27 July 2019

Training Course: [AT-271] YOU Facilitating YOU, Vienna, Austria

Between the 7th and 15th of July 2019, the Erasmus+ Training Course, hosted by Popedu,  called “YOU Facilitating YOU” took place. It gathered 24 young people for 7 days from 8 different countries: Montenegro, Romania, Poland, The Republic of North Macedonia, Kosovo, Portugal, Italy, and Greece willing to develop facilitation skills and techniques tailored for each individual participant.

"Day one started with getting to know each other, we had a very nicely organized walk and talk session, relaxing walk right next to the Danube. We have received questions, so everyone had the chance to communicate with each other, in order to come up with answers that would characterize us and the person would get to know us. Loved the questions, as I really had to search some of the answers in myself, basically, it also helped me somehow to get know myself too. Rest of the day we had Group building activities, which really helped us to get familiar with each other.

The first step you have to follow while you are with a group of people, it’s very important to know the names of the participants and some information about them, what they like or what they are doing in their life, or what word they would choose to describe themselves. Two of the group activities that comes in my mind right now, which helped us a lot, one of them was creating Tower with paper, scissors, and tape, another one was creating juggling balls with rice, balloons and plastic bag. It sounds very random, but we really had to team up for it, be creative and make it happen, find solutions, decision making, be a leader or a follower, give initiatives.

We have learned a lot of information regarding facilitation itself, by discussing what are the needs of young people, working with groups, what are the presentation skills that we need, how to create workshops and presentations. Personally, for me, it was very interesting to discover the Theory of Kolbs, as I’ve never heard about his four-stage cyclical theory of learning and it will be very useful for facilitating. Also, it was very interesting to research and share with others information about working with groups, what are the roles of games, energizers, activities, and exercises.

One of the sessions called “Needs session” was also very informative, as it contained various topics, participants could join groups in order to learn about: Public speaking, Cultures, Art of questions and much more, because we had the opportunity to come up with additional ideas about the topics we wanted to discuss, connected to facilitation.

We had a chance to come up with an idea of creating workshops, by using different tools, different ways of presentation. Participants had Presented their projects by using a flipchart, we also had a chance to learn how to make flipchart look attractive, by writing different ways or adding creative signs or drawings. We tried to use an application called Canva, which can be used even by mobile phone and it was a discovery for me, also some of the participants created a presentation by filming a video.

Every day we had “Slow start” which was a very effective way to evaluate the previous day, as it was individual activity and helped us to find answers in ourselves, what knowledge we had gained or generally how we felt at that moment. At the end of the day, we also had “Learning Supportive Groups” which was another opportunity to think and share ideas, thoughts, knowledge but this time not only to yourself but to other two participants. We have learned a lot about 8 competences of Youthpass, that combines the knowledge we have gained during the project.

Overall, it was a very informative, useful and topic-oriented training, which will help is in the future to become better facilitators, as it definitely gave us tools for that. Everything was well organized and we had a chance to contribute, share our knowledge and generally to enjoy beautiful moments together with amazing trainers and participants."