This is a reference for Eleni Michail

Give Power to Empower

The training activity took place
in Troodos, Cyprus
organised by Cyprus National Agency of E+ Youth
14.09. 2014-21.09.2014

Aims & objectives

The main aim of this training course was to empower youth workers in the specific reality of project based–youth work, so they will become multipliers of youth empowerment.
Its specific objectives were:
- To empower youth workers.
- To understand and facilitate the empowerment process of others.
- To explore principles of non-formal education and experiential learning in order to make them more efficient and applicable in youth work.
- To explore new educational theories, tools and instruments which can lead to youth empowerment.
- To understand how nature and outdoor spaces can be used for youth empowerment.
- To support the creation of empowering and sustainable projects.

The training course addressed the need of empowering the youth workers to empower the young people they work with through the projects they develop.
The training course was hosted and funded by the Cyprus National Agency of the E+ Youth Programme and co-funded by the Spanish NA.

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

The target group of the training course was the following;
- Youth workers (youth leaders, coaches, project coordinators, mentors) who wanted to develop new competences and gain new perspectives upon youth work. Participants were aged at least 18 years old and had a good level of English.
The group was selected after receiving around 200 applications. The level of involvement and motivation of the participants in the course was very high. All the participants demonstrated interest in the topic and high level of experience in the youth field. In total, there were 25 participants from 14 countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Cyprus, Iceland, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Poland) representing 25 organizations or institutions.
The trainers’ team was composed out of 3 experienced trainers: Bogdan Romanica from Romania, Eleni Michail from Cyprus and Ognian Gadoularov from Bulgaria. The trainers have complementary competences and experiences, at local and international level. One important characteristic of them is that they are also experienced youth workers.

Training methods used & main activities

The course was based on non-formal education principles and methods. Outdoor activities represented an important spot in the daily programme, in order to experience and analyze the theories and concepts, from more perspectives and frames. Self-directed learning was another important aspect of this training, so the participants were challenged to take responsibility and initiative for their own learning and development.

The TC was consisted of 6 full training days, which formed a progressive learning process. Each day had specific dynamic and specific themes. The participants had the chance to experience and explore different theoretical concepts, educational tools and methods connected with youth empowerment, which can be transferred and applied in different realities. After empowering the participants we focused on creating empowering projects. The last days of the TC was dedicated to sharing good practices and creating common projects which can be more sustainable and empowering.

Example of session:
Title: Self-directed learning
Objectives of the session:
- To explore principles of experiential learning in order to use them for self-development and in youth work.
- To explore “Concept of 3 learning zones” that is linked with empowerment.
Activities used during this session:
Talk to the tree – Participants were invited to go to the forest, choose one tree and talk to this tree for 15 min, describing the change they would like to make in themselves. Afterwards the comfort level of this activity was evaluated.
Trust fall – Participants had the possibility to do trust fall, by following the concept – challenge by choice. Afterwards the comfort level of this activity was evaluated.
Presentation of three zones – Through a three-dimensional model, the concept of three learning zones was presented very interactively with robes of different color lying on the ground.
Group discussion - Participants were involved in discussion about learning zones and how this concept can be used for personal development and youth empowerment.

Outcomes of the activity

The training course had great achievements in empowering the participants and equipping them with all necessary competences to empower the young people they work with. Moreover, two of the projects developed on the 20th September 2014 in Troodos, were submitted as a KA1 training course and youth exchange to the Spanish and Finnish NAs of E+ Youth Programme on the 1st October 2014 deadline. Both projects were approved for funding and they will be soon implemented. Apart from this, the project empowered the participants to empower the young people they work with and developed a sustainable network of youth workers who still cooperate among them.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

My role was to work as a full time trainer. My tasks included communication and cooperation with my co-trainers, as well as the National Agency. Together with my colleagues we prepared the training course, delivered it and prepared final report. During the days of the course, we had daily meetings to evaluate the process and progress of the course and the participants and when needed, adjustments to the planned sessions were done. In addition, we remained at the disposal of the participants for any individual guidance needed.

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

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