A training course in Lagodekhi, Georgia
RADIO E+ BULGARIA | My name is Iva and I’m 20 years old, from Sofia, Bulgaria. Lately I took part in an Erasmus+ project called Giraffes go to theatre. This is a training course that took in Lagodekhi, Georgia and gathered 24 youth workers, volunteers and young people from eight different countries.
The training course was about non-violent communication and mindfulness for youth workers. It’s been my eleventh Erasmus+ project so far, but it is the first one dedicated to that topic, so I went there with a lot of expectations and I can say, by the end of the project most of them met the reality. I was very excited to meet new people and new cultures of course, but I was also interested in exploring the topic: to express better my emotions, to understand better the human needs and just to practise more the skills that I already have in this fields.
That’s how the sessions and lessons that organisers and the trainers had prepared really affected me and helped me to empower my skills and of course to embrace my knowledge: every day we started with some energisers and some fun games – all of them based on non-formal education methods. I was also satisfied that we also had a piece of theory about the different topics that we explored during the training course. As examples, I can take the wheel of well-being, the Johari window, the presentations about human needs and the drama theatre for example.
If I have to mention just one moment from the project that I will remember through my whole life, it would be very hard because the whole experience was very significant, meaningful and unusual for me. The safe space we created altogether, the beautiful nature, the surroundings, the mountains, the smooth working process and simply the funny moments that we had, those really built up one special project for me. Maybe that’s why I didn’t have any struggles I guess.
Maybe in the beginning I was facing cultural shock, like many other people, but in the end I didn’t even want to leave! I think that the biggest success was the fact that we all built a small community and this is very important because we are going to meet with this group again and work together in a few months, during the second part of this training course.
I consider the participants’ contributions also important as a part of the whole project. A contribution was even a small attempt of some people to learn new things in different languages. Some people took the initiative to teach us some dances or to organise yoga sessions. These were also interesting moments we had. From my side, I believe that I also contributed with my knowledge and with my skills. I hope that I will continue with this at the second part of the project.
When it comes the dissemination of the results of the training course, I already implemented some of the lessons learnt in the non-profit organisation in which I’m part of. We are now trying to use some of the tools, techniques and methodologies explored during the training course and to put them into our work. I’m also planning to visit the high school where I used to study and to promote the Erasmus+ Programme among the students.
Last but not least, I can say that I can see the results from the project in my everyday life when I’m just communicating with people. I see the results and the things that I learnt while I was in Georgia.
Finally, I would like to recommend the Erasmus+ Programme to young people, to volunteers, teachers and youth workers just to participate if they’re curious to get more knowledge about some important topics and simply want to become more open-minded to meet new cultures, to break the stereotypes. These projects are for them and I think in the end they’ll be satisfied with the results as I am satisfied right now. These people hopefully will also feel as part of this big European and world society we are all in.