“Technology for Creative Thinking” in Malta

The training ” Technology for creative thinking” was organized by CROSS CULTURE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION CCIF with the support of Malta National Agency (NA) between 18-27 October 2017. The training was designed as a process of informal learning and peer education using participants who work with young people, have experience in the fields of youth work, youth arts and international cooperation. Participants from Malta, Russian Federation, Moldova (Republic of), Estonia, Armenia, Ukraine, Italy and Germany had an active input in sharing knowledge and experience, and learned new skills in and surrounding the dramatic arts and inter-cultural youth work, from the trainers and each other. This active participation encouraged ownership of the learning, motivation and commitment to working together, building effective international working relationships, making the training an exercise in best practice.

The organizers were focused on the individual creative development of each participant and sharing such inter-cultural competences as appreciative inquiry, open minded personality, respect and trust, mutual understanding and team work. Through cultural relationships they generated opportunities for individuals to fulfill their potential and foster the co-operation that contributes to a stable world.

Using theatrical arts within the Erasmus+ Program, was a  very valuable tool for developing inter-cultural learning, cooperation, and quality projects in the youth field among all the regions concerned. After the project, we created inter-cultural youth projects and networks with the various participant organizations within Europe, Eastern Europe and Caucasus.

We also included unemployed young people and youth from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

Youth get to know further the awareness and the knowledge of topics concerning theatrical art, improve competencies, acquaintanceships and abilities, which are necessary to work on long-term projects.

With open space, technology participants shared knowledge and experience, and learned new skills in and surrounding the dramatic arts and inter-cultural youth work.
This active participation encouraged ownership of the learning, motivation and commitment to working together, building effective international working relationships, making the training an exercise in best practice. Participants that participated in our training course ” Technology for creative thinking” from Russia, Moldova and Estonia organized national events with youth on the topic of the training course. They reached different target groups, especially young people with fewer opportunities as well minorities, the ones who are not the most active and to whom it’s hard to reach (as there are so many active young people). Participants also used the techniques required at our training course ” Technology for creative thinking” at other international training activities from different European corners – they exchanged experiences between them (for example how to reach young people with less opportunities, how to involve everyone etc).

Մեր կամավորների բնապահպանական դասընթացները Ա. Շիրակացու անվան ճեմարանում

Ինչպես գիտեք, ՀԱԵ-ում կա 4 աշխատանքային խումբ, որից մեկը մեր էկո-ակտիվիստ կամավորների բնապահպանական ակումբը կամ աշխատանքային խումբն է։ Այս տարվա հոկտեմբերի 20-ից նրանք ակտիվ կերպով դասընթացներ են անցկացնում Ա. Շիրակացու անվան ճեմարանի միջին տարիքային աշակերտների հետ: Կամավորների նպատակը ոչ ֆորմալ կրթության միջոցով և ոչ ֆորմալ կրթական մեթոդները օգտագործելով դպրոցականներին տեղեկացնելն է շրջակա միջավայրին սպառնացող խնդիրների մասին և հարստացնել բնապահպանությանն ու շրջակա միջավայրի պահպանությանը վերաբերող գիտելիքներով: Առաջին դասընթացի ընթացքում կամավորները երեխաներին ներկայացրին ՛՛Աղբի նվազեցումը, վերաօգտագործումը և վերամշակումը՛՛ թեման, որն ինքնին ոչ այնքան ծանոթ ու շահարկված թեմա էր աշկաերտների շրջանում ըստ կամավորների և անտեղյակության պատճառով բազմաթիվ խնդիրներ է առաջացնում շրջակա միջավայրի անվտանգության համար:

