Monthly Archives: September 2014

Behind the youth work – Pesaro, 13 – 20 September ’14


This day of the seminar was mostly about self reflection and evaluating the whole week.

Information session: Erasmus+
The participants started the day with an information session on the Erasmus+ program. Questions such as, ‘what kind of key actions are there?’, ‘how to apply for a project?’, ‘what are the deadlines?’ and how do the e-forms work?’ were answered.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 13-20 September 2014 Pesaro, Italy

After this session the participants made an assignment in which they made their own Personal Action Plan, in order to get familiar with the working method of the Erasmus+ program. First they had to decide what kind of activities they want to organize. Then they had to set a time limit for it after which they had to map all the resources they would need to organize the activity. A few of the participants presented their plan.

Vicolocorto International Seminario 13-20 September 2014 Pesaro, Italy

Self reflection: Did you feel included during this week?

Since this training was about inclusion the participants were asked if they felt included themselves during this training. They also were asked if they tried to include others. After answering these questions for themselves, the participants formed couples and shared their opinions.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 13-20 September 2014 Pesaro, Italy

Most of the participants felt included and also tried to include others. However, some found it difficult to blend it, either because of language barriers (not being able to talk in English) or cultural differences. It showed that even though your intentions can be honest, the actual act of inclusion can be very difficult. Something that is good to be aware about.

Evaluation: What did you think of the training?
After the self reflection session the participants were asked to evaluate the training. They did that in a very interactive and creative way. For example, the participants were asked to evaluation the program by leaving comments on the wall of the program.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 13-20 September 2014 Pesaro, Italy

For the evaluation of the organization of the training, the participants were asked to put dots on a circle, representing a pizza in which each slice stood for a component of the organization, like ‘food’, ‘accommodation’, ‘trainers’, etc. The closer to the centre of the circle, the better the components were being judged.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 13-20 september 2014 Pesaro, Italy

Youth pass

After the evaluation each participant received a youth pass certificate from the deputy mayor of Pesaro.

Vicolocorto Intenational Seminar 13-20 September 2014 Pesaro, Italy

All in all, it has been an inspiring and enriching week on so many levels. Everyone got to meet new people, expand their network, learn more about inclusion, intercultural differences and project management. Equipped with new skills and inspiration everyone can implement new ideas in their home country.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 13-20 September 2014 Pesaro, Italy



Behind the youth work – Pesaro 13-20 September ’14


Hi again dear readers!
This day was not so fulfilled with diverse activities as the days before. The morning session (that was extended to the beginning of the afternoon), was mainly dedicated to talk about individual experiences on the topic inclusion.

The name of each participant was written in papers hiding inside of a box. The trainers were taking randomly this papers one by one and inviting participants to come in front to give their contribution and share this experience with all the group.

Behind the youth work - Pesaro 13-20 September '14


Some participants, even without being called decided to share something spontaneously, as Giulia our blind participant from Italy did it.

It was a truly strong moment to all the participants and to me as well. She shared with everybody how her whole life is being a battle for being social included, starting on her family context where she had to fight for free herself from the parents over-protectionism. Giulia guided us through her journey, all the problems she had to overcome, but also all the opportunities that were granted to her as well as the ones she created herself.
We got to know how active she is in this daily battle, cooperating simultaneously with many organizations for people with disabilities, at national and international level. Also she shared what she learnt with her first experience abroad alone doing EVS. Summing up, all her experiences since she was born are connected to this vast subject – inclusion.

Part of the participants, instead of talking about their personal experiences, chose to make a brief presentation the work developed in their associations.

The afternoon started with an outdoor activity. The group was invited to go in the city center of Pesaro for a guided tour, through some important spots working on inclusion.

The group was first taken to JOB Pesaro, a center where unemployed youngsters can find some help to keep active or to find a job.
Then they visited Biblioteca San Giovanni, this beautiful infrastructure in the heart of Pesaro that, besides being a regular library, organizes a lot of free activities (courses, seminars, cinema sessions, learning support, etc) for all the local citizens.

Vicolocorto International Seminar 13-20 September Pesaro, Italy

Instead of returning to the hotel for dinner, the group went to eat a traditional Italian pizza and after that, the night party took place in Via Cavour where we found a live concert happening and a huge concentration of people! The participants had fun and everybody returned back to the hosting Hotel with a smile on the face!

Behind the youth work - Pesaro 13-20 September '14

Interviews with some participants

Natalina from Portugal

Behind the youth work - Pesaro 13-20 September '14

Why did you decided to participate in this seminar?

I decided to participate because I wish to have more autonomy, I would like to share my experience of life with other people from different cultures, it is very interesting.

Are you enjoying the experience?

I really like being here because the activities are very interesting, one of them especially because we have a blind person here and she did an activity in which we experienced to be a blind person. I really liked it because you never know what blind people are feeling and how the world is for them. I realized also that if someone is already born with this disability is easy to live with it then someone that looses the vision in the middle of the life.
It would be like a shock.

Carolina from Italy

International Seminar Erasmusplus 2014

Why did you decided to participate in this seminar? Also as a Vicolocorto member..

So we decided that someone from the staff should have the right to participate within the group of the italian participants. Also as I am the youngest and I don´t have any background experience about inclusion, disabilities, fewer opportunities and stuff…we thought that maybe its nice for a member of Vicolocorto to train this competences.

How about the training until now?

I really enjoyed the session of yesterday about disability itself.
What I am learning the most, it is not related to the session but it´s related to the fact that I am discovering lots of things in the relationship with Giulia. I was never close to a person that cannot see, and since I am her room-mate in the beginning I felt a little bit nervous because I thought I had to take care of her in all the situations… But then I decided to talk to her directly about this and she said to me
“Carolina, there is no problem, if I have something to ask you I will ask you”.
So I discovered that she is really, really, really independent and I wasn´t expecting it.

