Connectivity- Experiences from the members of Praxis team
ERASMUS+ KA2 PROJECT “Connectivity”
First meeting: Ommen, Netherlands 14-21/09/2020
It is all about the first training event of KA2 Project: “Connectivity”, which took place in Ommen, Netherlands from the 14th until the 21st of September 2020. This program brought together 33 young people from the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Portugal, Bulgaria and France. The aim of the first “Connectivity” training event was the establishment of a common knowledge and it focused more on the creation and facilitation of outdoor activities through non – formal processes, especially for unemployed adults.
In September 2020, a super fantastic group of young people met in the hospitable and beautiful Ommen of the Netherlands. The KA2 project “Connectivity” gave us the opportunity to meet in a difficult period for humanity, observing all the necessary protection measures, creating a safe environment for knowledge exchange and creativity. Representing the Praxis organization, through my participation in this program, I wanted to exchange ideas and tools with other young people in order to enrich my activities’ toolkit. Outdoor activities are an important tool for me in my work with young people and I believe that they can contribute significantly to the strengthening of various social groups, vulnerable or not. The trainers managed to create a learning environment that enhanced individual creativity and promoted initiative. Through group activities, cooperation and expression we were strengthened in a multicultural environment. I look forward to meeting again with this wonderful team.
How often do you get the chance to live with people from several different countries for 8 days? Well, 33 of us had the chance to gather in a lovely place in the rural Netherlands along with young youth workers from Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, France, Portugal and Greece. For me it was a great leadership experience which taught me a lot about myself and about the kind of youth worker I want to embody. Everything about the place was so inspiring and we were given a lot of freedom to brainstorm, create and share. I am grateful for the moments I spent in this beautiful house with these beautiful people.
I was lucky to take part in the particular program as my first encounter with projects like this. The theme of the project is interesting because in times that the way of life keeps us inside, we need the getaway of outdoors activities for balance. We used the short amount of time we had, to share ideas, experiences and to start forming a common base for how the program will evolve. I can’t wait to see the future of such interesting program.
Although this program was implemented during a special period on a worldwide level, the results were luckily much better than expected. Undoubtedly, it was a unique experience because we collaborated with many different people in totally different environments, such as in the field of non-formal education. Also, we exchanged both methods and experiences which helped us interact better with each other and learn how to respond in relevant activities.
This programme is kind of special. Not only because it has continuity through the next years but also because it happened in a period where social distancing is something new and as known as in these projects the ice breaks from the first day. But speaking of the core of this project which is developing educational outdoor activities I could say it was a unique experience and approach. The difference was that we developed outdoor activities using non formal education as a tool and at the same time experienced it. What do I mean? From the point that we all had a common knowledge about terms as a base, we started to experience the whole process. From the investigation of learning the needs of our target group to actually facilitate and be the trainer. In that way the connectivity project gave us a unique opportunity to practice our methods, develop new ones and exchange practices among us. I can’t wait for the next meeting, go a step further and start working again as a team.