15384358_10210142980723269_5876413984543816634_o Հանդիպման ընթացքում ՀԿ-ի կամավորները պատմեցին ՝ ինչպես կարելի է աղբից օգուտ ստանալ և ինչ քայլեր են անհրաժեշտ դրա վերամշակման և վերաօգտագործման համար: Անցկացվեցին նաև մի քանի խմբային պրակտիկ աշխատանքներ՝ համոզվելու, թե ինչպես են թեման յուրացրել աշակերտները: Դասի վերջում կամավորներից մեկը՝ Վահան Ղազարյանը, նրանց պատմեց իրական պատմություն այն մասին, թե ինչպես մի աղքատ իտալացի իր ձեռքով աղբից պատրաստած (պլաստիկ շշեր , սիլիկոն , պոլիէթիլենային տոպրակ) գլուխգործոցները վաճառում Միլանի նորաձևության համաշխաարհային փառատոններից մեկի ժամանակ և վաստակում կլորիկ գումար: Հետաքրքիր և անսովոր պատմությունն իրոք տպավորեց աշակերտներին, և նրանք ավելի խանդավառորեն սկսեցին վերաբերել դասընթացին: Առավել հաճախ արծարծվող թեմաների շարքում էր նաև Էներգիայի և ջրի խնայումը, դրանց ստացման այլընտրանքային ձևերը թեման: Դասի ընթացքում ներկայացվեց, թե ինչպես կարելի է խնայել էներգիա՝ օգտագործելով նոր սերնդի լամպեր, չմոռանալով անջատել լույսերը սենյակից դուրս գալիս , իջեցնել ջեռուցային համակարգի մարտկոցների ջերմաստիճանը գիշերը և այլն, անտեղի ջուր չվատնել ատամները լվալիս, լոգանք ընդունել ավելի կարճ ժամանակում և, իհարկե, մանրամասնորեն ներկայացվեց ջրի և էներգիայի ստացման այլընտրանքային միջոցները , դրանց արդյունավետությունը , ցուցադրվեցին անիմացիոն տեսահոլովակներ դրանց վերաբերյալ: Աշակերտներին նաև հանձնարարվեցին խմբային աշխատանքներ , տեղի ունեցավ շատ հետաքրքիր և բուռն քննարկում , և աշակերտները տվեցին իրենց հետաքրքրող բոլոր հարցերն ու կամավորների կողմից ստացան դրանց պատասխանները:
15578245_10210142974643117_7555972129441607028_oՄեր լուսանկարիչ-կամավոր Էլեն Բադալյանն էլ որսաց բազմաթիվ պահեր՝ ամբողջացնելով դասի դրական նկարագիրը : Հավելենք, որ ՀԿ-ի կամավորները այցելում են ճեմարան գրեթե ամեն հինգշաբթի՝անցկացնելու հերթական դասընթացը : Շուտով մեր կամավորները արդեն կամփոփեն դաընթացները ու սերտիֆիկատներ կհանձնեն աշակերտներին ամբողջական դասընթացի մասնակցության համար։

Özge Bozkaya’s EVS Experience in Armenia

Özge Bozkaya is from Turkey and this year has come to Armenia to do a 6-month-long European voluntary service (EVS). She tells that participating in projects related to promoting human rights in different societies has always been an important part of her life. “Because of this”, she explains, “the EVS experience was an opportunity to participate in projects focused on social development. “For me”, she continues, “being the part of projects related to human rights is  important for my self-development. So first of all, I applied to an EVS programme for the opportunity to work with what I am genuinely interested in”.

15300518_10210006931122114_1292518759_n-1“The second reason for me to be involved in this programme was my curiosity about Armenia, Armenians, Armenian culture and Armenian peoples’ perspective on the Turkish identity. Also, my master thesis was related to Armenian students and academics’ perspective on the EU membership of Turkey. EVS gave me the chance to meet with a new culture and try to promote some of the rights I stand for in Armenia. It was a really unique experience.”

Özges was involved in the “Local Events group” at APY, and her main task was about promoting human rights for minorities in Armenia. They were together creating ideas and events that would be beneficial for the Armenian society. “Participating in the events that we organized, offered me new skills and experiences for my future life.One of the best experiences I had with the APY was to shoot a video about antiracism.  16 nationalities came together with the idea of shooting video for prevention of racism. And we were really pleased to have common feelings about the topic. It was really good to get to know them.

Özge has been in many countries in the world. However, she says, Armenia was special to me. “There are some reciprocal prejudices between Turkish and Armenian identities. This I was well-prepared for coming to Armenia. My first aspiration when integrating with Armenian culture was to be an “unbiased human”. Because by breaking walls between nationalities you destroy prejudices. It was a truly unique experience for me as a Turk and an opportunity to develop myself and my skills about integrating another cultures.”

