Day 8: closing

The last day was for everyone already nostalgic about the past week that we all spent together. It was also another day to exchange on the experience we lived, get everything back together on what we learnt, think about how to use our new knowledge and of course, have last laughs.

The session, which was divided in 3 parts, finished earlier this day, to leave some space for packing. This last day also showed us how to close a training.
1) It started by  a discussion about the exercices of the previous day where each group of 2/4 persons had to prepare and lead one hour session
2) Restitution of the week
3) Evaluation time.

1) About yesterday?

4 questions were asked to the participants about the exercices of the previous day:
– How did you feel?
– What was your biggest challenge?
– What would you do differently?
– What di you learn?
First individually for 5 minutes and then in small groups of 3/4 people for 10 minutes, the participants had to discuss about their feelings and make a sum up. After, each group had to present their main feelings or conclusions. We discovered that we all lived the experience in a very different way though some issues we had were common to most of us (communication for example).

2) Conclusions

Trainers and participants went through the colourful programme that was established for the session and summed up the highlights of the week, day by day.

The participants went back to their expectations sheets (done on Day 2) and tried to determine how happy they were about their learning experience of the week by putting a smiley next to each objective   🙂  :/  😦

The trainers showed us an evaluation tool: The Learning 2 Learn
                  What?                   What would I like to learn, in what field to I need to get skills?
             /                  \
When?       <–       How?   How
will I learn (the means -a training, a course, reading,…)?  
When
(my objective in time -1 week/ 3 months/ 5 years/…?)

Each participant had to individually fill the triangle.

3) Evaluation

Online evaluation forms had to be filled.

Packing.

Thanks and goodbyes!!

 

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Project Planning/Fundraising (Day 4, Misaktsieli, Georgia)

On the forth day of the training course “Youth Empowerment for Inclusion”, which is currently taking place in the village of Misaktsieli in Georgia, the participants had all the tools needed to dig deeper into the planning process, as beforehand  each and every group identified their core problem, root causes, reliazed who their actors are and improved the understanding of the impact chain. During the first two sessions country groups worked on their impact chains by separating impact, outcome and output, activities and resources. After a two-hour lunch break everyone was ready to get back to work and keep polishing their ideas.

At the third session the method of Self, Us & Now was introduced, which main goal is to address the problem to the audience through personal experience and audience’s involvement in it. Trainees listened to a powerful speech on gender equality given by Emma Watson at UN and saw how to use the method in practice. Afterwards, every group presented their ideas by applying this approach and sent a powerful message to everyone in the room.  A set of touchy and inspiring speeches  was followed by the session on Fundraising. During this 1-hour session all the participants had a chance to come up with questions that they find important in terms of raising funds for their projects. As all the participants dealt with fundraising in their work experience, everyone was able to contribute to the discussion and share their knowledge. The delegate from France, Jonathan Machler, gave an informative short speech on the importance of crowdfunding and shared his tips.

The day ended with an entertaining Cultural Event conducted by the Hungarian delegation, where all the delegates participated in the contests where they could show up their knowledge regarding different holidays and win prizes. The forth day turned out to be both fun and productive.

Text: Daria Batalova

Photos: Yuliia Nedzelskaya

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NGO fair,Harvest Festival and Traditional Dinner (5th Day)

Day 5

In framework of the »youth empowerment for inclusion and capacity building» 5th day.

For some people it was hard to get up, because at the night we celebrated Anne’s birthday. After breakfast we had energizers, called “who, haa , hee ” to get more energy .

After we got the schedule and program from the nice trainers, who quickly did a wrap-up of the previous day evaluation.

When the evaluation was done, the presentation of workshops started. The instruction and question have been given in previous day. It included tasks about inclusion and questions were created by participants, who had to divide into groups and went on to work on one question each, which was selected directly by the groups.

The  presentations tried to answer the questions ” How can you measure inclusion and minority ” , ” If inclusion is forced- is it really inclusion ” , “What is successful inclusion ? ” and ” What influenced your values ?”.