Jordi from Catalonia, Spain


Why did you decided to participate in this seminar?

So I am from a group of volunteers in Barcelona and one of our main tasks is to prepare sociocultural projects for people who come to do an internship in Barcelona, inside of the Leonardo daVinci Project. I came here to find new ideas, new ways to integrate and include people so this people we´re receiving from abroad can feel better, more integrated in the local community.

How about the quality of training until now? Did you learn new tools you will use in your future work or life in general?

Yes. Maybe I was trying to find something different, more specific, but I really feel that this training is being so interesting and so thoughtful. We got really deep into inclusion, the main topic, we could think and reflect about the meaning of the word.
I thing is being also helpful because we are already sharing contacts and planning to find partners to put some projects together.

Pedro from Portugal

Behind the youth work - Pesaro 13-20 September '14

Why did you decided to participate in this seminar?

Because I want to know new people, I had the curiosity to travel alone, without my parents to test my capacities and also I wanted to have a new cultural experience.

How about the quality of training until now? You want to talk about what you´re learning?

I´m loving the training, to know so many people of different countries. It is being an amazing week with amazing trainers. I loved to do the activity about the blindness and the disabled in general. This activity was really especial because we could see how disabled people reacts to the adversities.

This is it!  Back to Shawita tomorrow with the report of today! Ciiaaao.


Behind the youth work – Pesaro 13-20 September ’14


This day the participants went deeper into the topic of cultural difference, social inclusion and disability. What can we do to increase the social inclusion of minority groups who either have physical disability, an unprivileged socio-economical background or a different cultural or religious background? During two intense and interactive workshops, awareness about several factors that influence the issue of exclusion was created.

Workshop: Cultural differences and social inclusion
During this workshop the participants were split into three groups. Each group received a case that they had to solve. The cases were about the social exclusion of someone or a group of people based on either religion or socio-economical background. After solving the case every group had to show their solution in the form of a play. However, during their play other participants could step in and give unexpected reactions. With the situation changing, the original group had to find solutions on the spot. It showed the group how difficult it can be in reality to include people.

Group 1: exclusion because of social background
The first group had to solve a case in which they had to reintegrate a group of youngsters, who were hanging around on the streets all day, into society.

International Seminar Erasmusplus 2014

Their solution was to include the youngsters through a youth association, helping them to at least keep off the streets and do something more useful. However during the play they saw that it is very hard to earn the trust of these youngsters. They have had a very hard life. Why should they come with you? Why should they trust you?

Group 2: exclusion because of religion
The second group received a case in which a group of youngsters stopped coming to a youth centre because it was forbidden by their priest. He didn’t want these religious youngsters to hang out with youngsters who drink and smoke.

International Seminar Erasmusplus 2014

The solution the group found for this case was to organize an activity in collaboration with three different associations: a religious association, another youth association and the youth association itself. By collaborating they would be able to understand each other better and show that the youth centre is also from a religious point of view not a bad place to be.

Group 3: exclusion because of socio-economical background
The third group’s case was about helping a school dropout that was kicked out of house and sleeping on the streets get back on his feet.

International Seminar Erasmusplus 2014

Their solution was to send this youngster on an EVS-project or Youth Exchange. These projects are funded by the European Union and do not require financial stability of the participant. Furthermore, this experience of non-formal education would help the youngster to develop new skills and as a result to get a job.

During the coffee break we had a short dialogue about inclusion. Julia (Austria) says:

‘There are so many ethical problems in society that create exclusion. For example the way elderly are being treated by the youngsters. I want to discuss these ethics and make children think about the problems. Youth workers often also have a young age, which is why they can connect better to other youngsters and help them change their ideology.’

Giulia (Italy) on social inclusion:

‘Inclusion is a big challenge. The first time you try to include someone, it might not work out. But don’t give up. As a youth worker you might be the one that doesn’t understand the other person. Try again and see things from different point of views, because if we try to include everyone, we contribute to the confidence of someone and their awareness of their abilities. Everyone can then take part in society more actively.’

Workshop: Disability
The afternoon was about disabilities. Inga (Austria), one of the trainers, gave an interesting lecture on ‘Disability and the Independent Living System’. During this lecture she gave answers on questions such as: ‘What does the word ‘disability’ mean?’, ‘what kind of effect does society have on people with disabilities?’ and ‘what can we do to include them?’

Inga on the Independent Living System:

‘The first step is to answer this question: who is the boss in your life? Is it you? Or is it someone else telling you that you are disabled and that you cannot do something?
According to this system YOU are the boss in your life and YOU decide whether you are capable of something.’

International Seminar Erasmusplus 2014

After the lecture all the participants were divided into three groups. Each group had to do three assignments, which had the aim of letting the participants feel what it’s like to have either a sensory or a physical impairment.

The first assignment was that they had to communicate without using words.

International Seminar Erasmusplus 2014

The second assignment was that they had to walk around the hotel blindfolded.

International Seminar Erasmusplus 2014

The third assignment was that they had to fold a paper boat by using just one hand.

International Seminar Erasmusplus 2014

After completing the assignments the participants discussed their experiences.

Ilaria (Italy):

‘It was very hard to communicate without using words. I felt angry and impatient when I couldn’t understand or say what I wanted to say’.

Pelin (Turkey):

‘When you are walking blindfolded, you really have to trust the person who is walking with you. Otherwise you feel so insecure.’

The participants had another day of gaining new insights.
Now up to the next day!