This is a reference for Eleni Michail

Give Power to Empower

The training activity took place
in Predeal, Romania
organised by Romanian National Agency of the YiA Programme
13.10. 2013-20.10.2013

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 Romanian National Agency of the YiA Programme.

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

The target group of the training course was youth workers, youth leaders, coaches, project coordinators, teachers and mentors who wanted to develop new competences and gain new perspectives upon youth work. Participants were at least 18 years old and had a good level of English. There were in total 23 participants from 11 countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Turkey) representing 22 organizations and 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: Creativity tools for youth empowerment
Objectives of the session:
- To create openness towards creativity and innovation.
- To develop the creativity of participants.
- To explore and use different methods and techniques of creativity.
- To prepare the space for developing new ideas for future common projects.
Activities of the session:
Walks – The participants had to walk in the room and imagine that they are in different life situations. When they wake up at home, they dress, walk to their job, going in traffic, in the rain, meeting people and so on. It was an active method that developed the imagination.
Group drawing – The participants made a circle. Each person had an A3 paper and few colors, markers, pencils. They had to draw something on their paper. After few seconds they had to pass the paper to the person in the right and continue drawing on the new paper. We made several changes and then we made a walking exhibition to present the final drawings.
“What if...?” - This was an exercise to stimulate imagination. Several situations were presented to the group. The participants had to imagine what would happen in that situation. Ex: What if the sky would change the color every day? What if will rain with candies? Etc. Then the participants proposed several situations.
Positions on the chair – In front of the group was placed an empty chair. Each person should sit on the chair but in a different position than the person before. We made two complete rounds.
New objects – The participants were split in 5 groups. Each group received 3 tickets which presented three different objects. During 10 minutes each group had to create/design a new product which will combine characteristics from each object. Then each group had 2 minutes to present their object in a very convincing way. The presentations were evaluated in from of a committee represented by the 3 trainers. The activity simulated the writing and applying process for international youth projects and we made the link with project idea generation.

Outcomes of the activity

The training course received very good evaluation. The project had a great impact on the development of the participants. Participants were very satisfied from the course and motivated to put their competences in practise after going back home.

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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