Reconnect and transform

Project description: Europe seems to be in a critical situation: Core values like tolerance, cultural diversity, open dialogue and self-reflective thinking are threatened by nationalistic, polarizing and closuring discourses. In the context of Erasmus+ KA1s focus for the year 2017 on meeting these challenges, it is crucial to address some underlying conditions of the individual and social tendencies to withdraw oneself from dialogue and diversity or even radicalize. Instead, young peoples capacity for self-reflection and reconnection to values of an open and diverse society need to be strengthened. To foster effective active citizenship and empower young people to involve in democratic processes and social transformation, it is a crucial step to also look at inner and outer obstacles for this involvement.

Generally, many citizens face mental overload and dissociation and withdraw into privacy. As we live in an achievement- and progress-oriented and individualistic society, the amount of a problem-based media coverage on globally relevant issues leads to a feeling of exhaustion and despair: “I am responsible for solving it all, but don’t know where and how to begin.” The results of this get translated, on one hand, into social indifference and passivity due to the overload of challenges, on the other hand- into despair and powerlessness due to the global magnitude of some of the challenges.

Against this background, youth workers and youth educators need to develop competences to approach systemic global problems with an empowered personal perspective and learn how to transfer this competence to other youngsters.

Based on different ideas, including systems theory and mindfulness practice, they learn to explore the different interdependencies between the individual and social level of transformation, reconnect with their own experience regarding the complex challenges of our time, identify obstacles and resources to contribute in overcoming these challenges and develop their competences to empower other youngsters and their communities.

The main activity is a Training Course, which will take place in Georgia, from 21st to 29th of April 2018, and will include 28 participants from Germany, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Hungary, Turkey, Italy, Belarus.

This Training Course 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.

More precisely, the objectives of the Training of Trainers are:

  • To reactivate youth leaders awareness of the conditions that obstacle them and other youngsters to meet the current systemic crisis effectively and sustainably
  • To strengthen youth workers and youth educators to enhance their capacity for self-reflection, self-awareness and mindfulness
  • To equip young people with tools to reflect their own role in social change and develop a value-based, systemic activism that responds to global and local challenges
  • To provide them with tools and methods for empowering other youngsters and facilitating connection for transformation through their youth work
  • To empower youth leaders to build intercultural and diverse networks and partnerships for acting towards systemic change

Methodology: The methodology will be non-formal education. The methods planned to be used during the main activity include organized input session to transfer knowledge on specific topics such as systems theory and mindfulness, individual and group work to reflect and learn about value-based systemic activism, exercises and workshops to work on the attitudes towards negative emotions, stress and overload, theatre exercises to present outcomes of conceptual discussions, creative and somatic workshops to explore alternative approaches to activism, communication tools to facilitate self-reflection and community building, sharing methods to explore realities and experiences, reflection groups to fine-tune and monitor the process, energizers, name games, ice-breakers and team-building to cohesion the group and contribute to positive group dynamics.

The expected impact on participants will basically focus on their mindfulness, self-awareness and emotional intelligence, their understanding of social transformation processes and their capacities to develop an approach of value-based, systemic activism (see sections G and H.1).

In this sense, the activity aims to contribute to the objectives of the Erasmus+ KA1, by fostering value-based action, self-reflection and mindfulness in the face of global and local social challenges, offering innovation and improved capacities to empower young people and contributing to the long-term objective of the KA1, to have a systemic impact on the systems of training and youth in the participating countries.

  • Programme and action:

    Erasmus+ KA1 training course

  • Dates:

    21.04.2018-29.04.2018

  • Venue:

    Georgia

  • Number of participants:

    28

  • Participating countries:
    • Armenia
    • Belarus
    • Georgia
    • Germany
    • Hungary
    • Italy
    • Turkey
    • Ukraine