The training course gathered 28 youth workers from different corners of Europe: Portugal, Spain, Greece, Poland, Italy and Romania. We brought curiosity, creativity and prepared ourselves to learn more about finding ways to approach young people with fewer opportunities (social, economic and geographical obstacles, disability, educational difficulties, cultural differences, health problems), and to involve them in youth activities.
It was an enriching learning experience and a life-changing moment, and we learned a lot about ourselves, about others and about the world. Each day we created a space where we felt inspired. The journey throughout the week started with few activities helping us to be closer and knowing everyone better, all activities were made using non-formal education methods. First, we shared with the others the story of our names and also, we created some lines, without speaking, according to the name, the age, the experience in Erasmus+ and in non-formal education. We experienced the consent walk and we were surprised by the number of hugs we shared, even if we just met one day before for the first time. Mission impossible in 60 minutes helped us to build our big team. Next days were full of new information about the people with fewer opportunities, as we tried to be in their shoes and realize the situation that they are being to. We learned and discussed about the “HATE PYRAMID” that showed the importance of categorizing hateful attitudes and actions and not to put everything in the same “box” as well we saw that everyone has different perspectives of regarding specific situations. We closed our training seminars learning about non-formal education with different methods such as action bound, labyrinth theatre, forum theater, living library and photo voice method.
After all these sessions, we understood better the related topic. Young people with fewer opportunities are young people that are at a disadvantage compared to their peers because they face one or more of the situations and obstacles. In certain contexts, these situations or obstacles prevent young people from having effective access to formal and non-formal education, active citizenship and inclusion in society at large. As youth workers, we have to build bridges for this young people through social inclusion projects. First, it is important to discover their need and interest, environment they live in, places where they spend their time, problems they face, what they expect from the future, what we can offer to them. To build the trust of young people with whose we start to work is the most important step. One of the most important criteria how to ensure the quality of youth work is giving to young people active role in all activities during whole duration of the project in all phases according to their interest and possibilities.