This is a reference for Olga Kiriakidou

Finding Your Element within Erasmus+

The training activity took place
in Orvelte, The Netherlands
organised by Breakthrough Foundation
1-8 November 2015

Aims & objectives

Finding the Element Within looks to enhance the competences and quality of the work of youth workers both at a national and international level. Through working with this target group we constructed a positive and innovative methodology that can be utilised in enhancing and promoting the benefits of international cooperation, learning activities and the impact of youth work through Erasmus+.

Finding the Element Within - Objectives
- a deeper understanding of their Element and
- how finding the Element can benefit their work and projects
- an increased knowledge of the Erasmus+ programme and how to best use it
- plans for how their organisations can work within and find their Element in Erasmus+ and relationships with new organisations from different countries to work with
- new tools, skills and confidence to be able to support those they work with to find their Element in Erasmus+ and develop their employability.

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

Although the main issues covered by the project relate to young people, the project and its successive activities target group was those who see themselves as potential multipliers of methods learned and hence wish to act as the facilitators of change. In particular, the course was targeting those working (volunteers and/or employed staff) actively with young people, youth workers or group leaders who wished to deepen their understanding and knowledge of personal development within the Erasmus+ programme.
Participating countries: 9 The Netherlands, UK, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Malta, Belgium, Poland, Romania.

Training methods used & main activities

Participants on ‘Finding the Element Within’ explored their own Element and find out about the impact that being in their Element can have on them. They ha a deeper look and discovered the Erasmus+ Programme, locating themselves, their organisations and their young people within it. They will continue through learning how to help the young people they work with to find their Element through Erasmus+.
The training had a positive impact on those working with young people since through their participation they developed a greater understanding of who they are and their passions, talents, natural abilities and strengths in working with Erasmus+ and young people. This, then was transferred to the young people they work with increasing their potential for active citizenship and building their capacity and awareness of their strengths and areas for development for life, the labour market and civic competences - a holistic, person-centred approach to employability.
The training focused very much on experiential learning and applying non-formal education methodologies and practices. Through this participants will increase their understanding of the potential of non-formal educational approaches at both a personal and intercultural level. Through creating a positive and participatory learning experience and environment participants actively engaged in fostering mutual understanding of similarities and differences. The professional and cultural exchanges between participating individuals is fundamental to building tolerance, understanding as well as bridges for future collaborations.

Outcomes of the activity

The course participants were inspired by the topic of the training activity and brought it closer to their daily youth work practices. Besides inspiration, we envisaged that general youth work knowledge will be fostered and will result in a useful set of skills being developed.

We can mention as outcomes
- the benefit of team members returning to the organisation with new skills and tools.
- the ability and commitment to cascade learnings amongst other members of each participating organisation.
- the understanding of how to develop employability holistically amongst their young people through the Erasmus+ programme.
- the skills and inspiration to improve the quality and depth of their work on a local and national level.
- the connections with other European organisations to create projects on a European level through Erasmus+
- the capacity and confidence to deliver work on a European level through the Erasmus+ programme.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Trainer, coauthor of the content and the timetable.

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

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