This is a reference for Fabio Meazza

Dare to Draw

The training activity took place
in Grotniki, Poland
organised by YoWo Poland
07/09/2021 - 13/09/2021
Reference person

Helena Leszczyńska

(Trainer, Project Coordinator)
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Aims & objectives

The project idea emerged after participating in an Erasmus+ TC about graphic facilitation in February 2020, where the three trainers of “Dare to Draw!” met. By sharing experiences and opinions with other participants, they observed that youth workers lack knowledge about the very existence of graphic facilitation methods and tools that can be used in youth work, they lack skills in graphic facilitation and also on how to use it in the most efficient way in their daily activities, but they are also not self-confident enough and see themselves as not talented or not creative enough to implement graphic facilitation methods and tools in a confident way in their daily work with youngsters.

During the TC in February 2020, we collected youth workers’ needs and opinions about what they lack to get more confident and skilled in graphic facilitation – or more skilled and thus more confident – to actually use graphic facilitation in youth work. Through personal communication with the youth workers participating in the TC, we collected their insights on the topic of graphic facilitation in their organisations and countries in the context of youth work. We discussed with them our ideas for our yet-to-be-created back then project and took notes from their opinions on the topic.

Along with the youth workers asked, we believe that graphic facilitation constitutes great learning support in youth work. It is a way to answer the needs of our target audience who bases the learning and the information acquisition process on visual input. We are also used to being stimulated by visual input every day, our brain is well prepared for that and grasps information very quickly, regardless of dominant learning style. Supporting a presentation, project, meeting or process with visuals (such as posters, symbols, special kinds of lettering, drawings, colours, etc.) can be a great help in youth work and can make communication with the target recipient(s) easier and more effective. Nevertheless, graphic facilitation is still not so commonly used, or used in an unconscious and thus not optimal way in youth work; we want to promote graphic facilitation in youth work more broadly and make it a great support for youth workers in their daily activities.

The project aimed to improve youth workers’ competences in graphic facilitation and visual thinking and boost their creativity in both personal and professional life. In this way, the project fostered youth workers’ quality of work with young people and, thus, help them reach their goals, e.g. inclusion and youth involvement, activism, promoting European values, etc. by implementing a new methodology (graphic facilitation) in their daily activities.

Participants of this project had:
- gained knowledge about graphic facilitation methods and tools;
- became more aware of the importance of graphic facilitation in youth work;
- developed skills in visual thinking and graphic facilitation;
- increased their confidence in the field of creativity.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

The group was composed of 22 youth workers from 9 different countries: Poland, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and The Republic of North Macedonia.

Profile of the Participants we looked for:
- at least 18 years old;
- with at least an intermediate level of English;
- beginner in the topic of graphic facilitation;
- motivated and excited to learn;
- being present for the whole training;
- being committed to implementing a dissemination activity after the training;
- being an active youth worker / trainer / NGO worker / teacher or looking to work with youth in the future.

In accordance with the objective of the Erasmus + program to increase the presence of youth with fewer opportunities in international mobility programs, we encouraged the selection of participants who comes from the disadvantaged social, economic, educational, cultural or geographic environment, including immigrants and refugees.

Selection procedure:
Candidates completed an application form to demonstrate both the skills they already have and their interest in participating in this course as part of their professional development process. In some cases, candidates have been contacted for an interview.

Partner organisations:
- POLAND, YoWo Poland
- SPAIN, Asociación Cultural L'Ayalguina
- ESTONIA, MTÜ Kalliralli
- ITALY, Beyond Borders Italy
- PORTUGAL, Collippo - Organização Juvenil
- REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA, YEA Youth Empowerment Association

Training methods used & main activities

The programme has been designed in a way for ensuring the achievement of the main aim of the project, i.e. to develop youth workers’ (who were beginners in graphic facilitation) competences in graphic facilitation. During the sessions, trainers introduced step by step graphic facilitation methods and tools to participants. To train participants in those methods and tools, trainers used non-formal education methodology to make them discover graphic facilitation on their own and try it out, which made them develop new competences in the most efficient and enjoyable way.

All the project activities were based on the use of non-formal methodologies that allowed the participants to acquire knowledge in a friendly and effective way. Participants took part in workshops, simulations, role-playing games, outdoor activities and other group activities such as discussions, problem-solving and brainstorming sessions. They also had the opportunity and space to develop their own ideas, coached by the trainers, in order to create and run their own workshops that then have been included in the guide.

The flow of everyday reflections, scheduled every day in the evening through NFE methods, encouraged participants to share feelings of each day in small groups and to give feedback to organisers and trainers. Safe spaces have been created so that participants could share and exchange experiences and good practices that enhanced their more active participation in the course. Through the different activities, they have been involved for feeling protagonists and willing to participate actively in the activities, encouraging learning through experience, dialogue and exchange. The aim was to build knowledge among all the people and the generated group dynamics.

Outcomes of the activity

As an outcome of the project, during the activity, participants created a manual for beginners on how to introduce graphic facilitation methods in youth work with a visual dictionary for youth work included. The process of creating the manual helped them to develop their teamwork skills and provided them with a safe space to practice the methods and tools of graphic facilitation that they have acquired during the activity. It also boosted their creativity and self-confidence in graphic facilitation since they saw immediately the results of their work and all that they have learnt applied in practice. Finally, it serves as a toolbox for other youth workers who want to boost their efficiency and attractiveness in working with youngsters in an intercultural context.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I have been a full-time trainer in a team composed of 3 total people, delivering sessions about topics such as design thinking process, visual communication, principles of graphic facilitation and other relevant themes. I have been responsible for providing the sessions on digital tools that can be used in the design and creating graphics in youth work and I also took care of sessions on Erasmus+ and Youthpass, as well as in charge of supervising the reflection process of participants.

I worked on this training for 7 days as a full time trainer.

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