#EUROSUDSTORIES :MY FIRST INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR IN SOFIA ,BULGARIA
Seneca said that “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind”.
When you combine travel and culture is beautiful, but if you add sharing with people from other countries, different than yours, everything becomes wonderful, the mind really opens up and new ways of seeing things come to life.
This is what I think after attending the International Seminar on European Democracy in Sofia in Bulgaria from 12 to 19 November.
The issues addressed were different, from the EU issues to Brexit or the role of the European Parliament for the strengthening of European Democracy.
Several actors interacted with us such as the Minister Lilyana Pavlova and the Ambassador of France H.E. Eric Lebedel. All the activities ended with discussions and participants’ interventions that compared their thinking about the situation of their country with that of others.
The most important thing about these projects, and especially about this one for the importance of the topic, is COMPARISON. To confront with many people from different parts of the EU has allowed me to look at and analyze some of the themes differently and to look at things in a different way, enabling me to enrich my cultural baggage. Very pleasant were also events organized out of activities that allowed us to discover the city and its most special places, such as the Rila Monastery and the Vitosha Mountain. From the personal point of view it was a wonderful experience that has allowed me to know smart people, sympathetic and loving.
Although one week may seem too short, it has been intensely lived and this has allowed us to establish good friendships. Allegedly as a representative photo, a photo of the Italian team, with which I had the pleasure to share this beautiful experience.
#EUROSUDSTORIES :YOUTH EXCHANGE “BREAKING BREAD TO WIN HEARTS AND PEACE” IN PREŠOV,SLOVAKIA
#EUROSUDSTORIES: AN INTERNATIONAL MEETING “YOUTH ACTIVATOR: MAKE IT HAPPEN” IN ADAMOV, CZECH REPUBLIC
From October 2nd to October 10th, Michael, Gabriele and I spent eight enriching and unforgettable days in Adamov, Czech Republic.
The local organization DICE scheduled a week full of activities in a breathtaking location in the middle of the Czech forest.
Since the first day, DICE’s trainers employed a wide variety of non-formal education methods and applied them to two main topics, active citizenship and project management.
The first half of the week was devoted to the topic of active citizenship. We started by making up our own definition, in order to better understand the term and its implications and to verify our actual commitment and our will to become even more involved both at local and international level.
DICE provided us with real examples, for instance by showing us the huge variety of volunteering programs that already exist within the European Union. To make it more practical, DICE invited a Czech young ONG worker, Lenka Polcerova from INEX, who explained to us the whole mechanism behind her job. The very next day the trainers took us to Brno, to grab a bite of community life in the alternative neighborhood of Kamenka and hear more about community projects by NGOs’ founders and community workers themselves. The trip to Brno was probably one of the highlights of the week.
During the second part of the week, activities were mostly centered on the concept of project management. We approached the topic from different angles, asking ourselves the most diverse questions: What is a project? Which kind of topics could we tackle through project managing? How do we fund our initiatives?
Little by little, group activities gave us inputs to answer these questions. Once we gathered all needed information, we could carry out the final and more comprehensive activity, during which we tried to draft a hypothetical project.
Personally, I was very satisfied with this experience as I surely learnt a lot, especially as I could try firsthand a wide range of non-conventional methods that will certainly prove useful in the future.
The training course also helped me enlarge my social and professional network and I think that the contacts I made could result into fruitful collaborations in the future, as they already resulted into inspiring friendships.
#EUROSUDSTORIES: E+ TRAINING “INTERACT TO GROW ” KZYZOWA, POLAND
The training course in Poland for me was a very formative and profound experience both professionally and humanly.
During the course, I found the formation of non-‐formal classes in the classroom very exciting, the way in which the various issues related to disability were exposed. I have deepened my knowledge on various aspects.
Being my first training course I was a little frightened of not being able to express my ideas well, but with comprehension of my companions everything was much easier.
From the very first moment, a friendly atmosphere was created immediately with all the participants .We presented ourselves through a simple game. As we continue the day, we have been dealing with themes such as ground rules, team building and the intercultural evening.
During the week, we discussed other topics of how to react with people with disabilities, methodologies, and inclusion strategies. The fact that there were people with disabilities made the course more inclusive and offers the chance to everyone to participate.
