Happy Ever After
Start date: Jan 1, 2015,
End date: Dec 31, 2015
The main activity, the Happy Ever After seminar (A1) was held in Kobuleti, Georgia for five programme days in October 2015. The arrival day was the 11th of October and the departure day was the 17th of October. The participants came from Finland, Georgia, Denmark, Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Turkey and Armenia. Each country will send 2-4 participants each, so there were 22 participants in total. The eight team members come from Finland, Georgia, Hungary and Ukraine.
The preparation meeting (A2) for the seminar was held in Labbnäs, Finland for two programme days in March 2015. The arrival day was the 26th of March and the departure day was the 29th of March. The participants of this meeting, which were six team members at the seminar, came from Finland, Georgia, Hungary and Ukraine.
We used storytelling methods for a main part of the programme, but also other non-formal methods according to what functioned best. Several partners were part of developing our concept of storytelling at the "Saga" activities in 2011-2012. We used them also at the Council of Europe study session "Rebuilding the European Story"; in 2014, where this seminar´s team members from Finland and Georgia was present. The concept consist of using storytelling, for example in the format of epic stories, urban legends and fairy-tales, which can help the participants to work on sensitive topics and reveal social patterns.
Other methods we used at the seminar (A1) were:
-Dynamic games for ice-breaking, team building, energizers and for getting into the theme
-Some theoretical input
-Space for sharing life experiences and good praxis
-Discussions and debriefings
-Making of material to support youth on mental health issues
-Interaction with local youth
The participants worked along the week in pairs and different size of internationally mixed groups, as well as individually and in country groups.
The preparation meeting (A2) was of meeting type, so we mainly discussed in the small group. We used methods including picture cards to get to know each other and we visually built the programme on the floor get a better view of how we puzzle the sessions in the programme. We also introduced the local environment and invited some local youth for evening programme.
We planned to make as material a set of cards for coaching or self-coaching for young people in difficult situations, but instead we made a booklet with all the different methodology used during A1, also the parts that the participants created.
The participants gained knowledge about:
-the real life situation in European countries,
-methods used in different countries for recovery after a traumatic experience,
-traditions and unwritten laws of very different cultures,
-youth initiated local/national project and about Erasmus+ and other funding programmes for youth activities.
The participants gained skills about:
-to open up and talk about difficult issues,
-coaching and youth support,
-using storytelling methods and other non-formal methods, and
-project management of planning and making the material.
The participants attitudes changed in a a way that they:
-learn to respect different views and to discuss to a solution in case of disagreement,
-noticed that they were able to create new methodology material to be used in youthwork, and
-understood better what personal happiness actually is bult on.
It was many challenging tasks for the team members, so they learned more from both practical project management and facilitation on such a sensitive topic.
The impact on the seminar participants was that they:
-learned how to open up and talk about difficult issues,
-got a deeper understanding if what happiness means for them,
-felt that they can get something good out of the bad as they can support others at the seminar and via the material they made,
-they learned about European political and real life situations,
-they learned to respect views, traditions and unwritten laws of very different cultures, and
-they learned about youth initiated local/national project and about Erasmus+ and other funding programmes for youth activities.
Other youth can have use of the material produced and get peer support from the seminar participants.
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