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Training of trainers: Learn how to do non-formal education on the topic of democracy
Start date: Jul 1, 2014, End date: Mar 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

'Training of Trainers: Learn how to do non-formal education on the topic of democracy' was a sucessful training course arranged by the Danish CSO SILBA - Support Initiative for Liberty and Democracy. It took place in Misaktsieli, Georgia from 1st to 9th of November 2014. The objectives of the training course were to train and inspire youth leaders to be able to communicate democratic values and critical thinking in later projects. More precisely, the objectives were to: 1) Develop practical skills to be a facilitator/trainer, including designing and facilitating non-formal learning activities focused on democracy; 2) Explore standards of good quality in non-formal education processes; 3) Share and practice methods for global education through non-formal methods, with a special focus on democracy and its different aspects; 4) Share and discuss the idea of democracy and identify challenges for active participation of youth in processes of developing their societies; 5) Partnership-building and work on follow-up proposals on the topic of democracy. The 24 participants were youth leaders and activists from four EU-member countries; Denmark, Latvia, the Netherlands, and Spain - and four Partner countries; Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Ukraine. The four partner countries are four out of six EU Eastern Partnership countries. These participants gave the training course a meaningful dimension of creating a window for inspiration and sharing experience and good practice between youth of Europe inside of EU and neighbouring the EU. The activities were based on non-formal learning methods, with both active participation, provocation, evaluation and creativity as tools. In addition, more theoretical sessions were unfolded by the two trainers including their understanding of democracy and the ideas behind non-formal learning as a basis when learning the dynamics of motivating of youth, team-building, group-work and decision-making processes. The participants were also trained in planning activities on their own and facilitating these, and in a very practical level each of the participants presented their ideas, tested the created exercises with their co-participants and as active debators. The training course took place an indoor training-room, but on milder and sunny afternoons the trainers decided to move the training activities and presentations outside, giving the group-work a very dynamic and engaging atmosphere. The result of the training activities were great socially, and the two trainers' approach were thoughtful and even thought-provoking. An example was one morning, when they surprised the participants by showing an opposite attitude - being absent, ignorant and self focused. This showed the participants how big influence the attitude of a leader - a trainer - has on a group, and how the group is effected by the trainer and her style and approach when wanting to lead and inspire youth in a certain topic. All in all, the 24 participants were lead through a big variety of activities, including a level of cultural exchange, both as a part of the discussions on democratic values and experiences in their different societies, and in the evenings with cultural sharing of music, dancing, food, historical and cultural narratives, and expression of youth. The participants engaged a whole lot in the activities, and each participant brought their experiences and shaped an intense week of discussions, smiles, wonderings and discoverings on how democracy works in practice, and how democracy as an approach can be used when working as a trainer and youth leader in non-formal education. One quote from a Belarusian participant in the final evaluation was this: "I learned more in one week than during five years at the university". She had gotten inspiration from other young activists, created a youth network for the future, and discovered how education can be something different than the formal system. 'Training of trainers: Learn how to do non-formal education on the topic of democracy' created a week of relevant and lively ideas for youth in European contries as well as in the neighbouring Eastern European and Caucasus countries. It is thought-provoking how youth at the same time share basic hopes and dreams for the future, despite the fact the the group of participants came from different political and cultural contexts. The training week shaped a platform for youth across borders to go deeper into the field of democratic values, spread ideas on a CSO level, and to let youth inspire each other for the future.

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