”Enjoy the diversities” – Armeno, Italy – 18 – 27/11/2019
In the morning of the 18th of November, the four of us, Leif, Sara, Emma and me (Anouk) made our way down from Sweden to Italy to participate in the 10-day long training course ”Enjoy the diversities”, focusing on non-formal educations methods of working against discrimination, in particular with youth. After 11 hours of traveling and at last with a rainy car ride through the winding serpentines of northern Italy, the four of us arrived in the mountain village of Armeno, where the training would take place.
The first day revolved around icebreakers and team-building with the other participants from Romania, Croatia, Italy, Spain, and Turkey, as well as defining the concepts of discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices and learning about some psychological theories behind the concepts. In the following days, we delved deeper into the topic of discrimination by exploring our own and other people’s behavior related to discrimination through different workshops that raised ethical dilemmas and challenged our viewpoints on different kinds of discrimination. The interesting, fun and sometimes intense discussions during the days were followed by evenings filled with opportunities to play board games with each other, talk or to explore the surroundings. During two evenings, we also had cultural evenings where the participants from the different countries got to present their countries and cultures through among other games, dances, food, and quizzes. During our part of one of the cultural nights, we invited the other participants to a Swedish midsummer celebration with dances around our miniature midsommarstång and sillmackor.
The last part of the training course focused more on sharing our knowledge and experience, for example, we go to know other participants’ experience of discrimination through a human library and we also had the opportunity to create our workshops in a session of open space technology, that among others included a workshop simulating the situation of an asylum seeker and a photography workshop. Through these sessions, we learned a lot from each other and I think it was very giving that the participants were of different ages and had different experiences, because it meant we could support and inspire each other in different ways, to illustrate some of us were students, some teachers, and others worked in NGOs.
On the last day we learned about different kinds of Erasmus+ projects and got to plan a project with other participants, which I hope to realize in the future. 2 kgs pasta and 1000 energizers later, I find myself back in Sweden with new knowledge, connections and enthusiasm to participate and create my own Erasmus+ in the future, and of course methods and tools on how to prevent discrimination that can be incorporated in our work with youth.
Getting the feedback from people we send on a training is always filled with joy. It’s incredible how people can grow in only two weeks!
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