Furthermore, she remembers the social life as a big part of her experience. “I shared many amazing moments with my Armenian friends. Although my EVS programme ended 7 months ago, I still keep in touch with my close friends from Armenia. This makes me really happy.”

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Even though Özge really enjoyed her stay in Armenia, there were some things that she never got used to. One of those things were the “mashrutka”, the mini vans that are used for public transport. “Me and my Italian flatmate Ester were one day going to APY by mashrutka. The mashrutka was as usual very crowded and we had to stand the whole way. When we came closer to our stop, we tried to pronounce “kankarum bahek”, which mean “stop”. Ester shouted out: “Kangaroooooooooooooooooooooo” in the bus. Everybody was chocked and they were looking at Ester and me like we are from another world”.

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She describes APY as very helpful for the foreigner volunteers. “If we had any problems, the APY staff and members and the president Erik Ghazaryan always tried to find quick solutions. Also I really want to thank my mentor Tatev Grigoryan for all her help discovering Yerevan.”
“One of the main characteristic of being Armenian is their hospitality”, Özge remembers. ”I also really like Yerevan as a city. It is a city with a rich history and many inspirational places. So, Armenia and its people have special characteristics which is worth-seeing. If anyone wants a volunteering experience and at the same time to discover an original culture, I strongly advise them to choose Yerevan.I am sure they will enjoy their stay very much!”

My way of meeting Will Smith and becoming a trainer. 

London…
The city that everyone wants to be at once, the city where you can meet Hollywood’s best stars such as Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and the city where you can finally see the “Small” Ben (I know everyone makes that joke, but I couldn’t resist either). The city you can reach by having your passport and UK visa checked hundred times, the city we were getting to almost for 48 hours and the city you can finally hear that incomprehensible weird British accent and pretend like you understand what they say.

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My name is Vahe Tumanyan and alongside with my dearest friend and “boss” Nelly Paytyan, we were lucky enough to participate in the International Training Course “ToT-Developing entrepreneurial skills at young people and organizations”, taking place the first stage in London from July 31st to August 07th and the second stage in Brighton from October 29th to November 5th.

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In the scope of the training course we met diverse and interesting people, got acquainted with their cultures and exchanged our knowledge and skills. It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn something new, to accept challenges and to have fun with youngsters from different European countries: from a Hungarian psychologist, Italian girl who always got lost to a Turkish guy whose dream was to build a new village for young people who will come, stay there, help to build it and return in the future.

15368924_1325695500827185_1748391389_o We were surprised to meet a Hungarian guy named Patrick who had Armenian roots and Armenian name Suren as his second. It was such an emotional moment for both of us and we felt Armenian spirit even in London. Along with all these amazing people we got introduced to a new developing phenomenon such as social entrepreneurship, about which some of us hadn’t heard before the training, including me. Following the funny and creative “Marshmallow Challenge” we were also taught about trainer’s key skills and competences, we even organized and implemented sessions ourselves, which gave us invaluable experience for becoming a trainer.

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Along with all these activities, we were also given free  time to celebrate Halloween dressed up as scary characters, explore London and couple of other towns as exploring new places and different cultures is an essential part of non-formal education. Due to this adventure, I was given a chance to realize my most desired dream of my life: to take part in “Suicide Squad” movie Premiere, meet my most beloved Hollywood actors like Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, even Ben Affleck and take a selfie with legendary Will Smith. It was a breath-taking moment of satisfaction and delight.15310982_1325700007493401_1478483326_o-2

I will always be so thankful to my sending NGO – Armenian Progressive Youth and to the organizers of the course who gave me this unbelievable opportunity to gain knowledge and realize my dream. During the following days I also visited the famous Detective Sherlock Holmes’s house at Baker street, tried to enter Madame Tussauds museum (didn’t enter because of the enormous queue out there) and several other places in London.

On the way back to Armenia I thought of my journey, my adventures, and I understood that not only have I overcome all the obstacles in my way, but also I reached the feeling of fulfillment. In the end, no matter what we do, how we do, our final goal for this life is to feel fulfilled and happy even if it’s just for a moment. And I need to say I am one of the few lucky people who felt that way more than just a moment thanks to Erasmus+ and APY.
In conclusion, I wish everyone to keep their dreams warm as long as possible with the hope of realizing them all one beautiful day. And always keep trying…15311437_1325690064161062_1348912702_o

Dave’s EVS Adventures in Malaga

dave

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you may just find what you need”, Mick Jagger.

