This is a reference for Leila Usmani

Supporting Youth to Act Local be Social

The training activity took place
in London, UK
organised by Creative Opportunities
26/05/2018 - 2/05/2018

Aims & objectives

By empowering participants of this programme with the skills, knowledge, resources & support to in turn support young people to run a campaign, we increased their employability, as campaigning utilises a number of transferable soft skills, such as communication, working with people from different backgrounds, teamwork, initiative & project management, as well as the fact that across Europe charities & NGOs are making a lot more effort to engage in Social Action initiatives on varying levels, employing experienced young people to undertake these projects, by working on social injustice issues this project has instilled in participants a lifelong habit of leadership, volunteering & active citizenship, promoting their participation in democratic life at a local, national & even European level. As well as the personal & professional benefit to the participants & the young people they go on to support, the training course promoted solidarity between nations by giving them the chance to engage in intercultural dialogue & identify common values & issues, in turn developing the international capacity of the participating organisations, allowing them to foster relationships with other similar organisations across Europe. The activities created a greater awareness of the causes & consequences of social injustices & the support available, & participants learnt how to engage with cross sectorial cooperation, enhancing this between youth workers & other influential organisations. The course allowed for the exchange of concepts around civic engagement, promoting diversity & allowing space to practice instruments, creating mutual st &ards for implementation that can be carried forward.

The above was achieved by reaching the following objectives, as reflected in the average quantitative scores out of 10 being 8.5 overall.
1. Provide enjoyable & engaging spaces to reflect on & discuss issues of identity, community, highlighting common values to learn & collaborate on local & wider issues that affect young people in their localities –score 8.6
2. Develop resilience to various risks or challenges when supporting young people to undertake social action of their own in future score 7.8
3. Develop networks to be able to continue to catalyze positive change in their communities, through leadership, volunteering, active citizenship & participation in democratic life score 8.0
4. Increase the professional development of youth workers across Europe to be able to address issues that affect young people across the continent, linking with policy reform – score 8.1
5. Provide a space for learning about the use of different forms of media, the arts & creativity in social action & campaigns –score 7.6
6. Increase a sense of initiative by exploring ways of highlighting issues & creating innovative ways of engaging with others to create a successful campaign, especially those most affected by social injustice –score 8.3
7. Strengthen the bond within the local & European community, enhancing cooperation & cross sectorial working practices score 8.0

One main activity was delivered a Training Course for Youth Workers. This type of activity created a positive space for coordinators & participants to develop their ideas, as well as importantly share knowledge & experiences about the topic, as they knew it.

The TC brought together participants to learn about the topic of campaigning, social action & leadership, by which it met all of the main objectives by bringing together a group of people involved in the field of youth into a safe space that fostered learning through a variety of means, addressing all learning styles, by facilitating a space of activities, workshops, self & peer reflection, & relationships to encourage sharing of ideas, opinions & experiences. This allowed participants to meet new people working in similar fields in different countries that helped to foster the idea of European Citizenship & allowed for the development of future professional partnerships in the field of Erasmus+ & beyond.

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

Although the people coming to the Training Course will be Youth Workers, the wider target group to be the young people themselves that the participants work with in their local communities. This can be through schools, youth clubs, sports activities, arts activities, community groups – anything! Young people want to make a change and we hope that by learning during this course the participants will share their learning and support their young people to undertake campaigns for social change, locally, nationally and on a European level.

Participants –
- Youth workers that have mission and objectives that are related to social change.
- Have an idea about what issues affect young people where they work
- Understand the importance of equality, inclusion, anti-discrimination
- Be open to meeting new people from different countries and spending an intense period of time together, motivated and dedicated to learn and contribute to the training course
- Be willing and ready to share the outcomes of the training course with their young people
- Some may come with more direct experience in one or more areas and others with less specific experiences, wishing to deepen their knowledge and open to changing their attitudes

The project brought together 36 people from 12 different countries (Bulgaria 4, Greece 2, Italy 2, Latvia 2, Lithuania 2, Malta 3, Romania 2, Slovakia 4, Spain 2, Turkey 1, UK 8 & Macedonia 2) of which there were 19 females & 17 males; 20 1825 year olds, 8 2630 year olds & 8 30+. 16 people who attended came from backgrounds of fewer opportunities & one with special needs, including people with disabilities, economic obstacles educational difficulties, refugees, social obstacles, health problems, geographical obstacles & cultural differences.

