My name is Katharina, and I am a nineteen years old EVS volunteer from Germany. Today I want to tell you a little bit about Vicolocorto’s latest project, a training course about Inclusion here in Pesaro from the 13th until the 20th of September.
Now first of all: what is a training course?
A training course is an European Union-funded project in which people from all over the EU (and in some cases also from the partner countries) can participate in. A host organization organizes the project, taking care of accommodation, food, program and invitations to the participating countries and organizations.
In our case, the project was born out of a partnership between Vicolocorto, Italy and Youth in Progress Österreich, Austria. Together, they had already hosted the first part of the Inclusion project in Gratz, Austria, in July 2014.
The second part here in Pesaro started on Saturday, 13th September, with the arrival of the 23 participants from six countries: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Estonia, Turkey and Austria. Everyone arrived safely and in time, excited and enthusiastic about the following week and the program that awaited them.
The big topic of the training course was Inclusion of people with fewer opportunities. The approach was to improve the quality of the youth work, developing knowledge, competences and ability that will support the youth work with a more inclusive method towards youngsters with fewer opportunities. During the seminar, the aim for the participants was to get familiar with the terminology and tools in inclusive youth work, analyzing the meaning of fewer opportunities, problems and obstacles that youngster can face in their life, and it will give the opportunity to elaborate creative tools to be used in their youth work at local level.
What can I say, the outcome was really great.
While the first day was mainly dedicated to getting to know each other, becoming comfortable in working together and also sharing some expectations and fears, the following days really got into the topic. They were talking about youth work and different forms of education (formal, non formal and informal education), hearing also a presentation about Youthpass (the certificate that was handed to them at the end of the project) and Erasmus plus, the new EU program for education, training, youth and sport.
Day 3 and 4 were mostly dedicated to the topic of Inclusion, talking about what Inclusion is for the participants, what it means for them, who should be included, how and why, cultural differences and disability.
The last two days were dedicated mainly to individual experience with inclusion, also presenting the participants’ organizations, getting to know some inclusive institutions in Pesaro and learn more about opportunities for future projects.
During those days, we could see many different approaches and methods from the two trainers from Italy (Laura) and Austria (Inga) to make the participants understand and also have fun exploring different topics. They were supposed to create small plays about social inclusion, make a movie about formal, informal or non-formal education, draw the perfect youth worker or even have a tour around the hotel blindfolded, to feel what it is like to have to rely on other people when you are disabled.
After each day, there was a session dedicated to the evaluation of the day and afterwards reflecting on the personal learning outcome, either alone or in small groups.
All those methods of non formal education made the seminar very interactive and interesting, giving the participants the opportunity to bring in their own creativity and ideas, relying on active participation.
For us as volunteers, the week was amazing and very informative. We were involved in the project and also got to know many interesting and very nice people from different countries.
Especially after dinner, when the official program was done, we showed them the city, went to a concert or to a bar to have a beer together. We really enjoyed this time and are looking back at a lot of fun and great memories.