the session they will make reflection on the for suggested topics, which are like, dislike, learning and suggestions. This is the best way to monitor the progresses both because by this way the participants can increase their self-criticism, and even because in this context the trainers can’t give a classic kind of evaluation, I mean the one the teachers are used to give to their students. This kind of activity could look easier than how it really is! Well, at the end of the process we’ll see the results. For now I can assure you that they are really focused on it and they are debating so much!

THE INTERCULTURAL NIGHT

Traditional food and clothes
Traditional food and clothes
intercultural night
intercultural night

How to explain it… A CRAZY NIGHT!!! It looked like being in a lot of different countries at the same moment, it was amazing! Assaying foods, eating sweets, tasting wines and liquors, smoking with narghilè, dancing typical dances and so on… A special thanks to:

  • Spain, for funny games and “macarena”, and even for chorizo!
  • Turkey, for narghilè and specially… for the bottle of Raki
  • Germany, for the Christmas sweets… so sweets…
  • Armenia, for the quiz and for the cognac  🙂
  • Ukraine, for the beautiful garments and specially… for vodka!
  • Azerbaijan, for their informative material and for their tasty sweets 🙂
  • Italy, for their funny “gesture dictionary” and for the delicious taralli
  • Georgia, for their great homemade wine 🙂
A toast!
A toast!

By dancing, chatting and laughing we’ve had the opportunity to know a bit better each other and to create a relaxed atmosphere to stay together and to work in cooperation: it means so much for a group and now I really trust that next days will be productive and positive!

Tania

Designing the future

In the world of instant relationships and one night stands we are looking for something strong, reliable and long-lasting. In the projects, and from time to time in life, it’s good to find someone with whom you can talk about the ideas for the future. Without fear, with open eyes and brain ready for diversity of the world. And of course with a suitable platform, like our NGO Market!

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

First it can be just sharing: Do you like cats or dogs? Do you prefer travelling or tourist agency support?  Do you care about gender equality or situation of young people in your town? Are you active and motivated enough to make an effort to solve the problems? After this it may happen that you will find a partner with similar goals, dreams and the way of thinking. The first thing is to know who you are and what you want to do. Of course usually we are not talking about the future after a one-week relation, but we are really eager to act together.

What are our plans? Which topics are passionate for us?
For instance, a cultural exchange in Turkey, support for rural areas, the project about survival skills in the woods including people with disabilities, integration of minorities into society, communication skills in NGO, EVS opportunities in Poland, an art exhibition for young talented painters and … many more.

We were also discussing in international groups three important topics for future: partnership – how it should look like, what are important “ingredients” in good partner relation; media in youth work – why in this modern world is so relevant to use tools which will give our work more visibility; values and ideas for projects, because every action needs idealistic background – without this we are just robots!
And even if proud of our results, we don’t feel like keeping our work jealously and exclusively for ourselves, but ready to shape  our inspirations and inputs into a document – a Youth Work Charter – to be shared at international level.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

So just find your match and start to negotiate details – like in real life. Let’s be realistic – it may be not easy and probably it will not work. Planned dreams will never be fulfilled with this person, but what else can you do apart from trying and believing it’s possible? Good partnerships need effort, good will and a lot of patience. Still it’s not a reason for giving up. And when you are struggling, at the end of the rainbow there is a surprise – a Youthpass certificate! Every participant is getting this as a proof of the skills he/ she has gained during the project. It’s even better than a pact with the devil or a marriage contract. Especially if you can get your Youthpass from the head of the Province of Pesaro and Urbino – Matteo Ricci.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

Thank you all and see you in the bright future!

Kamila

All photos during the project “Strategy for inclusion” were taken by Julija Stancevičiūtė.