Training course „YOUnique“ – Grafenbach/Austria
From the 5th until 14th of September wEUnite, together with partner organizations from Spain,
Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece and Lithuania organized a training course all around the topic of uniqueness and authenticity in Grafenbach/Austria. Through many non-formal and experiential methods in different environments, the 27 youth workers first got to know themselves better and then found ways to use the tools and methods in their youth work to help young people be more happy with their (yo)unique selves.
The idea behind the project was that through our daily work with people we know that authenticity, empathy and courage are the keys to healthy social relationships and societies, yet these are not skills usually discussed or worked with. Young people are strongly influenced by social media and ideals of beauty and form unrealistic images of how they should be in comparison with the role models on social media platforms. Through „YOUnique“ we counteracted these issues and learnt to appreciate ourselves as we are.
Throughout the project we asked ourselves many questions, but the starting point of our journey were these:
How can I see my own uniqueness? How can I support others in seeing and appreciating their unique selves? How can I co-create more open, authentic, truthful and connected communities?
From getting to know each other, creating reflection groups and setting our personal learning goals we jumped into the program by diving deeper into masks we were in life instead of being our true selves. We experienced, talked and realized things about ourselves and the communities we live in. In the following days we worked in groups, pairs and alone to understand how we act in different settings. After 4 days of unlearning and learning it was time to create our own workshops, share with others what is precious to us.
We discovered that everyone is unique and has something valuable to contribute. Through contact improvisation, a sound path, team building spider webs or boom-games, the museum of intelligence, tarot cards and enchanted forests inside the training room we learnt to be a leader or stay in a group. The activities were prepared in a short time and we even recorded them for you to use. Check our Video tutorials out!
And because personal impressions tell more than anything else, here some testimonies by participants:
„Participating in the TC “YOUnique” was an amazing experience for both professional and personal
field. I learnt how to appreciate people uniqueness and look for the qualities that I admire from them, so that I can incorporate them to myself in order to grow as a person. Besides, I enjoyed new team-building and self-reflection activities which for sure I’ll incorporate to my lessons as a teacher.“
– Stratis –
„Spending these 10 days in Grafenbach were the best I could ever hope for. The place was majestic, the people that I met were incredible, the activities that we did were exactly what i needed.. I would safely say this project went way beyond my expectations.“
„What is remarkable for me from Younique is how a group can go through difficult times. Even though this periods might be hard, everything that doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger and that’s what happened on this project. We had difficult moments, facing conflicts and funny days, making inside jokes and rolling down on hills and in the end that’s what life is about. Living every given moment intensely and fully.“
– Eszter –
„Younique project is one of the most inspiring projects I have ever participated. The time spent there and the connection between people was so strong, it felt like we are a huge family and known each other for already several months. I appreciate the facilitators and team members for creating this amazing atmosphere where each of us could feel unique in every possible way“
„Besides all the useful tools i learned and the nice connections i had, this project brought back a part of me that i forgot about and helped me to integrate it. It somehow helped be more complete, and for that i am grateful“
– Andrei –
„YOUnique has been an enlightening project in which I found myself getting new insights about my inner state and outer behaviors, I got the opportunity to explore what it means to face my fears and to support others in living their experiences“
– Tommaso –