Tag Archives: strategic partnership

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

 

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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

 

ADR in practice: Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity

The week from the 13th to the 19th March 2017 the Italian NGO Vicolocorto hosted in Pesaro the seminar on ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution, part of the European project “First ADR Kit for Youth Workers”. The project was born thanks to the cooperation of five countries, Poland, Estonia, Italy, Norway and United Kingdom, and it aims at designing new methods and professional tools to promote mediation and dispute resolution techniques into youth education all around Europe. The first phase of the project was mostly theoretical, whereas this second phase in Pesaro was meant to implement everything they had previously learned. The atmosphere was positive, energetic and creative from the first moment: the participants met again 6 months after the first meeting and the activities and the Italian sun contributed to their well-being throughout the process.

From the beginning it was clear that they all wanted to challenge themselves and try to concretely create new tools to use, in order to give back what they had learned: we can say that their enthusiasm was contagious. From the beginning every country had its chance to express their opinions and share ideas. Every one shared with the plenary the good practices they had already started to put into practice in their associations, and it was clear that they all thought this wasn’t enough: they still needed a lot of hard-work and a pretty full week in order to create something innovative and valuable.

Day by day the participants were getting more and more tired because of their devotion to the project, but also more and more satisfied of their creative process. The aim of this second phase of the project was primarily the designing of 10 educational workshops on the topics covered by ADR : each country had to create 2 workshops and all the workshops had to be tested and evaluated by the whole group of participants. The days dedicated to the workshop planning were really intense because every country was focused on its task: you could feel their brains working, their commitment and their desire to create to inspire others.

The best part of the week was indeed the delivery of the workshops: every country managed to create something inspiring that could be applied in several different contexts, and applied to different target groups. The feedbacks that were given were really constructive and helped to improve the methods and tools that were used. In this part of the project, cooperation was particularly crucial: every and each one has something to give and share with the others. The workshops were all very different, some used role-play, some used games, some were delivered on the beach, some others required costumes; what they all had in common was the detailed study of one or more peculiar and important aspects of conflict resolution.

Beside the workshops, the seminar also aimed at realizing and testing simulation and educational games that could be applied in the context of ADR. Everyone was really surprised by how useful games can be: they are engaging, flexible and fun to play with. Of course, there’s a lot of work behind its designing, that’s why the group started first with a brainstorm regarding what they already knew about games and about their purposes; and then continued to work on new ideas to create new ones or to adjust the already existing ones. The Norwegian group had the opportunity to run a session to show practically how simulation games can be used in the context of conflict resolution. The one they introduced was called “Mission Z: one last chance” and they had designed it in a previous project: everyone engaged curiously and participated. That was a good way to show how to design a simulation game and how it could work in different contexts.

All things considered, this was for sure a very intense week, that brought to the conclusion of the second phase of the project. If we had to resume the whole seminar with three words, that would be for sure inspiration, cooperation and creativity.

Daniele & Virginia – Vicolocorto