I can say with certainty that I have learned new methods and tools of how to behave and act with people with disabilities. I thank EUROSUD organziation for the availability and growth opportunity.
This photo was taken during one of our activities.
#EUROSUDSTORIES: IN LATVIA FOR THE ERASMUS+ PROJECT “INCLUSION+EVS, MAKE IT POSSIBLE!”
From the 14th till the 22nd October occurred in Latvia the Erasmus+ project “Inclusion+EVS, Make it possible!”, the two youth workers Gloria and Marta represented Italy between twelve other countries.
The aims of the project were learning innovative and creative approaches in social inclusion and knowing about EVS.
The trainers used non-formal education methods, like group works and outdoor activities, experiencing new learning approaches, that showed the reality about social inclusion from another perspective.
For each participant it was an unforgettable experience, in addition to the training course’s activities, they had the chance to visit Liepaja, knowing the culture by eating typical dishes and dancing on folkloristic songs, and especially meeting interesting people who were motivated to change the society!
Marta B. Gloria M.
#EUROSUDSTORIES: EVS IN GEORGIA “TOWARDS PEACE BUILDING AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT”
Volunteering in another country is a great way to experience different cultures and make new friends, whilst also helping others and learning new skills that could be helpful in later life.
In the project ” TOWARDS PEACE BUILDING AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT” for almost one year long, Pasqualino and Dario will be an integral part of the work carried out by Civil Forum for Peace in promoting knowledge of post-conflict reconstruction and empowering the local youth.
Wishing them all the best with the project!!!
#EUROSUDSTORIES “START UP AND SUCCED” IN MALTA
A week ago , 3 youth workers , EUROSUD representatives , took part in a training course in Malta named “Start up and Succeed”.
“The training course that I have attended “Start up and Succeed” has been a great occasion of growth and learning for me : it was really interesting and above all well organized.
I have really appreciated the fact that there were a lot of interactive activities and that we have learned Canvas model doing practical excercises. Exactly, after a presentation of the model, the trainers have asked us to explain an idea for a start up. In this way we have formed groups (there was also the possibility to work alone). Each group had to work on the project of a start up using the guidelines that the trainers gave us.
About my personal experience in this activity, I can say that there was some problems at the begininning because in my group we have tried to put toghether differentes ideas, but it was very difficult, so we have decided to give up and work on the idea of one of us. Also in the group there were some little discussions, that in reality were very useful because they put in evidence differents points of view(the creative part and the business part).Our group has worked on a start up with the aim of the realization of creepy tours and other activities(such as theatre representations) in order to show the city in a different amazing way and also to increase knowledge.
The most interesting activity for me was about the public speacking. Infact the trainers explained us some techniques for a good exposition to capture attentions, showing also us some videos of famous speeches. They asked us also to try to do a little exposition to practice what we have listened. At the and we had to do a presentation of our start up in front of some experts: each group had 8 minutes to explain the idea and receive feedback. My group has tryed to do a creative presentation: we have turned off the lights,the speacker has told a legend in an expressive way and I have sung a creepy song hidden in the corner, in order to create atmosphere .
During the training course, we have also visited the Mccast entrepreneurship centre, that is a centre that helps young people to transform their creative ideas into profitable business ventures.
Also the accomodation was good and the trainers have also organized the activities leaving some time in order to visit Malta( we have seen beautiful places in the free afternoon, during the last day and during two nights).
About the feedbak, the trainers asked us to create some”family groups”,that everyday discussed about the activities. One member of each group sayed the feedback to the trainer at the end of the everyday discussions.
For me it was an amazing experience because I was really interested in the creation of a start up of social enterpreneurship (I have renounced to use my social idea in the training because it was impossible to put different ideas toghether and I was really interested in the work in a group because I wanted to see the evolution of the group and to do activities of brain storming) but at the end I have discovered that also to find solutions, to reflect about problems of a business start up was amazing for me and I have lived it such as a challenge.”
#EUROSUDSTORIES: “EUROPLOYMENT – BUILD YOUR PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY” IN PRAGUE
From 20th to 27th of August, with the association Eurosud, we took part in the Youth Exchange “Euroployment” in Prague with people from five other Countries (Czech Republic, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, and Portugal).
The main issue of the exchange was the employability of young people, the aim was to increase in the participants the competitiveness in the labor market, finding personal strengths and working on self-development and all the activities were focused on the topic.
