Tag Archives: KA2

The journey towards Cultural Diversity starts from Ljubljana!

From the 13th to the 19th of November 2017, the first joint staff mobility training of the KA2 project “Cultural Diversity as a learning tool in Youth Work” took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. All the five partners of the project had the possibility either to meet again or, in some cases, for the first time to work intensively on the concept of cultural diversity and on learning tools. This was the first of five different study visits during which the members of the five partner organizations could go to relevant NGOs and Youth Centres in the hosting country and collect their best practices as regards the use of cultural diversity as a learning tool in youth work. At the end of the project, all the information collected during these visits will contribute to the creation of a Good Practice Guide.

During these mobilities, each partner organization has the opportunity to send a member of the NGO and a guest. In the case of Vicolocorto, we decided to cooperate with the Employment Centre of Pesaro and our guest was Angela Bulzinetti, one of the persons in charge of the Department of Education, Vocational Training and Career Guidance. We made this choice as an association because cultural diversity is a real challenge in Italy at the moment and the Employment Centre is one of the institutions that deals with various and diverse people: they all come here to look for a job or for training; therefore, it is important that such an important place has a saying in the topic and that it can benefit from the good practices experienced in other countries.

The Slovenian NGO Zavod Voluntariat organised for us the perfect week combining visits to different NGOs and interesting workshops. The main priority was to establish what we wanted to learn from this first joint staff mobility and to lay the foundation of the Good Practice Guide: How can we define “Cultural Diversity”? What is a learning tool? How do we recognize a good practice? These were just some of the questions we tried to answer at the beginning of the visit. The workshops, the good cooperation among the participants and their experience in the field helped a lot in finding the answers but if we started the week with unstable definitions, everything that we lived during the week really helped us through the process and cleared up our doubts.

Thanks to Zavod Voluntariat and their EVS volunteers we had the opportunity to visit 4 NGOs, the Autonomous Cultural Centre “Metelkova”, the Youth Council of Slovenia and three social enterprises. From Zavod Bob, for example, we learned how to be street youth worker and how to communicate with young people to solve problems; thanks to Zavod Voluntariat we gathered a lot of information about global education and about active support of young people; from Mladi Zmaji we learned how sport can be a learning tool about cultural diversity and inclusion; from Humanitas we learned how to use theatre with migrants; from Metelkova we learned the importance of art and sharing; thanks to the Youth Council of Slovenia we learned what structured dialogue is and that finally Slovenia has a vocational qualification for Youth Workers.

Every person that we met contributed in its own way to our definition of cultural diversity, helped us to broaden our minds and have a clearer understanding of what we want to include in our Good Practice Guide. Following the rules set at the kick off meeting, we only choose two NGOs to include in the Good Practice Guide, but for sure we brought home with us far more than we expected.

Now we are ready for the next step!

On February 2018 we will have the pleasure to host in Pesaro the second event, giving the opportunity to 10 youth workers from UK, Latvia, Slovenia and Spain to visit our region and share our best practices in terms of Cultural Diversity in youth work in Italy!

Virginia

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First ADR Kit flies to the North for the mid-term meeting

From the 8th to the 12th of June 2017, all the coordinators of the five partners of the project First ADR Kit met for  the mid-term meeting in a wonderful place in Norway, 220 km inside the arctic circle: Narvik. The Norwegian partner association, Narviksenteret, is in fact located in Narvik where they also manage the War Museum. Joakim and Ann Kristin hosted us in Beis Fjørd (12 km from Narvik) in a nice dormitory which was part of what used to be a military barrack and is now owned by the local sport association. The fact that we were hosted in a dormitory with a common kitchen contributed to create the right atmosphere to work together: the rituals of having breakfast together and to prepare the meals together positively influenced also the way we were working together.

