Learning through stepping out of comfort zone

On the second day of the training 21 participants from Ukraine, Armenia, Turkey, Germany, France, Georgia and Hungary started working on getting deeper into terms of migration. Who would ever think that learning theoretical stuff can be both interactive and informative? We proved that it is possible when using non-formal education methodology. Creating a still picture, simplifying terms, drawing posters and performing short plays can be the best way to make clear for ourselves that those terms are not as complicated or confusing as they may seem. Working in groups with people with different backgrounds make us think out of box and get to know other cultures better. Discussing in groups effects of migration, factors that attract people to come to an area or vise versa push them to leave their countries of residence, reasons and forms of migration engaged everyone into a thought-provoking environment and motivated to reflect on these issues in our own countries.

img_2445The second part of the day started with an exercise called “Comfort Zone”. It was a type of meditation: the trainers put blankets on the floor, lighted candles. We got comfortable and had to imagine ourselves into relaxing situations. It was a few intimate minutes that everyone spent in their own comfort zone. After that some of us shared their experiences, what kind of smells they smelled, where they were, whom they were with. After this activity we started to prepare to our evening program within the reflection groups: the task was to create a play with each nationalities’ fairytales. So in my team we put some Armenian (հաց), French (Belgian… Asterix and Obelix), Ukrainian (The Golden Fish), Turkish (Snake Queen) and Hungarian (Stone Soup) characters, stories together and put them into a play.

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During the half our reflection time we summarized the day’s events, our feelings and expectations about it. After dinner we were rehearsing and prepared costumes. The evening program started with each group’s performance of their play: each play was very unique and different, there were even a puppet show. Some of them were funnier, some of them were more dramatic. The message was similar: help the people in need, spreading friendliness and kindness and making common efforts. The closure of our day was perfect: an intercultural party sharing national drinks, food and dances, having awesome conversations.

-Daria Batalova and Emese Nemeth

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