After an introduction to the project and games to get in touch with other participants, we had the opportunity, through a series of presentations, to know the current job market situation of each Country and to discuss differences and similarities.
Starting from the causes and effects of youth unemployment we had a reflection about what are the main skills required in the labor market for a successful job searching and what are the opportunities to pursue our own personal development and to build a rewarding working career.
A day was dedicated to a theater workshop with a group of actors in order to improve our self-confidence, social interactions, ability in improvisation and body language.
We visited Impact Hub Prague, a coworking space in the City center with accelerator programs for Start-ups where two young entrepreneurs told us about their experience and their business projects.
In the last few days, activities were focused on useful and practical tips on writing a CV and Cover Letter, a simulation of a job interview and a presentation to improve the use of social networks and web reputation. Finally, we have looked at opportunities to help to find a job or develop an entrepreneurial idea.
It has been a beautiful and useful experience that has given us the opportunity to meet new people and learn about other cultures during leisure time, in the intercultural night and throughout the project, and, beyond the importance of the subject, we spent some days, having good times in a wonderful city.
Emanuel, Francesca, Michele, Davide, Eleonora
#EUROSUDSTORIES: “MEDIA CREATOR” YOUTH EXCHANGE IN LONDON
From the 9th to the 17th of August 2017 I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Media Creator Youth exchange. Taking part in this program was a truly enriching and enjoyable experience.
On the first day, we focused on the creation of portrait photos and public speaking. I learned new techniques of photography, how to better use my DSLR camera and I became more confident when speaking in public by receiving a feedback on my strengths and weaknesses. On the second day, we analyzed the meaning of self branding and created some posters about it (e.g. how to use photo/video to get employed or to found a start-up).
Then we interviewed some people and asked them what do they usually do for their self-brand. This task was very interesting because we find that people have very different ways to promote themselves. In the evening, we attended the presentation of some traditions, cultures, and curiosities of three countries (intercultural evening).
On the third day, we did some outdoor activities aimed at enhancing our trust in others. During the afternoon, we produced a video to show how social medias can influence our everyday life. In the evening,some Italians friends and I introduced Italian traditions and culture to our peers. On the fourth day, we focused on the creation of some workshops. My group and I focused on Adobe Light room and created a tutorial for our peers.
During this activity, I had the opportunity to acquire a wider vocabulary of technical words related to photography and video making. In the evening we attended a workshop, which consisted in a treasure hunt in Crystal Palace Park. I really enjoyed this activity as I developed teamwork and orienteering skills. The morning of the following day was devoted to some other workshops. During the afternoon, we had free time and we went sightseeing in London city.
I fully appreciated this free time because I explored new areas of London I had never seen before while loosening up. On the fourth day, we learned how to improve our CV and self-brand when applying for a job. We also produced a video interview, created a presentation card and a logo for a group’s member. Then we attended the lecture of a guest, Jonas Lekevicious, who explained us his work and how he achieved success. I think this was a great opportunity to learn which are the main skills to have success.
In the evening, we went to an English pub and we had a great time together. The last day we learned how to write a Youth Pass and greeted us. Every day we had a reflection time, which I found really interesting because I learned new ways to meditate, I explored my strengths and weaknesses and I understood how others perceive me.
During this exchange, I had the chance to use media tools to express myself,promote my personal values and explore my entrepreneurial path. I developed a wider set of skills such as leadership, teamwork and, creative and critical thinking,
which are vital for working in an internationally competitive and dynamic environment. I improved my communication skills as I could interact with people from a wide range of backgrounds and create new relationships. I worked and spent time in a multinational setting with other highly motivated people and it had been extremely rewarding. I developed my cultural awareness, knowledge of others and
self-esteem, which I think would help me in my pursuit of a successful career.
Moreover, I had also the opportunity to explore the multicultural and dynamic entrepreneurial environment of London. I was really honoured to be accepted in
this Youth Exchange and I highly recommend this experience.
Thiene, 13 Settembre 2017 Sara B.