Training methods used & main activities

Welcome to the week:
METHOD: Alphabetical Name Game, get in order of names, remember person next to you. Later mix up and throw ball in alphabetical order. Followed by Speed Profiling: Everyone take piece of SCRAP paper and a coloured pen. Find a partner – someone you don’t know. Choose who is number 1 and who is number 2. Number 1 – make a circle (hold hands) – sit down and face outwards – number two, sit in front of your partner. Write your name at the top of paper (show on Flipchart paper) Swap paper with partner and draw/write the following (2 min each) Head and ears / Country, city Hair / Organisation name and theme, Eyes and Eyebrows / What they want to change in their society, Nose / Inspirational person (famous or not) and why, Mouth / Favourite artist and work (author, musician, actor, painter/sculptor, filmmaker), Anything else physical / Something great that happened in last month, Stick on wall, make envelope underneath. Time to look at others afterwards. Then Secret Friend: During lunch we will put someone’s name in your envelope – this is your secret friend for the weekend. Do nice things for them, leave them presents / sweets/ messages in their envelope. Reveal on last day.

METHOD: How Tall is Alfred whole group activity - participants have a list of tasks they must complete as a team, collect points and then information to find out the answer to a puzzle. Have 40 minutes to complete. Feedback plenary
- How was the task? What was easy/ difficult? [Reveal trick to task – just make swans!]
- What roles did you take? Are any roles more important than others?
- Why is team-building important?
- Is teambuilding one off or does it continue throughout a project?

Expectations Backpacks - Hand out Backpacks on different colour paper. At Top complete Expectations, Middle fill in Contributions and bottom Fears / Challenges. Find other people with same backpack colour. This will be the Reflection Group for Week moving forward.

Team roles – group split into messengers, logistics, energisers and cleaners to help with those elements of the week.

METHODS: start with some questions and open discussion… (notes on flipchart)
- What is Informal Learning/ Non-formal learning? Differences? Why Is it important? Everyone learns differently – learning by doing good way to embed
- What are reflections? Why are they important with informal learning? Way to consolidate learning, understand it, embed it.
- What is a competence? Why is it important to see our learning in the framework of a competence? Competence is combination of skills, knowledge and attitude (show example with football). If we can evidence and reflect n all three we know what we are good at and where we can improve/learn more. Can also be helpful for goal setting, teamwork, knowing our role etc.

The YouthPass – hand around example, - Online tool used for reflection of informal and non-formal learning
- Structured with 8 competences (will do activity to understand these more), - First page will be given to everyone – we input all your basic details – in English and your home language, - After TC when you go home, link will be sent to input for competences – this is optional, if you want to do it we will create and send to you as PDF, - Can use to give to future employers, universities etc. some people value more than others. Most important is for your reflection

Go through 8 Competences (plus one extra – other), YouthPass Pizza made from Masking Tape on floor
Go through each competence – explain each one verbally. Take post-its – one colour for what we have done so far, one colour for what you hope to achieve – fill up pizza – can read what other people have put. Put in middle if doesn’t fit – don’t stress! Can go anywhere, this is just a guide. Doesn’t have to be followed. NOTE: This can be EVERYTHING to do with project – from moment you applied to project until you complete online evaluation. Includes sessions and free time and travelling. Training course and any activities at home.

METHODS: BACKPACK REVIEW - in your reflection groups, share your expectations, contributions and fears. Can you find someone to help meet your expectations? Can your contributions help meet someone else’s? Can anyone in your group support you to overcome your fears and challenges. Take 30 minutes to discuss in groups.

METHOD: take post it’s back from YouthPass session – go into your reflection groups and discuss them in more detail, at least one each – have you got skills, knowledge and attitude (to create the competence) for those you have done? What will you need to develop skills, attitudes and competence for ones you want to achieve. Can make personal notes and share with staff if you need something from us. How can you support each other. Create your own Pizza, stick these and others on. Use through week to mark daily learning

METHODS: As well as contributing to personal Youth Pass Pizza, in Reflection groups, complete Body Tool - (Head things you have learnt, hands things you will use, heart things you loved, legs things you didn't like kick away, out of body, any comments, questions, suggestions) Hand into staff – we will then stick on wall at end by your backpacks.

METHODS: As well as contributing to personal Youth Pass Pizza, in Reflection groups, complete Blob Tree, marking where you are, how you feel, and why. Stick next to Group Backpacks at the end

intercultural night:
METHODS: Participants will have been asked to research into social action in their area - they will have time to present to the group how their locality / organisation engages in social action - trainer to keep notes on creative ways for feedback tomorrow that social action can be undertaken in many forms.

Outcomes of the activity

Throughout the week, reflection tools were presented & used by participants to assess the reach of objectives. On the first day we asked participants to individually complete a backpack which incorporated their fears, contributions & expectations. We then got them into groups to feedback on these & see if anyone else in their group would be able to help them overcome their fears, support their contributions or meet their expectations. We as a staff team reviewed these & managed any unreal expectations as well as ensuring we created time for contributions during different sessions. Moving forward we used tools such as the body tool where participants in their reflection teams would mark what they learnt, what they loved, what was useful & what they would get rid of, a blob tree tool which allowed participants to use images of jelly babies in different positions to reflect how they felt about each session & overall & a graph which asked participants to mark how they felt the day had gone along the x axis, with sessions along the y axis. On the last day we asked participants to reread their backpacks & look at for them what they had & hadn’t achieved – which allowed us to see what additional outcomes had surfaced, as well as those tangibly linked to the objectives.

