in invio/sending abroad, Scambi, corsi, seminari/Short-term projects

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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in invio/sending abroad, Scambi, corsi, seminari/Short-term projects, Uncategorized

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

In accoglienza/hosting, Scambi, corsi, seminari/Short-term projects

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.

In accoglienza/hosting, Scambi, corsi, seminari/Short-term projects

It is not disco, it’s youth work

Honey, we need to talk. That’s the most ominous moment in every relationship. It forces you to be focused, motivated and the worst… ready to speak about the problems. However, sometimes we need to be serious. It might be difficult, because having fun is so energetic, bed in the morning is so warm, dreams are so colourful and maybe balance thing wasn’t really balanced and sleeping is that what you need.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

But we are implacable – wake up and do something for inclusion!

Meet the people
Starting with movie: “Faces of the youth work”, we wanted to show how diverse and advanced is the environment of youth workers in Pesaro. The film was made by alternative, volunteering, Polish – Italian production tandem. The way of editing and producing material is totally innovative and very in the style of cinema d’autore. The stories of interviewed youth workers from Pesaro are serious, funny, always with positive spirit but sometimes sad. Why? Answering the question of the one of the participants – because it’s not disco, it’ youth work, with all pros and cons. Movie will be uploaded soon for further audience.

Stay together
Second serious talk we had, of course small talking also, was the Reunion – the Pesarese NGO Market. With smaller or bigger shyness we were presenting our organizations but also something strange happened. Happily strange. To our Youth in Action basement came also representatives of many organizations from Pesaro, which work with youth, kids, immigrants, unemployed or people with disabilities. That the proud example of cooperation between NGO and institutions. It’s rare and cool.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

Share and inspire!
When you managed to meet another person and invite him or her to sit next to you, be together for a moment and talk, that’s good. But when people start to share with each other their thoughts, experience and secrets – this is success. Of course we weren’t talking about dreams from childhood or favourite intimate position, but it has also influenced the group.
In relationship you call this moment “Let’s talk about this. Share your feelings with me.” During the seminar it is called “contributions” and you share experience of your work. In relationship it doesn’t have to be voluntary, during the project it is. Our participants were talking about their projects with homeless people (Gergely from Hungary), disabled people (Inga from Austria, Dorota from Poland, Pavel from Estonia), children with difficulties (Linda from Hungary), youngsters and sport: difference between sport participation and sport inclusion (Alessandra and Daniele from Italy).

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

After the whole day of hard work and serious talks, there is no way to survive without “Sardo” – the place where you can charge your batteries. But some of people still, even holding in hand Spritz, were speaking about inclusion. What involvement is that!?

Kamila

 

In accoglienza/hosting, Scambi, corsi, seminari/Short-term projects

Chasing golden middle

The perfect relations is always balanced. We have days for work, small talks and nights for pleasure of sleeping. However, when you are on a Youth in Action project it’s not so easy to find philosophical aurea mediocritas … between work and fun.
We are all young, if not by the age, for sure with a spirit.

Intercultural evening is a great opportunity to have both: knowledge and a bit of craziness. First you can train your rhetorical skills while presenting your own country. Some of us were strongly promoting, some of us were mixing sarcasm with tasty sense of humour. Late night caught us with delicious food from each of 8 countries and drinks which can mix your thoughts and make you able to speak even in Hungarian. At the end it was intimate fun.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

After fruitful night comes morning, ringing like a church bell into your ears with no mercy. This is the moment to train balance – time for work, time for INCLUSION topic.
EVS angels had their moment. Trang from Vietnam was analyzing the theme of youth work as a way to include young people in society. On the other hand, Tiemei from China was presenting her thoughts about Youthpass certificate, which is a tool for self-reflection and confirmation of the skills that we are all improving during Youth in Action projects. Finally Julija from Lithuania prepared some ideas and strategies in presentation “Inclusion for all”.

But how it’s possible to think about inclusion without considering who we are going to include? That’s why wisely we were analyzing who is the person with fewer opportunities. Distinguished few reasons to be out of society: cultural, health problems, geographical, economic, disabilities; we discussed in groups different obstacles and ways to solve them.

As Agnieszka (Poland) says: A person with fewer opportunities can be perceived in many different ways. For me, sometimes a person classified as a fewer opportunities individual can in fact have more opportunities because their situation is recognized and so there are projects written for them, coaching, trainings etc. while for example someone with emotional and self-esteem problems who doesn’t fit into one of the fewer opportunities categories may not be able as well to overcome his/her barriers and learn about the opportunities he/she might benefit from. On the other hand, being on the project with people with fewer opportunities (in the sense the society sees it) is such a great input for me. I see their motivation, their struggle for better life and finally their problems that they have to deal with. Many things make sense then.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

Of course efficient work can’t take forever. In life you need adventures, otherwise inclusion process is not proceeding, your body gets floppy and eyes start to wander around. In this certain minute you have to stand up, put your jacket on and explore Pesaro.

What we were doing?

Looking for inclusion points in a town.

Chasing Rossini shadow, which it happens is everywhere here.

Picking the most handsome man and woman in Pesaro and that gave us really a lot of fun and giggling.

Finally trying Italian treasures like spritz, grappa and Fernando. The last one brought us for a long walk by the autumn seaside of Pesaro.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

Kamila

In accoglienza/hosting, Scambi, corsi, seminari/Short-term projects

Day 1: The magic of the introduction

The beginning of the project is like a first date.
Excitement mixed with some pleasant fear. You never know who you are going to meet and how it will develop, but you know that trying and being there is a right thing to do. That’s how we started – with a bit of romanticism. Yesterday evening was a time for small speed dating and chatting in company of candles. Started with some intimidation which turned into great need of talking about common topics and knowing each other’s cultures.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

Today morning started with big expectations and fresh energy to step into something new. During a date you breath with chilled out air and during the project you find yourself in non formal space using non formal tools of education. It helps everyone to be himself and show as a natural and open person.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

The need of chatting and smiling develops so strongly that you don’t want to stop. And you don’t have to. This is why we have coffee breaks – to smell extraordinary aroma of Italian coffee and never stop talking.

Vicolocorto International Seminar

However when it’s so good, there is always time for analyzing. Show me someone who didn’t have any doubts before the first date! How do I look, what should I say, how to mix my inner charm with intelligence and a bit of flirting? When you come to the project it happens also. What I can contribute? Maybe I expect too much? What if there will be people who won’t like me? Will Italian cuisine suite my vegetarian stomach? That’s why we were sharing our fears – to throw them away and expectations – to give others the chance to fulfill them.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 2013

What will happen next? You never know, like on the first date… For sure we will have a lot of fun. Today’s night is dedicated to intercultural evening, when we share our food, drinks and knowledge about countries. Temperature will be high, even in this humid, October time in Pesaro… Stay tuned.
Kamila