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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Youth in Action: Power to You(th) training program by Anna Donath, Human Rights intern

Between 30th October and 4th November I participated in a Power to You(th) training course on Youth Empowerment, Employability and Entrepreneurship. The training was organized for youth workers and youth leaders working directly with young people. It took place in Beaufort, Luxemburg, a small village in the beautiful region called “Little Switzerland” which is approximately 30km away from Luxembourg City. The training was organized by the Luxembourg National Agency and the 21 participants represented 15 different countries (Austria, Croatia, Check Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey


Power to You(th) aimed to provide youth workers and youth leaders with creative, adaptable tools and the inspiration to facilitate youth empowerment and to promote entrepreneurship and employability of young people. We explored the tool of Youth Exchanges as part of the Erasmus+ programme to be able to use it in our work to inspire and empower young people to actively participate in society.


Using non-formal education methods and activities (such as outdoor work, experiential learning, and theatre and community interaction), this training aimed at creating an inspiring, active and creative space for the development of new ideas and exploring possibilities for youth employability and entrepreneurship by focusing on youth empowerment tools. It gave us, the participants, the possibility to discover meaningful roles and develop different tools in our work around youth projects.


We also had the chance to explore – as the locals calls - the City (aka Luxembourg City). We had an amazing walk through the city and thanks to the local participants we learned a lot of the history and culture of Luxembourg. We also had a great dinner there with the Luxembourg National Agency and were treated to the local specialities.


One of my favourite exercises and memory’s is definitely when we spent a day on exploring the world of Erasmus+ and whether it can be used as a tool for supporting the empowerment process and how youth workers and youth leaders can support young people in this process of reflecting and recording and learning to harness their skills to increase future employability (with the aim that we will be able to create powerful activities and projects with and for young people). To familiarize ourselves  with the whole process of organizing/participating in a Youth Exchange we received the most empowering task in the training. We were randomly assigned groups, received a  map of the neighbouring forests, lunch bags and an exercise of coming up with an imaginary person (complete with a detailed socio-economic description) and to take that person with us for a small hiking tour.


During the tour each group had to discuss each level of the process of a Youth Exchange project (getting informed, applying, organizing, participating and reflecting on a Youth Exchange project). We were walking in the most beautiful, fairy tale like forest for 4 hours and created a whole story. Not just about the imaginary person and her experiences, but we also created an imaginary Youth Exchange program, with actual training plan, with the budget and its objectives. But overall the hiking tour was more than a training exercise. The peaceful environment, the beauty of the nature gave us new perspectives and provided a perfect situation for self-reflection.


Overall the training was a big success, not only  did I gain new knowledge, skills and experiences but also made new friends and professional partners for future projects.


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