We hadn’t seen each other from the seminar that Vicolocorto hosted here in Pesaro last March. It was not only a pleasure to meet again, but it was also a very useful occasion to revive the energy which is now necessary to accomplish the final phase of the project. First of all, we used the mid-term meeting to share with the other partners what we all have been doing regarding the project from March until June. In Pesaro the participants had created 10 workshops and every association had to test them in their local reality to improve and to adapt them to the target groups they were meant for: this was the moment to share all the results and the actual status of the workshops. Some partners struggled more than other to finalize the workshops and, in this sense, meeting with the group was very helpful: the creative atmosphere of the previous seminar was easily recreated and constructive feedback was given to everybody’s work.

Beside the workshops, we discussed dissemination strategies, the handbook and the final events since the project is entering its last phase. Another big topic was “Games”: the partners felt that we had to use the valuable time together of the mid-term meeting to finalize them. This was the right decision because we managed to work hard and to give a better shape to the two educational games that we need to develop within the project. There was and there is a good synergy within the group and what is really impressive is the fact that nobody lost interest in this project, on the contrary we discussed the option of continuing not only working with ADR, but also together.

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Besides work, thanks to the hosts and their EVS volunteers (we are very proud to be Giovanna’s Sending Organization), we also had the opportunity to visit Narvik and the museum they manage. They are really passionate about their town, its history and the history of the people that lived there. Not only they’re passionate about their past, but they also use it as a tool to fight war in contemporary society and to work towards peace. The tour in the museum was very exciting and they gave us a lot of interesting information and facts. The cherry on top was the dinner with an amazing view on the fiords. While getting to the restaurant, we discovered the city and its curious facts and places thanks to a special tour organized for us.

We had five days of intense work, cooperation and discoveries since for many of us was the first time in Norway and for sure the first time in the midnight sun. We left Narvik with a lot of tasks and new appointments: each partner will work now with its own team until the final event when everyone will meet again to close the project.

 

Virginia

 

All in! An international path towards inclusion in youth work

“ALL IN” is the name of a newborn Strategic Partnership Project (KA2) about inclusion, financed by Erasmus+, which involves 8 partner organizations from Austria (which is also the coordinator), Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, UK, Slovenia and Spain. The kick-off meeting took place in Graz, Austria, from the 21st of May to the 24th during which all the partners had the opportunity to meet and to get to know each other in person after a simple e-mail communication.

The point of the meeting was mainly to introduce the project, to share ideas and opinions on what we all thought about inclusion and to define the responsibilities among the partners. It is always a pleasure to meet and talk face to face with the partners with whom you will work for two years: you need to build trust and create a common ground from which you can start to work together.

All the partner organizations work in different fields of youth work in which there’s anyway a real need to foster inclusion. Nowadays the term inclusion is used by many people and has become a very fashionable concept. But what is actually inclusion? What do we mean by that? This is the starting point of the project: the intention is to fill the gap in the actual understanding of inclusion (include from where, into what and including whom), and to give as a consequence practical skills and support to youth workers in order to implement the concept into reality and to make their work more inclusive.

For this reason, the goal of the project is to develop and test training modules about inclusive approach to all in youth work. Each organization has the duty to create a module with the support materials aimed at  training actual or future leaders, youth workers and all the person working with young people in general. In order to create really inclusive modules, field research is the starting point: each partner has to understand what are the standards nowadays as regards inclusion in its own country, in order to work in the right direction. The training module is seen here as “innovation, because it will be create in the way that it can reach different target groups within youth field”, as the coordinators say. The modules will consists, in fact, of several blocks and people will be able to choose and to attend what is necessary for them.

 

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All the modules created will be tested and collected in a training manual which will be used to train a pool of youth workers to inclusiveness. What the creators of the project would like to achieve is that this could become a certain standard in the education of people involved in youth work. Of course, it’s just the beginning of the project and there’s a lot of work ahead. The atmosphere of the meeting was anyway very positive: the group left Graz with a lot of ideas and good intentions, a schedule to follow, and the plan to meet again in Scotland next November to report the first results. As Vicolocorto we are very proud to be part of this process… let’s make youth work more inclusive!

 

Virginia