This is a reference for Aleksandra Jones

Juggling Water

The training activity took place
in United Kingdom
organised by Theatr Cynefin
27/06/2011 - 03/07/2011

Aims & objectives

The aim of the training was to expand the knowledge, skills and confidence in the network in the art of facilitating creative intercultural exchanges, to enable there to be a register of facilitators available to the network and also to introduce to new organizations the particular Drums for Peace way of facilitating youth exchanges.

The project happened in the context of the ongoing training we try to provide within the Drums for Peace Network to enable us to maintain the quality in our youth exchanges and in the youth work of the partnership organisations.

The initiative for the project originated in the Drums for Peace Network meeting in Denmark, in August 2010. The partnership there decided that every youth exchange should have a designated facilitator that ‘holds’ the whole group. This could be one of the artists a director or a coordinator of the exchange. What was important was that they had the skills to facilitate large and diverse groups and felt confident to do so through the journey of the exchange. When we realised that the amount of people falling into this category in our network could be counted on one hand then training was proposed.

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

The participants were 29 cultural youth workers from organisations in Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Turkey, Estonia and Wales who were partners in the Drums for Peace network.

The training team comprised musician and voice coach -Richardt Nielsen, Denmark; Iwan Brioc from UK and myself

Training methods used & main activities

The training tried to replicate some aspects of a youth exchange, in particular the tensions that young people experience having such a short time to make a performance, and performing in front of an audience sometimes for the first time. This was done by asking all participants to prepare the performance of a poem, song, dance, story that had moved them, and to perform this alone in front of the others.

We also approached the role of the facilitator from three different perspectives represented by the three trainers – the voice of the facilitator, the body of the facilitator and the mind of the facilitator with an emphasis on authentic leadership.
There were teaching sessions on group dynamics, transactional analysis, making group contracts, conflict prevention, diversity and types of Youth Exchange; regular breakout discussion groups on the role of the facilitator; and opportunities for each participant to facilitate an activity and receive feedback.

Outcomes of the activity

This training was more successful than could have been expected. The three main trainers who had never worked together before found common ground immediately and will continue to collaborate after the success of this training, with plans to offer leadership training to organizations in Denmark as a starting point.

Participants also were taken aback by how empowering and insightful the process was to where they are at the moment in terms of their capacity to facilitate and also in the subtle and experiential way that the ethic of Drums for Peace facilitating was related to them.

The group had varying experience of D4P youth exchanges ages and abilities, and perhaps some with more experience felt that the training was not always relevant though immensely useful. We have taken on board feedback and know how to improve on this training for future versions of Juggling Water.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

My focus within the training activity was in using creative movement; exploring the authentic body of the facilitator through experiential learning. Awareness of the body, mind and voice.

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

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