#EUROSUDSTORIES: “CURIOUS BRIGHT SILENCE”
When I joined the Italian team for the “CURIOUS BRIGHT SILENCE” youth exchange, I was a little bit afraid because I didn’t know anything about the topic, my fear was to be not enough ready to face this subject. But then the project started and I lost all of my fears and doubts. E1verything was on the same line of the infopack description, so we hadn’t unpleasant surprises about the accommodation or the activities or something else. The trainers and all of the staff tried to make us feeling home from the moment we first met, and the Italian Ngo EUROSUD was always next to our team, we knew we could count on it if we needed to.
That was my third project, so I can compare the exchanges I attended to, and all I can say is that the tasks and the activities that I did here are the best and most stimulating ever. The thing that I loved most was that the trainers acted like they were our friends, and it made us feel really comfortable.
The subject was the sound as form of communication, especially its important in the nature. Then we, surrounded by the amazing wood and lake of Vila Ilgai, spent lots of time outdoor recording sounds and making stimulating tasks which improved too much our knowledge about the topic.
The trainers let us to use sound recording and video making applications and they gave us lots of materials, letting us working in teams which made us knowing each other better. We also had tasks in different places like Vilnius, Trakai, a technologies college and a recording studio, and I think that this was amazing because we faced new realities and we could make our works in beautiful places surrounded by beautiful people. Never been more stimulated in an exchange before. These activities were the greatest and funniest I’ve done in all of my experiences of exchange. And the most important thing, that every trainer should learn from them, is that every activities done here had a very important message, like how hard is the life of people who can’t speak or hear, and also how difficult is to communicate without a common language and other important social messages. Another important thing to say is that all of the trainers had a different personality, so their tasks had a particular “style” which reflect their being.
Then we all had an intense week of activities, mixed in the best way, in order to make us feel always full of energy and curiosity.
I only got positive vibes from this experience, I learnt a lot about the topic and I grew up too much inside. I’m too much open-minded now, I lost lots of my stupid prejudices and I knew better foreign cultures. I found amazing and true friends in people I barely knew in the first days and I met the most expert and funny trainers ever.
I will never forget anything about this experience, I have to thank all of them to make me feel a better person right now, they helped me to open myself too much, to be less shy, to improve my knowledge having fun, and to live every single moment of my life deeply.
I want to thank EUROSUD organization, I will be pleased to be selected again in future; my trainers for being the most amazing ever; all of the participants, which are precious friends for me; my team leader, the best I’ve ever had.
I won’t forget it, never.
Asia (Troki, 11.09.2017)
#EUROSUDSTORIES: “EUROPLOYMENT – BUILD YOUR PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY”
Cosa ho fatto a Praha? Sono stata in giro e.. Ho partecipato per una settimana ad uno scambio europeo, 5 persone di ogni paese: Portogallo, Grecia, Italia, Serbia, Russia e da altre nuove terre.. Eventi, confronti, meeting e qualche gioco la mattina per farci svegliare 😉 Bello superare i propri limiti. Bello mettersi alla prova: e voi lo fate di tanto in tanto o siete sedentari?
Posted by Il Blog di Eleonora Marsella on Monday, August 28, 2017
I participated from 20th to 27th August 2017 to the project named “EUROPLOYMENT – BUILD YOUR PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY” in Prague.
The program was adaptable and not binding, sometimes some activities were done outdoors with outside staff.
The city is worth to be visited and thanks to my free time this has been possible. I have found some problems in the host dormitory which was been solved,as much as possible, by Alexandra, the project manager.
Nice interaction with all participants from other parts of Europe and positive communication with the organization itself that, where required, demonstrated maximum availability.
From my point of view, I will do again this type of experience.
Great personal development.
#EUROSUDSTORIES: “MEDIA CREATOR II”
This the feedback from one of our participant involved in the course MEDIA CREATOR II :
“MEDIA CREATOR II stage developed practical and innovative digital skills that employers and clients (in case of entrepreneurial path) are looking after, involving youth directly as media creators.
Each workshop was structured in two parts: introduction and development. During the introduction participants were introduced to the topic and it was taught to them how to use some specifics skills. Then during the development it was given them a task, connected with what they’ve just learned, and it was given them time to do it.
Most of the task had to be done into groups, which was useful in terms of teambuilding but which gave less chance to develop individual skills, also due to the free riding problem.
At the end of the project participant had learned how to use some media tools, how to have more awareness on self-branding and how to develop communication and team work.
