Ivana from Bulgaria was one of the participants in the “Enhancing Diversity Management and Inclusion in Youth Work” project in Duisburg, Germany. Ivana says that she has participated in many projects but every time it feels like a brand-new experience. Below you can read our short Q&A with Ivana who expresses her ideas and shares her experience with us.
When you think about the week in Germany, what comes to mind first?
On the way to the seminar, I did not even think about how much the project could have impacted me. We all gathered in an amazing hotel, which became our world and home to work on a problem we still fail to erase from our societies. When working on social topics in an international environment one of the most important things is to make sure the participants work as a team and I am thankful to the trainers who made sure everyone was involved..
What was something interesting you learned in the ENHANCE seminar?
The seminar taught us to be aware of others living in our society. Not only to be aware of others but also to be more tolerant and acceptive since we do not know the story of the person next to us. We talked about many stereotypes defining many people’s lives but also how we can overcome them and improve our society. Speaking of stereotypes, we have to underline that they can be both positive and negative but, in any case, it is crucial to not become a part of spreading stereotypes.
What specific skills or ideas did you take home from the week?
I have been working on projects related to social inclusion and diversity for years. Even then, I did not hear a lot about social inclusion or diversity. I have always been looking forward to living in a place that featured those two concepts. Coming from a quite narrow-minded society where the majority of people bully each other for whatever reason, I never wanted to be a part of it. Being part of this seminar just made me feel happy that many other young people like me want our society to improve. The greatest thing we always take from such an event is the new friendships that are formed based on our mutual interests and ideas. Some amazing tools for raising awareness are among the things I will keep with me for my future work in the field. After all, I hope that soon more places in this world will be able proudly called diverse and inclusive since every culture and background carry many good features which deserve to be appreciated.
Do you think the seminar will have an impact on your future activities/work in general?
The workshops held during the seminar were an inspiring environment for future work in the field. As a person with experience on the topic, I can say that I practiced a variety of tools, which I am always excited to see in action in different groups of participants. I have also learned some new practices, which I would want to use later on.
After the Seminar, what is something that you will remember from the week: regarding content and general activities?
I will remember the fellow participants with whom I had great connections from day one. I will also remember the way each one of us being different made our way within the team to establish a group of young people who are seeking the better for our future. It was so nice to be part of it and to see how each one of us had unique features, which contributed to the success of the whole group.
The training was organized jointly by Armenian Progressive Youth NGO and Life Learning Development e.V. (Germany) under the Erasmus+ programme of the EU.