This is a reference for Elena A. Russo

YE I am European

The training activity took place
in Lastours, France
organised by IDC
25th April - 5th May 2019
Reference person

Davide Ricca

(co-facilitator)
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Aims & objectives

I am European goal is to bring young people closer to their cultural heritage through various workshops and by spending their free time together. It happens while:
- Creating a clearer self image in an international environment
Developing cooperation skills
- Discussing problems on cultural and individual level through NFL
- Offering possible solutions for how to preserve national culture
- Provide participants with self-esteem to express their culture and themselves in general
- Creating a show to perform in the local community, which will be thereby involved in the discussion
- Discussing about cultural identity and inviting people from surrounding villages to a buffet where we present ourselves.

Then, since the project takes part in a camping that promotes sustainable lifestyle, participants also engage themselves in:
- Live in harmony with nature for 10 days: division of tasks, respect for others and their differences.
- Learning minimalist and zero waste approach to life.
- Experience different cuisine (vegan or plant based diet and other national dishes).
- Discover local nature.

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

Participants (36 youth aged between 17 and 28) came from: Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, Hungary, France and Estonia

Team 5 member: 2 French - project manager and coordinator; 3 Italians - 2 facilitators and 1 logistic

Training methods used & main activities

During the YE, the facilitating team implemented non-formal education and experiential learning (or learning by doing) strategies, methodologies and methods of work. The pattern we referred to is the Kolb’s cycle of experiencing and processing the learning outcome event-wise derived and always according to NAOMIE. We carried out individual activities, as well as in pairs, small groups and with the whole group; we direct training styles and activities to the different learning styles of participants, as well as to their interests and needs. To stimulate participants, we worked with different settings, according to the features of each activity and alternate indoor and outdoor activities, as well as talkative, active and reflective ones. Each activity included the enrollment of participants’ heart, mind and hand, to make out of the experience a holistic learning opportunity. Some activities were agreed to be compulsory, while other optional, in coherence with the key concept of willingness to participate to shared and peer to peer learning and for letting participants with different needs and interests the time and the space for feeding them. Finally, alternating individual to group activities supported each participant to challenge own limits and competences, giving as a result a general holistic growth in their personality and approach to other people and culture. As the hosting and facilitating staff had different background, we created a synergic mix of activities. When it came about creating follow up ideas, a simplified version of the advocacy cycle has been presented.

Outcomes of the activity

The belief behind I am European is that the more everybody knows about the self, the more he/she knows about others and more would accept, tolerate and respect diversity. The YE worked on this and made participants more aware and conscious about the concept and the habits of culture(s), their relativity, their pourosity and their different possible embodiments. They have also learnt how their individual, local, national and European culture are interconnected, reching certain common conclusions. In fact, European culture is quite mixed with influences on local, regional, national, international levels, and also thanks to a history of migration and porosity. Freedom/limitations of movement, social media and globalization also play a major role. Due to these factors, cultural identity is not a simple subject. On one side, not always perceiving clearly the origin or the importance of traditions created rootless feeling of uncertain belonging among youth. On the other side, the fear of losing local and national identity is moving European youth toward conservative and exclusive radical political positions.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Facilitator, agenda designer, report writer

I worked on this training for 9 days as a full time trainer.

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