Seminar "Erasmus in Action"

 


Seminar
"Erasmus in Action"
02.-06.10.2014, in Kloogaranna Noortelaager, Estonia

 



In the beginning of October we had a partnership seminar, where we looked back at our cooperation, analyzed our personal and professional experiences of working with European youth projects, shared experiences, looked to future and celebrated the European youth cooperation, that has brought us together.

The event inclued also The International Extracaganza - the 10th birthday party of HeadEst. It was the most amazing Intercultural Evening of our lives.

THE IDEA

The project was initiated by HeadEst. The idea of the project was inspired by many things:
  • need to celebrate the amazing work done over the years
  • need to celebrate our amazing partners
  • wish to bring partners together and introduce them
  • need to understand our experiences with European youth projects
  • need to reflect on our own personal development within this work
  • meet other experienced European youth workers
  • to look back to Youth in Action program
  • to look forward to the new Erasmus+ program
  • to share best practice
  • to share working styles and understandings
  • to give credit to our professional skills, knowledge and thoughts
  • take time to understand all of the above
  • etc

All of these were also the objectives of the seminar and base for designing the program and content.

WHEN AND WHAT

This all resulted in partnership building seminar "Erasmus in Action", that took place in Estonia on October 2-6, 2014 in Kloogaranna Noortelaager.

Kloogaranna Noortelaager has been the base camp of very many of HeadEst projects over the years. So it also enabled us to pay tribute to some of our best local partners - Helga and Avo, who have been amazing partners in helping us with accommodation, seminar facilities, transport, food and most enjoyable partnership. The last one is often overlooked and undermined. But as project coordinator and leader there is nothing more soothing than the ability to take time out with somebody outside your project. I believe (I=Epp) this is the most essential thing when choosing a location, is it possible to have a nice and comforting chat in the back office, when you need to take time off for 5 minutes:)

WHO

The project brought together 28 amazing persons who represented 12 organisations from 13 countries. Most of the people we have very long cooperation with and some people we met for the first time, but they are active with our good partner organisations. All in all you can say it was a Dream Team meeting.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The seminar was facilitated by HeadEst famous trainer Epp Adler. Her principles of working with groups are methods to enable and create learning, learning needs to be relevant and fun, atmosphere has to be open and safe, cooperation and team work must respect individuals, as this is were the essence is. Good team work simply makes it shine. In this seminar we also celebrated youth exchanges, so a lot was done in the same style.

First we started with getting to know each other. For this we used many different methods. Among others everybody had to make a poster about themselves and present it in 1 minute.

It is not possible to have a seminar like this without the Secret Friend game.

Then we had a look at how we are connected and we are connected in so many ways:

Then we continued with looking back to our experiences with European youth projects. We did group work to reflect on the JOYS AND SORROWS OF European youth work. This is what happened:

The first day ended with personal reflection on their development and journey throught European youth projects. We did this by drawing a timeline and a sinusoid, to see our ups and downs, what caused them and how they influenced us. This session was considered by many as the most important as usually we never take the time to do it, but everybody agrees that it is the most important.

The next day we started by sharing our best practices and preparing for the International Extravaganza, where Erasmus in Action bands had a performance. Each team had to prepare a little show for the party to celebrate European youth cooperation and HeadEst10.

It was time for the most amazing international evening ever.

The last program day was dedicated to the future. There were personal cooperation talks, we had a visit by Anna Kuzina from National Agency, we learned about Erasmus+ program and its situation and finally we had a creative project development session to open our mind to innovative project ideas.

For this session the participants were divided into smaller groups, each group had a source of inspiration (among others the little Kazakh house jurta on the picture above), all teams had to come up with at least 20 topic ideas, then they chose the 3 best ones and finally had to combine the three topics into the idea of one youth exchange or training. Everybody was very impressed about their own creativity.

Then we had the evaluation, found out who was our secret friend and had a farewell party.

RESULTS

There are a lot of project ideas in action already between old partners and newly formed partners. Several youth exchange, training and job shadowing ideas. A lot of participants have said that they got a lot of energy and inspiration from the seminar.

Participant evaluation:

 

  • 96% felt  they learnt something new during this project
  • 84% felt that as a result of this project they want to know more about Europe (16% were interested before)
  • 92% felt they were able to bring their own ideas and help develop this project
  • 100% felt that this project is useful for their future
  • 100% would recommend this type of project to their friends

 

  • It gave me the possibility to get inspired by the work of the other people in the other countries. It woke up the feelings inside and the interest i personally have in the program. Gave me motivation to think what I really care and made me think of some projects i would need to develope on my own.
  • This project gave me lot of new ideas, experience shared with another partners. I've got new contacts which is extremly needful before the deadlineas we are hosting new EVS volunteers
  • Program was planned and organized very good way. Accomodation was great and of course all participants
  • Fun. Thought-provoking. Developmental
  • I could met with others parners share experiences and ofcourse, create network with new partners.It was very important for me, I feel now I have more motivation for work in this section. Thank you!
  • I have met with very experienced people and believe that we gonna have communication with them and probably gonna have partnership behind us. I have learned many important details of preparing a project
  • I really liked the people, the discussions, the atmosphere. The fire is lovely and I defenitely want to come back one day to Tallinn/Estonia! I would like to develop contact with HeadEst, I will try to make it possible!
  • Very easy to learn and contribute beccause of the skills of the facilitator
  • Great methods, Excellent partners, new ideas of projects
  • After a few years of experience of sending participants to HEADEST's projects it was a very good experience to actually see and feel the way you work "in person". Both the methods and especially the attitude behind your work are very inspiring and make me think over the way I work.
  • New way of thinking. I meet new professional youth workers
  • It was creative, imaginative + fun. Lots of opportunities, parners, discussion + to hear what others are doing.
  • Very creative and inspiring, learnt lot of new things and simple ways. Good and supportive leaders are very important
  • This parner-network event (and celebration) is an exellent example of how sharing and caring brings people from all over together to create new possibilities and chances for so many others.
  • Great youth workers are also great persons! Networking is important and forth bringing in youth work
  • Non formal interventions are allowed! Everybody in a team must have an own task /last but not least: HEADEST is awesome!
  • I met a lot of amazing people whose stories inspired me a lot. Probably some future partners also. It taught me a lot of new about the concept of Erasmus+
  • Thank you to give us that chance to meet with all ispired, lovely, amazig people.
  • Thank you! It was amazing experience and wonderful idea and brilliant leading!
  • Nice to feel the international spirit through persons of whole Europe. The nice way the seminnar was organized in typical HEADEST style.
  • Thank you very much of invitation for this seminar, I have learnt enjoyed, laughed, gone deeper very much in this seminar. GREAT PARTY
  • HeadEsti is a good example of organisation growth and supporting learning and empowering of new leaders.
  • Auto-Confidence grow, Developing"imagination skills" (sometimes we forget that we love it!! :) ), self-motivation

 

THANK YOU EVERYBODY!

Project was funded by Erasmus+ Youth in Action National Agency in Estonia