The last presentation, ” What influenced your values?” was interactive, outside the building. Participants had to answer the questions on a line between Yes  and No.
The result was : ” Yes ” – Propaganda , Work Place , Book , films , Family and other ,” No ”  education , social background , religions and other things . After it a discussion followed on “What Is inclusion? “ and “What is participation ?”. Definitions from the UNHCR, Council of Europe and the European Commission were used as a background.

After Coffee Break started NGO Fair + sharing best practices. Participants from Youth NGO had to prepare on the flipcharts their organization background, mission and at the same time had to think and answer on the question, what was their role, what benefits they have gotten and other.

There was presented NGO list:  Citoyen des ruesinternational , Caritaz , Support to life , association Psychea , 40Tilks/40Walks , Community Centre , Never Give Up Foundation , Tanext Academy , Open University for High School , Helping Hand , Youth Alternative , The Vinitsia regional centre for information/ Kreativ , Armenia Ministry of Labor and Social Affair and other .

There was different experience that the participant shared to each other’s. After NGO Fare  was free time and after it we enjoyed Harvest Festival and Traditional Dinner . Harvest Festival and Traditional Dinner was hold in GetUp Restaurant, beautiful place with pleasure nature and fresh air, little cottages, river and extra. Could you image, that for celebrating the traditional dinner or party, you had to travel by the oldest bus , that is half destroyed , but we have gotten this experience. We went to festival by the yellow oldest Soviet Union bus and during driving we try enjoyed the 20th century with modern tools, like self-portraits, also jokes, singing.

Harvest festival was full of Armenian food, handmade, there was opportunity to buy traditional souvenirs, enjoying eating, also make funny photos, dancing. We followed the life music and dancing till we were not being called for the dinner. Dinner stared by separating vegetarians from other participants who eats the meet. During the dinner process at the same time there was music, dances and participants enjoyed it. It was nice, after coming back with the same bus, all participants had free time, and they go on with discussion and sharing their values, experience.

Interview with Astghik Hovhannisyan :  ” My work experience was very challenging . I was a social worker in the ministry oflabor and social affairs one of our functions was finding proper jobs forunemployed people. Special focuses was on refugees from Syria. It was really a hard work, we’ve had both, successful andunsuccessfully cases. Unfortunately the bad practices are more often .One of the best practices was with a syrian-armenian girl. She was atheatre director with no experience, after long searches we at least managed to organize an internship for her in one of Armenian theatres .She was very excited and worked really very hard. After a three-month experiences they offer her a full-time job. She was sograteful to us that sent an appreciation letter to the Government about our department. We really put much effort, and it’s always wonderful to see a positive result, and understand that you have made at least a little change”.

Article @ Mariam Avakova
Photos @ Julia Nedzelskaya,Mariam Avakova, Paata Alaverdashvili

 

 

 

 

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Studying Cases

Today we are discussing different cases related with work with refugees. One of the cases was a successful approach of employing refuges in Uganda. Before we have watched a video from TED, where Anne is talking about successful  campaign in Berlin.

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NGO Fair

Right now participants are sharing information about the work their organizations are doing with refugees, IDPs and ethnic minorities.

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Long Day of 23rd

On the morning of day 4 the group started with an interesting and for some parts confusing game. The participants got labels with printed adjectives attached to their foreheads and they should start guessing which adjective applied to them. Other participants were asked to treat the people according to the adjectives on their heads, which was sometimes confusing for the person, but emotional and funny, as well.

Picture label
As some participants got emotional, as they were for example treated according to the term „lazy“ or „rejected“ their was a short reflection time added and emotions could cool down and people could share their feelings.

After another energetic energizer groups of 5 were formed which worked on the collection of prejudices against minorities, IDPs and refugees.

It was interesting to learn about different perceptions in the countries towards the same topics and subjects. As some groups had a heated discussion about the topic, the other participants formed a circle and started to give each other a massage to waste no time and relax a little bit, while the solution finding still went on.

