This is a reference for Tali Padan

Democracy in Europe: Patterns of Inclusion and Exclusion

The training activity took place
in Yerevan, Armenia
organised by Mellem Education
Oct.29-Nov.5, 2016

Aims & objectives

The Training Course "Democracy in Europe: Patterns of Inclusion and Exclusion" raises awareness of our own behaviors that are exclusive and inclusive, within the context of societal issues based on these values, namely the Refugee crisis in
Europe. The project takes the refugee situation in Europe as the context for which such values could be discussed, based on the policies of differing countries in Europe on how to handle the incoming refugees, as well as attitudes of the local population. In addition to an examination of the current situation, the experiential and interactive activities in this training course shed light on our own practices of inclusion and exclusion within a small group. Perhaps it is easier to hold up our values when speaking in theory, but in actuality, there are far deeper and more complex dilemmas in ourselves to discover. This discovery allows for a greater empathy, as it no longer puts a conflicting line between our moral positions. It allows for an examination of needs, especially in a conflict, so as to realize that my need in one situation might be yours in another.The objectives of this project are as follows:
- To become aware of the mechanism of exclusion in ourselves
- To see how this mechanism of exclusion is projected in society today, especially in Europe
- To explore what we can do to make conditions more inclusive in our own communities
- To become aware of the minorities of Europe and the relationship between majorities and minorities. - To use interactive activities to learn non-formally through the experience.

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

There were 22 participants, 2 trainers, and 1 support person for this project, and they came from 9 countries across Europe: Denmark, Germany, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, UK, Spain, Armenia and Georgia.
The training course took place in Aghveran, Armenia, in a training facility outside of Yerevan.

Training methods used & main activities

The methodology was primarily interactive, task-based activities, where the participants explored a certain topic, or engaged in a task (in small groups), and then came back to plenary to reflect together. The role of the trainers is to ask questions which might bring up some dilemmas, to encourage them to open up questions, rather than hold onto answers and opinions. As the week went on, participants became more open and free to express themselves, and allowed space for conflicts to express themselves as well. There was one major conflict in the group, to which a conflict resolution methodology was applied, allowing each participant to express his/her view on the conflict, and be heard by others.

Outcomes of the activity

The result of the week was a greater awareness of oneself and how we affect others, as well as an ability to see beyond arguments and into the each other's needs. They also compared this to the greater societal issues now relevant (i.e. the Refugee crisis) and can now understand more about society and their role in it.The long term benefits include an ability to contribute to society through each person's grown sense of responsibility that they accessed through this training course. They also have concrete activities and tasks which they can implement in their local communities and in their youth work.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I organized the training, as well as co-trained with Sofie Rordam from Denmark.

I worked on this training for 6 days as a full time trainer.

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