From 2nd to 8th December 2021, we held a Training course in Ptuj, Slovenia under the KA2 Strategic Partnership project ‘Art Is My Weapon’ supported by the Erasmus+ Programme. During the Training course happening at Hotel Mitra, participation took 4 youth workers and young leaders sent by the 6 organisations involved in #ArtIsMyWeapon KA2 project: Youth Work Alliance UK – UK, My Madeira Island – Portugal, EPEKA – Slovenia, Youth Council Next Generation – N. Macedonia, Youth Season Association – Turkey and Spain – ACD LA HOYA.
During the arrival day we had dinner together and were getting to know each other as participants were arriving at the project’s venue. In the spirit of the project we opened the first working day with the name game ‘Drawing portraits’, followed by an ice breaking game ‘Chit-chat’ where participants were discussing some interesting questions between each other. Next, we played a team-building game involving different tasks, also including questions about the Erasmus+ Programme. After, we briefly introduced the project and the objectives of the Training course using a PowerPoint presentation. The first day was closed with explanation about the non-formal methods that the youth workers from each partner organisation had to present, focused on the themes of the project #ArtIsMyWeapon: solidarity, unity, inclusion and equity.
Thus, the following few days were dedicated to coming up with new non-formal methods using arts and creativity for raising awareness among young people about solidarity, unity, inclusion and equity. Given that, the representatives of each partner organisation were working together in order to come up with 2 non-formal methods addressing 2 different project’s themes of their choice. Each group had one session to implement one of the methods, as well as, to present the second one while others were providing their feedback. Also, we held 2 intercultural evenings where the participants had an opportunity to present their countries & cultures in a fun and creative way, including interesting videos, Kahoot quizzes, singing songs, dancing, food tastings, etc.
On the fourth day, there was an organised visit to the host organisation – EPEKA in Maribor, and after, the participants were also able to explore the city of Maribor – the European Capital of Culture for 2012. The following day, participants were working on assembling the digital Toolkit with detailed explanation of the non-formal methods, which will be implemented in the upcoming Youth exchange in May, as well as disseminated among youth workers, NGOs, youth centers, etc.
The Training course was closed with a drawing of a poster ‘Feelings of the project’ where participants using drawings were expressing their experiences on the project. Also, a Youthpass ceremony followed where the participants were giving each other their Youthpass certificates in the form of a game. Finally, every participant had an opportunity to say final words about their participation in the Training course, which was closed with a Farewell party in the hotel’s conference room.