Have you noticed that we always rush not to lose time? Wish to be more was always a desire for “us” which I guess is the main factor that humanity always gets better and developed on any present to compare to any past and for even better future. Maybe that’s why we are called human “race”.

I am a volunteer in Spain from Armenia for one year in a beautiful city called Malaga.
It’s a historical city with a history of 2087 years, yep, almost as much as the capital of Armenia, just a bit younger. To compare to the place from where I come it is more hot so you can probably associate it as “Malaga is the younger hot sister of Yerevan”.

My occupation sounds like “assistant of the president of the NGO” which involves quite diverse responsibilities some of them I never faced in my life before. But no one ever said that life is easy so I am quite getting used to it especially with the desire to learn and experience new skills. Just in this case I don’t have other choices and, to be honest, it makes me more motivated.

It has been already two months that I am experiencing this new chapter of my life and I let me publicly announce about my excitements how interesting it is becoming day by day.

Intercultural experience is always amazing if you are not afraid of changes. 21th century is full of sources to theoretical knowledge about different cultures and mentalities of seven billion people living around us. But looking at a good picture of pie and tasting it by your own are never the same, right?

Practically feeling the various aspects of any culture only shapes vision about the world and Spain is not an exception. Differences are almost everywhere: food, dances, music, hospitality etc.

But I prefer to let you know about my best experience yet: meeting people. They are warm and friendly, communicative and helpful. I am volunteering in the organization called Arrabal-Aid and in that peaceful kingdom (it is really like a big family) I could never imagine that I will have so much kindness and support. As soon as I arrived my mentor Julio, as a professional guitar player sacrificed pretty much of his time to help me with choosing a guitar and we end up with a decision to buy it from Amazon and another amazing college whose name is Ali ordered it for me. Before that I never even new how to hold one so thanks to them I am also developing some extra skills besides my obligations. I already got lucky enough to have a trusty friend who is not from the organization but still is always kind to me with any support or help.

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Thanks to Javier I can feel myself as a local inhabitant even if still I don’t have a resident-cart. Punctuality of Spain reminds me my country so I will not talk about experiencing anything new but just will add that it is the reason why me and some of my other new friend from abroad don’t have a resident cart yet or they just got it (There is a hope that at the beginning of this month all of the volunteers will finally have it). Spanish people are very communicative even if they are not shining with English language skills but don’t run with conclusions because I feel my fault here as well as my Spanish language skills are even worse. So yes, I am also trying to improve one more skill which definitely will be beneficial and for me and for people around me. Spanish people have really big patience and Juan from my organization is a great example for that. During first days I bothered him so much about issues which are not anyhow connected with work in Arrabal-Aid and although he is always busy he always helped me as well, I even think sometimes he even regretted for the waste of his time on my concerns but still, he supported for which I can not be not thankful.

Here are around twenty people like me who decided to do EVS in Spain who are from Armenia, Ukraine, Portugal, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, France, Germany etc. Besides the program we have pretty much in common as well: kindness, educated, tolerance, goal oriented skills, motivated about Spanish culture and my favorite one – all of them also understand fluent English. Logically they were the first people with whom I was trying to explore the new city of my life and time made us really good pals and now we are living like a huge family with too many sisters and brother

But in this case some people may wonder “Does it true that you can learn also about other cultures besides Spanish” and I would say “That is definitely more than true” because now we even cook together.


dsc_0363Arrabal-Aid
is the organization which invited me to do my EVS in Malaga. The Organization is bigger than the average imagination about Non Governmental Organization. The main goal of organization Is to help and develop their community with suggesting different possibilities.

With diverse ways they are fighting against discrimination, unemployment, luck of education and/or information etc. Staff members all are unique and experienced in different fields. In our office building Arrabal-Aid invites volunteers to participate in classes of economics, computer science, management, English learning etc. outside of the building they are organizing events, workshops, training-courses, conferences and more just to rise awareness of people who want to know, learn and improve themselves. I am usually trying to think about new projects and events to implement for community and also I am always ready to help them with anything that they may need.

