Facilitate learning among cultures

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Programme and action: Erasmus+ KA1 training course

Dates: 19.04.2016 - 27.04.2016

Venue: Misaktsieli, Georgia

Number of participants: 33

Participating countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukranine

Project background: Mobility programs such as Erasmus+ are providing multiple opportunities for youngsters to meet other cultures and organize international meetings that aim to develop intercultural understanding while bringing down stereotypes and reinforcing shared ideas of what Europe and its diversity means. These meetings are at the same time one of the main activities European Commission is promoting in order to strengthen European Citizenship and establish cooperative partnerships.
In this context, many of the youth workers involved in this type of activities become facilitators of very sensitive activities, sometimes without going through an accurate process to get comprehensive understanding of its complexities. For this reason, these meetings can bring great results when properly planned and facilitated, but also can easily lead to clashes and misunderstandings among those participating, perpetuating or even building new prejudices and barriers among them.
Due to the specificities of these environments, youth facilitating these activities precise developing several competences, which basically include: awareness about culture and its dimensions, educational approaches in non-formal learning, problem/conflict solving in intercultural settings and competences on facilitation of activities using appropiate non-formal methods.
Organizations are running activities with their staff members, placing them in “facilitator” or “trainer” roles, but in many cases those youngsters have not attended comprehensive education activities that equipped them with all the competences necessary to guarantee effective and tailored educational proposals and methods.
This Training of Trainers aims to contribute to the development of the mentioned competences among the members of the partner organizations and contribute to the overall improvement of the capacities of youth workers.
“Facilitate learning among cultures” will provide a double learning dimension. First, understanding the elements of culture, its dimensions and the complexity of intercultural environments, as well as the challenges (misunderstandings, false debates, tensions, conflicts) that could arise due to the particularities of the setting and that endanger the outcomes of the activity. Second, providing participants with tools to work in these settings, through understanding the logics of non-formal learning, the importance of group dynamics, the different leadership competences and approaches, exploring potential mediation roles of intercultural youth work.

Project aim and objectives: The aim of the Training of Trainers is to increase youngsters’ understanding of culture and their capacities to lead intercultural activities with educational objectives.
More precisely, the objectives of the Training of Trainers are:
- To explore the different dimensions of culture and how these are connected with intercultural learning;
- To strengthen the competences of youth leaders/trainers to plan and implement efficient educational activities in international youth encounters;
- To raise the awareness of youth leaders/trainers of the specificities and complexities while facilitating intercultural youth meetings;
- To create a portfolio with the outlines of the activities and workshops lead by the participants;
- To plan common international youth encounters for young people with fewer opportunities.

Methodology: The methodological approach of the Training of Trainers is based on non-formal education and its principles and an intensive practical phase in which participants will develop and implement their own workshops and get feedback from trainers and their peers. Workshops, discussions, presentations, theater, role-plays and theoretical inputs will be used during the first days of the training.

Profile of participants: The participants should be:
- Interested in developing competences to work as trainers/facilitators in intercultural activities,
- Basic experience in leading educational activities with youngsters, at local or international level,
- open minded,
- aware of the characteristics of the learning environment (non-formal education),
- ready to share and explore,
- preferably working on the youth field and with experience in this learning environment,
- should have communicative level of English.