12 May 2018

TC - "Englishman in Youth Work", Poronin, Poland

The TC "Englishman in Youth Work" was an international project attended by over 20 participants sent by partner organizations from Poland, Turkey, Macedonia, Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania and Italy. The Romanian team was represented by two people sent by GEYC after a careful evaluation process. 

The project, which took place in the beautiful mountainous town of Poronin (about 2'30h away from the former capital Krakow), was based on methods derived from non-formal education, mixing theory and practice through a lot of teamwork exercises.The main purpose of the TC was to help the participants improve their overall English skills and familiarize themselves with IT elements meant to boost the quality of promotion and dissemination activities. 

Here is how Bogdan and Stelian, our brave GEYCuleti that embarked in this adventure, saw the experience.

"During one of the days we had the opportunity to go to a local school and actually implement some of the workshops that we developed during the training course with primary school children. The idea behind it was to help the social integration of children with fewer opportunities and it was an enriching experience both for us.

Another day we went for a short trip to Zakopane, the so-called Polish 'winter capital', at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, and one of the most touristic places in Poland. Last but not least, the intercultural night was an absolute blast and the other participants really enjoyed our ROM chocolate bars and our famous rakia. During our open space slot, one of the Romanian participants made a presentation about the European Union and the Erasmus+ program, which sparked some heated debates and outlined the importance of the European project in our daily lives, as we stand united in our diversity for a better common future.

IT training

Overall, I had a great time meeting new people, visiting new places, exploring different cultures and extending my connections with like-minded peers from other European countries. While I did not gain too much in terms of English skills, as I am already an advanced and experienced user, I did learn some new IT tricks and tips and discovered some training and non-formal learning techniques that will surely prove their usefulness in my future professional endeavors. Also, it was great to further develop my team-working skills, while working on the various workshops and other interactive activities with my colleagues. Last but not least, the TC proved to be a great chance for me to improve my ping-pong and volleyball game. And, of course, it was my pleasure to tell more about GEYC to the other participants, as we had a presentation of the sending organization during an NGO Fair." Bogdan Muresan

"The project started with some adventure from the very beginning. In order for us to get there we needed to buy tickets for Krakow but I could not find a direct route so together we when on a small detour to get there. When we were near Krakow, I was impressed on how the city looked from the plane because you could already see the old town. 

What I loved about this project was that the people that organized the hole thing were not just giving us some directions, they were showing us how we can implement all the things we learnt in our own countries and why it's important to disseminate in our societies the learning from the project. The organizers were professional but still they felt warm. 
All the participants after a school workshop

What I enjoyed most is learning how to make special effects and sound effects in movies. 

This was a learning experience that I wish more people can have and am hoping that they do the right thing and try it out because, in the end, it's all the memories and connections you can make during this type of project that not just help you, but get closer to other cultures and mentalities. I will always remember this project not just because of its topic, but also for the people that I met.

Polish children learning in a non-formal workshop held by the participants

A journey offers the opportunity to interact with various social groups that we do not usually interact with in our usual activities, helping to increase solidarity and tolerance. I had the chance to meet with people who have opinions that are totally opposed to mine. I learned to respect, to understand opinions that, in a different context, it would seem impossible for me to accept.
At the end of the project, I realized that all the problems we face each day can only be solved with a little empathy to the one next to you. After such an experience, I think that the key to change the world is empathy and respect." Stelian Hututui