29 April 2018

TC - "PRIDE - Promoting Diversity and Inclusive Youth Work Practices", Armenia

When you think about Armenia, it seems like nothing crosses your mind - or at least, that's how I was before PRIDE - Promoting Diversity and Inclusive Youth Work Practices, 25th of February - 4th of March. Now, when I think about Armenia, I think about Aghveran, about that resort we stayed in, where we spent a few days with people from 10 different countries, from whom I learned so many, in so little time. 

PRIDE taught me that it doesn't matter if you come from countries with different mindsets, and no matter how diverse the world is, we, the people, have some common traits; and those common traits are the START point in the long process of change. Cultural nights, the music, the dance - all of these were a great opportunity to get to know the others better, their cultures and ideologies. And also, those little adventures from the Pagan Helenic Temple, the Geghard Medieval Monastery and the mysterious Yerevan made me get out of my comfort zone and determined me to love a country that I didn't know nothing about before.

I have to confess that I went to Armenia expecting a good project, considering that I knew APY and they have a name for being one of the most active NGOs and with powerful social workers that are working for change in their society and consider each of their actions really important. 

Personally I want from a NGO to avoid the overly-formal parts of the Erasmus Training Courses and I ask for practical and useful information and for experienced facilitators. I found a very balanced group and rational organizers, we all had mature debates, a very good communication and it was one of the few times when I found nothing to dislike in the end. 

As I already knew the society of most of the present countries, I can say that, on both personal and professional level I found in the project people who I was really impressed with, from Grigor, the trainer representing APY, to some of the participants. Not because of any idiosyncrasies, but for the way they managed their inner conflicts and their careers and I am convinced I have a great deal to learn just by listening to them.

 Also, as the established atmosphere in the environment was so free and friendly, it was for the first time in a long time that I actually abandoned my strict ordinary schedule and I can say I had the most interesting conversations and very vivid evenings.

Irina Novac
 Ioana Pînzariu