According to working agreement we are supported with several good comforts. We have a good health insurance conditions, nice big flat with everything necessary to live in, organization takes care of covering the main utilities costs, we are provided with free bus-using possibility. The only complain is that why the time is going so fast.

20161016_190935Describing our free time, I will try to be very short. It is usually full of adventures. Visiting nearby cities and beaches, exploring ancient places, museums (on Sunday the entrance is for free), and of course night life is Malaga is worth to try.

To be hones before applying I was full of doubts. Well doubts are always following us when we have luck of information about something.  I created so much expectations before coming, some of them happened to be true, the rest, well, almost true, or nothing like true.  I still have doubts about so much things, even about tomorrow. Will it be like I want or something strangely unexpected will happen (I am also experiencing this, not the worst feeling I might mention, but not the best as well) . Bust still, let’s be positive about upcoming opportunities and run to catch them. Of course we can’t know for sure where exactly we might end up. But maybe it is better than being stuck in one place. And maybe we should try because time is always limited? Maybe that’s why we always run to not lose a time or an opportunity. Maybe that’s why we want so much to experience our dreams, to be more in our present, better than in any past for even better in our future. Maybe that’s why we are called human “race”. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Jagger?
Anyways, let’s keep trying…

 

“A short story about the long and wild trip to the hot, colorful and mysterious Morocco

From July 30 till August 8, “Armenian Progressive Youth” NGO’s five volunteers, including me, have participated in an international youth exchange project in Larache, Morocco. Our long trip to the north of Africa started from the flights, that lasted almost 20 hours, including the transit of 8 hours in Istanbul. After we safely arrived to Casablanca, we took a train to Larache (5 hours).
15233550_953733841423808_767702915_oFinally we were in Larache. It was early in the morning when we arrived, the city was still sleeping and the streets were empty. My first impression is connected with the amazing view of Atlantic we saw, when we were going from the train station to our accommodation by car.After the warm welcome by the organisers and getting to know each other with participants, the project began on the next day.

This project was organized as a part of a bigger project, called “More Mosaic”. The latter includes series of interconnected activities, aimed to create a platform for dialogue among youth with different cultural and religious backgrounds. People, who participate in these activities believe, that the dialogue with mutual understanding and respect only can prevent conflicts and wars, thereafter it is the key to peaceful coexistence.

Except for us (the Armenian participants), there were also young people, coming from Georgia, Ukraine, Morocco and Sweden.All of the participants were smart, experienced, open-minded and enthusiastic. The sessions and even the breaks between them were filled with interesting discussions. It is important to mention about the openness of participants and their enterprising spirit.The topics of discussions were varying from the role of non-formal education to civil activism, from LGBT rights to interreligious problems, and all of them were always initiated by the participants themselves. It was a great pleasure to discuss about everything with these people, considering all aspects of the problems and trying to find solutions to them. During the sessions we have been taught about different tools and methods of conflict-resolution, promotion of European citizenship values, tolerance, multiculturalism, diversity, etc…This project can be considered as a contact making project as well. Most participants represented different NGOs. Some of us decided to cooperate and organize other events in future.

But besides the main project, we had the free time to enjoy the hot, colorful and mysterious Morocco, as well. After the sessions, in the evenings, we were allowed to walk in the beautiful city of Larache, which is an atlantic port city and, by the way, the local life is most active in the late evenings here. However, it is not all. The project schedule had 2 days for tours. The first one, was a tour to the beach, where we swimmed and surfed in the Atlantic ocean.  And the second, tour to the beautiful city Asillah, which charmed us with its amazing architecture. The Moroccan culture, customs and traditions are so different from ours and so interesting. Everyday you feel like you wake up in a totally different world, or in a TV-show. People are very positive and friendly, always willing to help. I can not forget about the great Moroccan cuisine. I just loved tajine, couscous, harira, the moroccan flatbread, and some sweets as baklava and pastilla.

But as every fairy tale has its happy ending, our project had its own, too. As the project ended, we had to say goodbye. Every and each day of our trip to Morocco was a holiday and joy for us, filled with many great emotions. It was an unforgettable life experience, which taught us a lot. We thank all the organisers for giving us this opportunity and hope to meet everyone very soon again.