The main tool used however was a quantitative & qualitative evaluation form. Where we asked participants to mark specifically against each objective on a scale of 10, as well as commenting on their thought throughout the week pulled from their reflection tools, bringing their reflections & objectives together. Also, a couple of months after the mobility we asked participants to feedback on any activity they had undertaken related to the project, & also if they felt there had been longer lasting impact on them, their organisation or more widely. The feedback from this element is noted in the relevant sessions of this report, especially in the impact section.

The specifics on each objective feedback are as follows:

● 1 AVERAGE 8.62
Throughout the training we discussed the importance of using a intersectional approach when planning social action projects & creating a safe space for participants to share their personal experiences in a fun & supportive environment. During ‘Picking Your Issue’ participants had to discuss different issues that affect society & how they interlink. Discussions were open & detailed with support of facilitators, & participants quoted “I've learnt so much about problems in other countries & also started to think about solving, not just complaining”. Intercultural presentations also gave space to different experiences & questions as participants were asked to present on social action in their countries. From Malta we learnt & shared about female participation in football, & from Turkey we learnt & shared about campaigns against domestic violence, replicated in Romania. One participant quoted: “I felt the space was safe to unpick the topics”

● 2 AVERAGE 7.79
The achievement of this objective was obtained through various sessions & discussions had amongst the group. Participants quoted “Course was honest enough to help reflect & bring the issues forward” & “It has helped me to identify the risks & reaction to them in my group of young people. I can see that my thoughts are on a higher level of social action than they are in people who weren't on this project”, which evidenced a development in resilience. Also Creative Opportunities have maintained a relationship with UK participants & have supported Israel in coming up with sessions, have been speaking with Hannah about how she as a young person can try to change the culture internally

● 3 AVERAGE 7.96
Inherent to the course was this objective, & this has since been evidenced by Nefise & Monika meeting up on another EVS training, UK participants staying involved with Creative Opportunities, & support given in the form of a reference for Monika to attend a leadership project in the United States of America.

● 4 AVERAGE 8.06
It was commented that the programme did link to policy reform, especially through the session where a panel of young activists were invited to talk about how they had changed policy related to housing & education, as well as Stephanie Leonards experience of working with Let Us Learn campaign, Ashar Smith discussing the ongoing attempts for electoral reform with Bite the Ballot campaign, JP talking about the demands of the Undivided campaign & the role play session with Beth & Santiago about how to approach councillors & decision makers & influence them.

● 5 AVERAGE 7.65
Sessions were run that covered the use of zines, poetry, film making, TV & Radio interviews & press releases. These were received very well it has been suggested that a follow-on project focussed on the role of the media could be delivered. Some quotes include: "We did learn how to use different forms of media like in the sessions of press release & film making”; “Loved the workshop where we learnt how youth can speak about social issues affecting them through poetry”

● 6 AVERAGE 8.34
This objective was successfully met by introducing Peace First & Act Build Change resources, of which 23 participants signed up to. Also, Lucy & Lita delivered a session on participatory action research as an approach to research in communities that emphasizes participation & action, demonstrated through Take Back The Power zine created as part of PAR project at the Winch. Amelia’s session discussed Legally Black campaign, which was highly innovative using public advertising spaces to spread the word.

The project involved 31 youth workers, 15 guest speakers plus 4 staff members & was inherently a “great networking tool”. With a varying range of youth workers from Israel in a housing association, Lee working for council, Hannah working with young people in criminal justice system. Michal & Fonzy working with theatre, Larkin with football. Mari Carmen working on a larger scale across her municipality. We hope that all participants would do their best to keep the group active in sharing future ideas/best practice & future collaboration. Everyone seemed open in sharing their contacts & discussing various topics & one participant quoted that they “loved this environment , being around active intelligent people”.
Other achievements exceeding the initial expectations are evidenced in the continuation of this report & through the following quotes from participants after the project: “the programme was well structured whilst also it contained a variety of speakers/moderators/facilitators from all walks of life. This enabled me to get a holistic grasp of what campaigning entails”; “I never expected to meet as many interesting & intelligent people that I had the chance to in this week, between those taking part in the course & those that came along to join us & educate us!”; “I realized that although we were people of nations, ages, religions, different education, we understood very well in a very short time, we helped & we were united if we needed to do something. To impress me unity & exemplary mobilization, although we did not know each other. & yes, people are beautiful & sensitive everywhere.”

Links to some articles on the project are below:

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

In addition to planning and delivering the above sessions, I also functioned as project manager, applying for the project in line with the aims and objectives of Erasmus+, undertaking logistics, updating the mobility tool, and completing the Final Report.

I worked on this training for 3 days as a full time trainer.

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