This experience gave me the chance to challenge myself and improve my media skills, the team who supported us during this project gave me some good advices and helped me to think out of the box. It was also very important the contribution of others participant who were well prepared about the subject and gave us some useful information on the topic.”
Gaia C. (22.08.2017)
#EUROSUDSTORIES: “NO LIMITS TC – 2° CHAPTER” IN POLAND
The project was a “training for trainers, heplful for people who use to work with youth,minorities, and generally. During this training course we learned what being part of minorities like immigrants, rural, roma and people with disabilities means, and how to interact with them and include them in society.
We tried to find out wich minority represent the biggest problem in our country to develope a solution.
First of all we started analysing what a youth worker is. Basically, a youth worker is a girl or boy that can make the difference in the society where she or he lives helping and doing the best for the others.
Infact the first meeting we had was with a sociologist that asked us our purpose for taking part in the No Limits project. Our aim was acquiring sensibility and perception for being responsible, sustaining and supporting the next. Another important point is trusting the next in a way that means giving endependance and space and letting grow up because controlling and taking care of somebody is not enough.
First of all we needed to understand ourselves sharing our experiences with people coming from other countries. At the same time we shared difficulties that our countries have to face every day for minorities and immigrants.
During the days we partecipate and prepared usefull workshops.
In our opinion the most significant workshops were those that we used for understanding how it feels when you are part of a minority or most simple when nobody likes you, and how young people make difference.
But the most important topic for us was how you can feel alone or isolated. In fact we partecipated two workshops. In the first one you receive a post it on your back and people interacts with you giving some tips for understanding who you really are and at the end you have to guess it. Very funny but in some case a little bit sad. In the second one you have to cross a line on the ground for saying yes or not at the
questions you receive. You do not have to explain just crossing the line. In some case you find out the past of people close to you and how many differences there are expecially due to the difficulties of the life.
We suggest to join projects like this because you have the chance for understand yourself more than you can imagine and then learning possible ways for helping the others in your future not only by yourself but we the collaboration of the present and future people. Future people because every project leads to result that could be shared for future projects.
We mean it is an action followed by a reaction that could make the future better.
This kind of experience can give people different points of view, and the possibility to create a network with people from all over Europe, it is a precious thing that can really
change their lifes.
But the most important thing is that we can learn how to write our projects, to help people from our cities and our country, to improve our professions and our skills.
Gabriella M. Ruggero P. Veronica S.
#EUROSUDSTORIES:TRAINING COURSE “FIND BALANCE THROUGH PARKOUR” IN VISTA, GREECE
From 19th to 29th of April 2017 in Vitsa (Zagori, Ioannina, Greece) there was Training Course ”Find Balance Through Parkour”.
“Find Your Balance Through Parkour” was a training course settled in Greece which had the purpose to get people aware about this physical an mental activity. This project is a work of active european organizations that want to promote a common educational program of parkour and the intercultural exchange between young people.
The main topic of this experience was parkour as a method of physical training that develops one’s ability to overcome obstacles.
Behind the the way you move there is a detailed philosophy based on altruism, efficient use of strength, self-improvement and self-understanding. Parkour can be applied in every type of enviroment and the place where we trained (the little town of Vitsa, Zagoria) was full of different spots that combined buildings with nature.
In this project 24 people participated from 8 different countries (Italy, Greece, Ciprus, France, Germany, Spain, Poland Ukraine and Croatia) and the principal objectives were:
- to develope new skills in Parkour,
- to exchange skills, knowledge and technical competences of Parkour education, from different countries,
- to create a practical tool, like a video guide, that will be developed by the participants during the project which will help Youth to promote healthy life-style,
- to tell more about Parkour as a tool of mental and physical development,
- to learn from the different cultures,
- to improve teamwork skills,
- to get practical information and skills in videography (such as cropping, use of equipment, white balance, ISO, as well as basics skills in graphics editing programs),
- to learn how to create and plan social campaigns and projects.
All of the aims had been reached through different activities held in a form of workshops, games, open space training and challenges.
This was the first time for me that I take part in an Erasmus+ project and I have to say that was better than I thought!
The open-mindness and the optimistic way of thinking of all
participants made this experience wonderful and the wild environment (Vikos Canyon) that surrounded us was the perfect location for reconnect us with our body and with the nature.
It was an unforgettable adventure!