Live FEED from Europe


Conducted by: Andrea Bernieri, Italy, participant on TOTAL Advance and Lab editions

How long did the workshop last?   

1 week (it was an entire youth exchange, with a series of workshops)

 

Target group:

Young people, up to 25 with few exceptions above the limits. Mostly students, some of them belonging to categories of people with fewer opportunities. Mostly newcomers in Erasmus+ projects, with some of them actively part of their sending NGOs.

 

Aims:

All the workshops had the aim to foster the development of a European Awareness and Identity, stimulating Intercultural Dialogue and comparison among young people starting from common values that are the base of Europe.

 

Learning outcomes you planed to achieve?

Informing young people about possibilities that EU has for them in terms of personal and professional development – Breaking stereotypes and prejudices through intercultural learning and sharing – Better ability to communicate in a foreign language and improvement of cultural expression – Knowledge of other Countries’ food tradition as a way to foster social inclusion – Enhancing organizational and teamwork skills.

 

Results (were the learning outcomes met? What has the group learnt?) 

Overall, the planned workshops were a success. Participants had the chance to take part into a complete learning experience that allowed them to improve their competences and also develop new ones. First of all, by working in an intercultural environment, they became more aware of Europe multiculturalism and diversity, developing a stronger sense of respect and tolerance. Also, with the different planned discussions and debriefing moments during the workshops, they could share their experiences, find common values and strengthen their sense of European belonging and identity. Moreover, by elaborating shared recipes, they could mature and enhance their organizational skills, ability to work in team and for objectives, as well as time management. Finally, with specific workshops on creative writing and creative thinking, they could improve their cultural expression in different ways.

 

What were the challenges for you in conducting the workshop? Was everything how you planed? 

The biggest challenges were related to the wide diversity present within the group. Despite the quite homogeneous age group, the cultural background was very different, since there were also participants coming from non EU and non European Countries. This involved quite different religions, habits and cultures in general. Also the level of experience for some of the participants was higher and so the challenge was to try to let them feel involved by delivering sessions where to balance the different interests. I had to adapt some of the planned methods and activities according to group composition and needs, but the overall aims and objectives were definitely reached.

 

What has changed in your approach towards trainer’s work? 

I became more aware of the challenges and limits that a trainer is subject to, and should always take into consideration. I realized how much flexibility and also sometimes improvisation are key elements for the success of a trainer. It’s fundamental to have a structure and a valid plan to deliver activities and sessions, but this should only be something that helps to keep in mind the general objectives, while paying all the time attention to the group needs to check if that plan must be adjusted, changed or even completely redesigned. Also, it’s important to be aware of the fact that a trainer in youth work is constantly on the edge between his/her personal and professional level, because every aspect at any time can influence the group.

 

Which skills and knowledge gained on TOTAL did you use conducting the workshop?

With TOTAL, I improved my critical thinking and my ability to critically analyze, scan and select information. This helped me to better assess the level of knowledge and expertise within the target group of my activities. Moreover, I used a lot my leadership and communication skills, which were fundamental to let the group follow and understand me properly. Finally I can definitely say that with TOTAL I improved my ability to recognize the learning needs of the group, organizing and planning a complete learning experience towards the achievement of specific objectives.