Youth in Action Programme on Social Volunteering in Georgia
Seden and I attended a Youth in Action Programme in Kobuleti (Georgia), from the 12th to the 20th April 2014. This program was a project funded by the EU „Youth in Action” Program intitled: Social alternations of Volunteering Example and it was a training course hosted by the Social Development and Research Center.
Within the Youth in Action Programmes, a training course is a project where youth workers and youth leaders come together for several days to develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes on a certaine theme. The daily programme of the course is based on learning objectives and facilitated by experienced trainers. The training courses promote the initiative and creativity of partipants and have a direct impact on their future youth work or youth policy activities, such as organising quality projects and providing intercultural and non-formal learning experience for young people.
Altogether 27 people from Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Italy, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Ucraine took part in the project. The overall aim and specific objectives of the project were to develop the competence of youth workers, youth leaders, multipliers and volunteers to better improve the impact of cross-border volunteering in multicultural local communities.
The participants were very nice, each evening, after the workshops we used to sit at the table, learn more about eachother, share our experiences. One evening all the participants had to bring national food and drinks from their country, so it was a perfect ocassion for all of us to learn more about the other countries.
Our trainer was from Romania and his name is Marian Ancuta. Seden and I both liked his style because he was knowledgeble, friendly and very funny. The metholodogy was based on non formal education methods, workshops, simulations, role playing, games and discussions. Because we attended this training we learned a great deal about volunteering in Europe, about other organisations and the work their organisations perform in their countries.
The main contents and activities of the project were to: increase the visibility of the Youth in Action by making current volunteers more visible in their hosting community and emphasing their positive contribution and obtain from intercultural communication; and to struggle intolerance and negative vision on foreigners by fostering the initiative of young Europeans and the positive image of understanding new cultures
The program was focused on training and networking in the youth field. Training and networking projects within the EU Youth in Action Programme support competence development of the people and organisations active in the youth field. Within the non-formal learning activities, people from different countries and backgrounds develop their personal, professional and intercultural competences. The project support the exchange of experiences, expertise and good practice between people active in youth work and youth organisations, as well as activities which lead to the establishment of long-lasting, high quality projects, partnerships and networks. Thus, the projects contribute to strenghthening the quality and the role of youth work in Europe. They also support youth policy development and implementation. The formats of the training and networking projects vary from short-term to long-lasting projects.
This training was well organised by our georgian friends. They really looked after our needs and always tried to make our stay as pleasant as possible. One day they took us to visit a lovely city Batumi, showed us around and then they organised a georgian dinner for us at a really nice restaurant in Batumi. In addition in the last evening of our stay they organised a farewell party for us, they cooked a typical georgian barbeque, which we really appreciated it.
Overall Georgia was an a great experience and both Seden and I trully recommend a Youth in Action Programme.