Participants  :  Marine Harutyunyan, Minas Minasyan, Mushegh Galstyan, Samvel Gharibyan, Varsik Nikoyan.
Organisers    :  “Framtidståget”, “Active Ukrainians in Europe”, “Train of Future”.

Minas Minasyan

Our journey to piece building and piece keeping on the Black sea in Kobuleti, Georgia

The project for us, three Armenian beauties, started with a ten hour minibus ride from Erevan to Kobuleti and my suitcase flying out of the bus in the middle of the road. Luckily, nothing happened to my things while I suffered a mini heart attack entertaining the driver and my fellow passengers. Quite an ice breaker I should say. Our ride consisted of kilometers of exceptionally bad roads, constant temperature changes, interesting conversations, driver’s philosophical monologues, Mariam and Ksenia’s loud laughing sessions (seriously guys, the way they laugh can bring a dead person to life and fill you with a positive mood for years to come) and absolutely GORGEOUS Caucasian scenery! Only from this ride I have enough #tbt pictures for many decades.

We were one of the first participants to arrive at the location of the training course, so after checking into our room and getting to know the organizers we obviously ran to the sea which, very conveniently, was of 3 minute walking distance from our staying place. During the dinner we met other participants and instantly bonded with everyone (a very good ice breaker was the fact that everyone was melting under the hot Georgia sun). They were an open minded, outgoing, spontaneous, smart and active bunch of awesome people from 8 different countries (Estonia, Italy, Ukraine, Armenia, Hungary, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Germany) who made our project days full of cheerful and bright atmosphere. Just to give you an example, in the middle of the night Dato and Nuka, our new Georgian friends who we just met 5 minutes ago, startled us with an invitation to swim in the ocean at night which we of course accepted (I promise, it was safe, we took a flashlight with us).13501928_10157152227040253_446398430498313445_n

We had absolutely great guitar evenings at the beach, local market exploration and bargaining and long interesting conversations. Moreover, Ksenia, Mariam and me had a chance to experience local Georgian hospitality, we got offered fine Georgian vine as a compliment from a café owner (who couldn’t resist Ksenia’s bright smile and sparkly eyes), flattered with constant compliments from the hotel staff and just in general were surrounded with a very cozy atmosphere that made us feel welcomed in Kobuleti.In the framework of the project we had one day excursion to Batumi. Shortly after our arrival to the city we got under the heavy rain and hid from it in front of the strip club which we became aware of after seeing a great display of golden women’s private parts on the walls and confused look on the face of the concierge when we ran towards the building.  But besides that in Batumi we enjoyed authentic Georgian cuisine after which it was hard to breath, let alone run from rain, and managed to walk and explore the city center.One of the most rewarding parts of the project for me was bonding with the participants, not only international but also with my teammates Mariam and Ksenia.  We shared so many great experiences together that made us so much closer. These ranged from searching for a place to eat to helping Ksenia get through chickenpox that she suddenly got in the middle of the project.

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This training course surprised us with the level of intensity and quality of the information we were receiving during each session.  There wasn’t a day when we didn’t learn something that made us have even more questions. The trainers were extremely professional and helpful. Even though, during the training we received a lot of new complex information it didn’t feel heavy on our heads since the delivery was very entertaining. The piece building and piece keeping themes were extremely relevant given the current situation in the world which made the project even more effective. It was very interesting to do the activities with the participants from Azerbajian and despite the language and culture barriers alongside with tense political situation, to see how our perceptions of each other change.

This project made us further realize the importance of honest and comprehensive dialogue as one of the most powerful tools for piece building, conflict resolution and peacekeeping. We learned about different types of participation and the importance of active participation in the local communities. Also, we had a chance to take the role of trainers and conduct a whole training session with activities, reflection and presentation of new information, ourselves.

13592255_1097694346961355_5672622260252914937_nThrough this activity we grew so much and really fixated what we learned throughout the project, overcame the fear of public performance and gained valuable experience in preparing and conducting a training session. It also made us realize how hard of a job is to train youth from different countries and also the value and efficiency of nontraditional education. The multicultural environment of the participants, the newness of the activities and academic competence of the trainers made a perfect combination that resulted in a very productive training session with lots of challenges, gained experiences, realizations every participant made for themselves and the establishment of new bonds and friendships. At the completion of the program we all agreed that this was one of the most rewarding experiences in our lives, as in just one week we became more aware of other cultures and traditions, their foods and customs, learned a lot about ourselves and the world. Also, we further discovered our strength and weaknesses, started questioning many things that prior to this experience we just choose to accept as well as became more inspired to make changes in our local communities and promote the ideas discussed during the training course.

