How do you design and create a participatory training program for European Solidarity Corps programs?
What was it?
In collaboration with the organizers of the program "Green Week Festival" (European Solidarity Corps), Fix in Art, we designed and coordinated part of the training program for a group of 20 volunteers (10 from Latvia and 10 from Greece). The overall goal of the program was to strengthen the M-eating Hub initiative in receiving and sorting food donations, preparing distribution packages, participating in activities related to "No Food Waste", as well as implementing community cooperation activities.
For this purpose, we designed 6 trainings in innovative methods such as:
✔ Project Management,
and 5 mentoring workshops covering various topics such as:
✔️Team building procedures and exercises,
✔️Leadership development and team building activities,
✔️Training and guidance in collective decision making,
✔ Exercises for the development of gratitude and empathy.
For the design and implementation of all 11 workshops (training and mentoring) we used the human-centered approach in a hybrid model with digital and live meetings. The workshops were inclusive for all participants taking into account the different cultural background but also their position (volunteers, employees, community members). Also, different types of experiential exercises were used to meet the needs of all different types of learning. In combination with the practical application of the theory, the participants had the opportunity to understand in depth all the new concepts and to practice them during the program.
For digital meetings we used interactive meeting tools such as Zoom and Miro.
The benefits of this program were multiple not only for the 20 key participants from Latvia and Greece, but also for the employees and the wider community of Thessaloniki, as well as for the sending organizations of the participants in Latvia.
The interactive and participatory approach of all the workshops helped beyond the cognitive development of the participants in the different and innovative processes and methodologies, and in the deeper understanding and connection between the cultures at multiple levels. Specifically, participants were able to develop skills and develop, among others, multilingualism, learning how to learn, entrepreneurship, cultural awareness and expression, their digital competence, and mathematical competence.
At Youthnest (now among) we deeply believe that innovation can be applied by everyone. Through the workshops and procedures we provide, we deconstruct difficult concepts and put knowledge to a practical level. Our goal is for the methodologies we present to be understandable and adapted to the needs of everyone.