On Sunday the 14th of September the international seminar “Behind the youth work” started here in Pesaro. It is a European Commission – funded project dedicated to the topic of inclusion. A project born out of the partnership between two associations working in the youth field: VICOLOCORTO (Italy) and Youth In Progress Österreich (Austria). The two associations already collaborated on another seminar hosted in Austria..and if you´re curious about it you just have to check the lovely reports that Daniele made.
The 23 participants arrived on Saturday in the city, and among them we could count six different countries: Austria, Estonia, Italy, Portugal , Spain and Turkey. After a good night of sleep everybody met up in the room where most of the activities will take place.
As this day is mainly dedicated to the creation and consolidation of the group, the activities were centered on team building and getting to know each other.
After a brief presentation activity, Inga – the Austrian trainer – presented a flipchart about some basic “rules” and advices for a better understanding within group.
The next activity was about “getting to know each other” part. The participants split into two circles, an interior one and an exterior one. Standing face to face and in couples, the participants talked about some topics given by the trainer. Then, after few minutes talking on the given topic , the circles swirled changing the previous pair and creating a new one. So everybody got to know each other in a more individual way.
Some examples of the topics: your country, your free time, youth projects we did, and at last the most difficult to share, your dream.
After a small break the participants were split into five smaller groups doing five different activities in four different spots of the hotel. They call them the ZONES.
Zone1 – The Program
Here we could find Laura (the italian trainer) talking about the program to be developed in the next days. The daily schedule day is devided by days and time (obvioulsly) and is based also on six different approaches.
Learner- and needs- centered
Challenge VS safety
participatory group process
Self-assessment responsibility of learning
Zone 2 – Aims and Objectives
The task of the group was to put the puzzle tiles back together (3 puzzles); read through them and discuss in group what they think the seminar will be about.
Zone 3 – Contributions fears and expectations
Participants were asked to write down on post-it papers what they expect to gain from this seminar, how they plan to contribute and which are their fears.
Zone4 – Getting to know each other
The task was to draw 3 cards randomly, where they could find the topics to discuss with the rest of the group.
Zone 5 – Inclusion
Here the participants had to write down on papers their definitions of youth work and inclusion and put them in the correspondent boxes.
The participants seemed very enthusiastic during this activity, perhaps because it involved movement in space and tasks related to different topics. Difficult to get bored like this, right? 😀
After a long break for the lunch, during which many of the participants decided to go for a swim at the beach, people were ready to start back with the activities.
In the afternoon the main objective of the trainers was to continue the team building session. For re-starting, Inga made a brief speech talking about the meaning of this seminar and the activities being developed till then.
“What you were doing was mainly to understand, who you are and why you are here!.(…)Keep in mind that you are the main actors, when you give something to somebody you’ll receive it back. “ she said.
First activity of the afternoon: each group was introduced a question they should ask to the maximum number of people in a short time in order to get the maximum number of annswers.
The questions: How many minutes do you need when taking a shower?/ What gives you energy when you are tired, down or sleepy?/ When you walk somewhere which is the shortest distance for you? / How many breaks do you do during your work or study?/ What makes you happy?
Second activity: Pieces of paper with the same sentence – “The world is a artwork and also am I” – were delivered to participants and they had to translate it into all the different languages of the group they were in.
Third activity: 14 tasks written on a piece of paper to be accomplished by the group. The outcome of this activity was so so funny. Also because some of the tasks were truly funny.
Fourth activity: Counting with closed eyes. The participants had to be with their eyes closed and try to say one by one the numbers until 23 (the number of participants). If two people said the same number at the same time, the game had to begin. It took time but they accomplished!
Fifth activity: this last activity consisted in a group reflection throughout 4 questions given by the trainers: What are your feelings today? How was the program for you today? What do you wish for tomorrow? Other comments.
At the end of the first day after the dinner we had the Intercultural night, a good opportunity to have fun and breake the ice. Different national groups made a brief presentation about curious facts of their countries and then shared traditional foods and drinks with everybody. Tasty and wonderful! =)
Knowing each other’s names, sharing the culture, working in groups and debating topics were all aimed to create a positive context for individual and collective learning, in the light to cooperate fruitfully and pleasantly in the following 6 days too!
During this day I decided to interview an Italian local participant, Ilaria, asking why she decided to take part to this seminar and how she was feeling until now.
“I chose to take part to this training because of the themes.
Inclusion and disability are themes in which I am more interested.
Also because I am a local volunteer of Vicolocorto
and I love to participate in all the activities they do in Pesaro
so I can be active and meet knew people.
There are many interesting people, the activities are interesting, I liked to talk about the different topics in groups because it is a good strategy to know each other.”
So this is it my report of Sunday. The next report will be made by my friend Shawita. I hope you enjoyed reading it. See you soon and keep following our work.
Vanessa (EVS from Portugal).