 

 Tamara Bezljudova

Halloween Party with APY, AIESEC in Armenia and AEGEE-Yerevan

On the 31st of October together with AIESEC in Armenia and AEGEE-Yerevan we hosted a joint Halloween party for all our members. The Beatles pub opened its doors at 7 pm, and soon after guests arrived decorated to celebrate #Halloween. During the night the members and leaders of the organisations were mingling and dancing. The idea of the event was to create an opportunity for the members from each organisation to get to know each other and exchange ideas and projects for the future. Further more, it was a way for the members to get to know the other organisations operating in the field of Youth in Armenia.” The stronger connections we have between the organisations- the better projects we can develop in the future” Says Adrine Aghabekyan, one of the project managers for the event. “These three organisations are very similar and the best in their field. There has been a lot of competition between the youth organisations, and now it is about time we start to cooperate!”

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“SKYE” Club’s Future Trainers’ Meeting

World Vision Armenia in partnership with Armenian Progressive Youth NGO and several Yerevan-based organizations is going to launch a SKYE Club in Yerevan.

The SKYE Club (Skills and Knowledge for Youth Economic-empowerment) model is a holistic and integrated approach to helping disadvantaged youth develop the skills, behaviors and attitudes necessary to obtain sustainable livelihoods and participate constructively in their communities. This is achieved through group based training and support services.

The club is going to operate in Yerevan and will bring together 25 Syrian-Armenian and local young people based in Yerevan for weekly meetings and training focus on soft skills development, personal growth, employability and IT skills.

Armenian Progressive Youth is going to select several outstanding volunteers who will take part in Training of Trainers as well as a coaching and mentoring process conducted by the professionals at World Vision Armenia. They will be leading the SKYE Club and facilitation the learning process of the participants.

On the 2nd of November 4 of the candidates had their first meeting to deliver presentations and workshops to demonstrate their trainers’ skills and participate in the selection process. All of them will undergo a final selection and will join the trainer’s team.

Many thanks to #Article3 Club for hosting us in their warm and friendly environment.

 

 

 

Inner Peace for Youth: International project in Latvia

On May 17th, 2016, Sergey and I started our journey to Latvia. pic1
For me it was my second Training Course, but Sergey had never participated in a training before. But both of us were equally excited about the project and getting to visit Latvia: a country we had never been before. We decided to go a day earlier to be able to enjoy it on our own a bit and see around Riga. Besides, I already had a good friend from Latvia from my previous Training Course in Belarus (one of the perks of Erasmus+: making friends from all over the world). Linda, my friend from Latvia, greeted us and showed us the beautiful places of Riga.
We also met Angelina, another participant from Macedonia (FYROM) and had great time before the start of the TC.

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After 3 hours of ride we finally arrived at Chill Inn, our TC venue.  It immediately took our breaths away. It was the perfect place for a training about inner peace. Tall trees stood all around and sea was just 5 minutes away.  The training was the second “Peace Way for Youth” training and it was concentrated on inner peace.

Our mornings started with a nice yoga session on the beach.  After yoga we were hurrying back to Chill Inn to have our tasty vegetarian breakfast (actually, all meals were vegetarian). Immediately after breakfast we moved to our teambuilding and inner peace building activities. Our trainer, Ilze, made us go deep into ourselves and explore us to an extent which we didn’t know we could. It was a week of self-discovery. Our sessions were eye-opening and emotional. Most of the participants were sharing touching stories from their experiences during our storytelling sessions. Day by day our circle was becoming stronger.  Through our activities we got to know ourselves and be at peace with who we are.
I learned from the TC that in order to create peace around you you must have a clear understanding of yourself and have peace within.
After the end of the project we left Latvia with inner peace, sweet memories, many friends, and an anticipation for the next stage of the project in Stockholm, Sweden.

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