Picture massage
As it was not completely clear for all participants, the expressions „label“ and „stereotype“ were shortly explained and made even more clear.

The question, if it is a never ending game also occurred. In general labels find themselves more in the individual perception, whereas stereotypes are often found within whole groups of society.

Identity
The next activity the group took was to find some characteristics that they identify themselves with. Later in small groups to discuss the experience of trying to find out their own identity and how did it feel.

It was very interesting for everyone to mix their characteristics in a box and later try to convince one another what did they choose and why.

But the most important part of the activity was the acknowledgement, whether the characteristics that they identify with were helpful in the work with migrants, refugees and minorities.

 

Carousel
The next activity the group took is called „carousel“. There were some interesting statements read out loud, which might have been argued, or agreed. Participants discussed and made conclusions in changing pairs.

Socrates Service
There was another challenging activity for participants, they had to form questions, very relevant ones about the statements that had been read.. Afterwards they chose one question and started to think about the answers and also prepared presentations of their conclusions.

 

Evening in Dilijan
For some participants evening continued quite actively, since there was an exciting gathering in one of the central cafes of Dilijan. The evening was accompanied by interesting and informative discussions about different cultures. The subject of minorities, migrants and refugees continued to be discussed during breaks, dinner and evening.

Why did only the one part of the group go to cafe?
Well, since the other ones had a very important thing to do. They stayed to arrange a beautiful surprise.  One of the most talented participants, Anne was going to have a birthday the next day and everyone agreed to throw a nice birthday party right after midnight.

The atmosphere was wonderful, participants prepared a special dance for Anne and also learned a birthday song in German, to sing to her in her own language.

After a long and exhausting day, which was full of information, emotions and surprises, we can say that the 4th day of the project was a successful one.

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Mental constructions, balance of power and sharing experiences

The day was divided into two parts. The objective was to have a better understanding of the realities resulting from the migration processes.

During the first activity, the aim was to have an insight of the mental construction of the balance of power between refugees and the ones who are in charge of the implementation of the migration policies, to understand the different perspectives of the actors in migration process, the ones that are in charge of selection process and the ones whose fate depends on it.

The whole group was divided into 3 parts. There were three different roles, one for border officials, one for refugees and one for observers. The border officials were in charge to decide whether to let the refugees in or not and on which criteria. The refugees were telling their stories in order to have been allowed to enter the country and the observers analyzing the interactions between the two sides. At one point the roles of the refugees and the border officials switched so that both sides could put themselves in each-others’ shoes.

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The role-play was followed by a reflection circle where people were able to express their feelings after the game and to analyze each-others’ behavior.  What became evident after this game was the existence of strong stereotypes among participants as well as internalization and reproduction of abuses that are typical in these situations. The entire group agreed that most of the decisions were not based on any legal or rational arguments but rather on stereotypes, fears and the potential benefits for the receiving country only. The conclusions that emerged from the post-game analysis highlighted some inner contradictions among the participants who were supposed to be positive actors for migrants but were still affected by some protective feelings towards refugees, somehow considered as a potential foreign treat to their country. This analysis enabled the group to become conscious how the balance of power affects the interactions of individuals and especially between powerful and vulnerable people. This post-game analysis also emphasized larger issues such as formal and informal processes of integration and inclusion in the receiving country.

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The aim of the second activity was to get more specific samples about the concrete and local realities of refugees and specific circumstances regarding their experience. Through imaginary stories, the participants tried to illustrate the real hardships but also opportunities in their new places of living. Examples from the seven represented countries allowed the group to highlight the diversity and the complexity of situations regarding the attitudes of the states, living conditions, migration policies, employment opportunities. Some similarities were also revealed during the discussions, especially the ones regarding discrimination, legal issues, cultural shocks and homesickness. The presentations of the stories were enriched by intercultural discussions in smaller groups in order to deepen the participants’ awareness of local realities.

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