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

BEHIND THE YOUTH WORK – Austria, 3 – 10 July 2014

After the intercultural evening, waking up is generally difficult.  No exception for me, maybe because I’m not so young anymore! By the way, the participants worked with a good amount of energy in the morning, starting the activities from the definitions of formal, non-formal and informal education. They did it in a very funny way, because after being split in three groups they had to shoot a short movie explaining the form of education they chose to speak about.

The “formal” group presented a sketch related to school and to the fact that, in their opinion, the learning process is not efficient; the group of informal education presented some sketches based on what people learn spontaneously but in a accidental way; the third group presented the idea of human library, were people with different background and culture interacted and shared cultures. After the presentations, even I caught the difference between the three kinds of education, that’s means that the work was well executed

Behind the youth work Seminar July 2014

Later on, it was the time for a short brainstorming about youth work, but in a sort of creative way. They had to write on a flipchart some keywords related to the topic, with the aim to let everybody get the concept clearer.  The result was interesting because many of them wrote the same words and we could understand that more or less all the group has the same vision.

Some of the words that I personally prefer – like the most – surprise me were:
cooperation, respect, love, dreams, freedom,
tolerance, identity, friendship.

Behind the youth work Seminar July 2014

In the afternoon, working in small groups of 5 people, the participants figured out which, in their opinion, are the skills of the “super youth worker”.

Like Maria S. and Maria D. (both from Hungary) said:
“The most important skills for a youth worker are that he should be committed and motivated. Love is also a basic feature, he has to feel the willing to help. Of course he has to be well prepared, to have general knowledge, how to deal with people that needs help and familiarity with pedagogic methods.”

Behind the youth work Seminar July 2014
I also asked them what kind of feelings they had writing down the definitions of the perfect youth worker and if they felt that the image fits.

“We felt aware of our skills, but also we are sure that there are various area in which we have to develop, and this work helped us to be more conscious on what they are”.

Behind the youth work Seminar July 2014

In the afternoon I had the chance to have a chat also  with Neringa, from Lithuania, about the activity the participants did afterwards, which was deeply related to the previous one. She explained me the task and how she felt:

“I had to write my values as youth worker, and also my knowledge and abilities… I think the activity was helpful to check if the idea of perfect youth worker fits me.
Mostly I write the things I lack, trying to find areas in which I still need to improve myself.
It was like my aims for the future.

Doing this task, I felt that everything was under my control, that I can reach what I want to gain. I have motivation enough now I just need to put myself into it”

Behind the youth work Seminar July 2014
For the last work, the participants dealt with a role game oriented to build an imaginary youth centre. They all had different tasks and had to play a specific role that was written on a paper.
Gian Marco from Italy explained me how he felt interpreting the role of a blind guy:

Behind the youth work Seminar July 2014
“I think the activity was focused on the perception of the other. At least, for me that was obvious because my role was a blind guy. My handicap was useful because pushed all of us to the willingness to create something in concrete. At the beginning I perceived a kind of lack of attention to my problem because there were some characters mostly oriented to the business instead of understanding my needs. Then I think we started to communicate better and in a effective way. The result was a good youth centre where more or less all the needs of blind people were satisfied”.

The official programme ends with the time to reflect in groups and to share feedback and comments on the day and the night goes on playing games and guitar under a wonderful sky full of stars..
The atmosphere was unforgettable and together with the warmth of the fire we could challenge the Austrian cold night. Or, at least, that’s what I thought! There is a problem of laying on the grass after a couple of hours of rain. Stay in touch for the next episode…

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