Autor: Nina Bianca Dohr

Training Course „G.O.T. – GamE+s of Trainers“

One more project took place this summer in beautiful Grafenbach! From 23rd of July until 1st of August participants came together for this training course to learn how to use gamification and how to facilitate their own programs and design them.

The youth workers mobility  ˝GamE+s Of Trainers˝ was created in the context of youth work and European nonprofit organisations in which we want to develop a multidimensional approach to the role of a facilitator/trainer, according to the needs expressed for this kind of professionals. The idea was that facilitators and trainers have a fundamental role and need specific skills in order to make any kind of youth project they are going to facilitate a successful one.

This includes specific skills, careful preparation of the logistics in a project or workshop, understanding group dynamics and the needs of any group, managing teams of young people, managing international teams and to be able to create a space for personal and professional growth and learning.

The goal of this project was to pass on this knowledge and level up the skills of 25 youth workers from 8 countries. We gave the opportunity to youth workers to taking the first steps of becoming facilitators, improving the recognition of non-formal education and quality of youth projects. This was all be achieved through using methods of non-formal education and experiential learning, supported and guided by experienced trainers.

Curious about what we did? Check out our video!

Youth Exchange „Unplugged“ – Greece

Can you live without your phone for a whole week?

This question is what brought 35 youngsters from 7 different countries to Greece.

As a part of this Group, we arrived in Hopeland on the 10th of October 2021. Hopeland is a magical place in the middle of nowhere on the peninsula Peloponnese.
Between olive trees and vineyards we found ourselves sleeping in mud houses and tipi tents. To become tough and enjoy the view of the beautiful night sky, we took cold showers outside. The centre of hopeland is an old oak tree which is the reason why this place was founded. 

In the first two days we got to know each other and brainstormed about the negative and positive impacts of technology on our daily lives. 

On the evening of day 2 we ceremonially put our phones and watches in a sturdy metal box and locked it with heavy chains and a lock. This was the start of our Digital Detox.

The next few days we experienced all of our senses to become aware of ourselves and our bodies. We enjoyed hiking through greek nature in silence or with closed eyes, fed the goats of a local farmer and harvested vegetables. 

We experienced food meditation, aromatherapy and contact improvisation.

To give back to the local community and feel the sensation of clay on our hands, we helped to renovate a local townhouse.

This way we felt the impact of dopamine from different sources than likes on Instagram. Even when we got our phones back we did not feel the need to use them anymore and rather enjoyed the rest of the time in hopeland with nature and the amazing people.

We are glad that we had the chance to participate in this exchange, which was co-funded by the ErasmusPlus programme of the EU, as representatives of wEUnite.

Youth Exchange „Skills Up!“

From 10th to 18th August young people from Bulgaria, Austria, Spain, Italy and Poland came together in Carinthia to explore and develop their skills and raise them to the next level. This youth exchange was all about future skills and how to understand and improve them.

Skills Up! was a project that addressed the increasing need for soft skills when it comes to the employment of youth. Because of the economic consequences of Covid-19, it was (and still is) more important than ever to develop our so-called “future skills” so that we can enter the job market or create our own jobs. Through the methods of different non-formal educational activities, such as group work, discussion, presentation, research, role playing, experiential learning, body movements, theatre, debating, journaling, open space activities and reflections, participants of the project could improve their key competences, specifically their leadership, learning to learn & adaptability, critical thinking & media literacy, creativity, communication & persuasion, project management, and cultural awareness & inclusion skills.

In addition to these, the project also aimed to foster intercultural understanding and sensitivity as a skill, to get a deeper insight of the participating countries’ culture and to improve the self-reflection of youngsters, in order to support their development and lifelong learning.

All participants had the opportunity to find new skills in them and put them into practice by taking over different program elements throughout the week. See for yourself!

Youth Exchange „YOU(th) 4 EU“

Between 1st and 9th July we had another youth exchange taking place in beautiful Grafenbach/Carinthia. The participants came from Austria, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia and Poland.

During the projects the participants learnt about what it means to be a European Union citizen. They tried to become more aware of their rights and obligations. They developed an attitude towards active (EU) citizenship and also acquired the toolkit to spread this attitude, for example by debating or presenting their ideas. Beyond that they could hear and discuss each other’s opinion on the topic and had an intercultural, broad approach to the topic.

Furthermore, through participation we developed a tolerant behaviour and an attitude toward inclusion, which is an essential aspect of citizenship and learnt to be able to express our needs more clearly and also listen to others actively. We experience what it means and how to integrate others and how to open up to more people.

Additionally, as participants we went through some self-development through which we increased our presentational, public speaking and teamwork competencies, and learn more about reasoning and debating. With the help of the youthpass we also improved our (inter)cultural awareness and expression, creativity, basic organizational competencies, communication in foreign languages,  international cultural sensitivity and social & civic competences.

Chari(Tea)Time – Guitar Lessons

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our group members used their time in quarantine, to work on old and new skills. One area of skills that was prominent with young people around us was music. We wanted to spread joy through music, instead of spreading the virus.

Since learning new instrument is challenging on your own, the ESC project „chari(tea)time“ provided our members with guitar lessons from a professional and educated guitar teacher – RIZKO. Witin the Chari(tea)Time project, several young, lucky and interested young people got the chance to learn from a professional musician and develop their musical skills.

Rizko has been teaching the guitar for a long time, his motivation comes from the desire to spread joy and happiness: „In this world that evolves around phones, screens and social media, things move by so fast and it’s easy to lose connection with yourself. The guitar is something different. It forces you to calm down, focus and develops your mind in a different way. Its a great pleasure for me to open up new worlds to students. Music is special and magical. It gives you joy and puts a smile on your face like nothing else.“ RIZKO

The guitar students came from different backgrounds such as total beginners and already established guitar players. RIZKO helped them to develop new knowledge in lessons adapted to every student´s levels, needs and wishes.

„As a total beginner, trying to play the guitar was a real challenge for me. Thanks to Rizko I got a good sense of how to approach learning an instrument from scratch. Already after the first lesson with him, I could improve the positioning of my hand and my posture, which made playing much more enjoyable. Rizko is a great teacher as he brings in the right amount of challenge and patience, which makes his guitar lessons instructive and fun at the same time. I would be happy to go on with guitar lessons to further improve my skills.“ – SARAH

Sarah with Rizko

Not everybody was a beginner, Selina for example already took lessons before, but had gotten a bit rusty over the years:
„About a month ago I had my first guitar lesson with RIZKO, in which he first checked whether and what I could already play. Since I had guitar lessons about 15 years ago, I could still play about 4 chords, but not a piece. With this knowledge, he adapted the following guitar lessons to my needs and knowledge. Besides new chords, I also learned a bit more about my guitar itself, about correct strumming and plucking techniques. It would be great if I could take a few more guitar lessons with RIZKO, as I rediscovered my love for playing through his well-prepared lessons and his adaptation to my needs.“ Selina

Selina with Rizko

Since people we reach and who reach out to us are spread all over the world, some lessons took place online. Jessica for example participated via Video Chat from China.

„Even though the guitar lessons with Rizko were online, I got the chance to finally learn to play the guitar from a professional teacher. Rizko is very patient and helpful in all musical aspects. He taught me not only how to properly hold the guitar so I can finally play without cramps, but further gave me incredible insights on music theory. I am thankful to Chari(Tea)Time to make my musical education possible.“ Jessica

Stefan was also not a newbie on the instrument, but the motivation to practise was missing during every day life stress. He took advantage of the lessons on the electric guitar and found new motivation to practise, and therefore progressed rather quickly.

„Since taking the (Chari)Tea-Time guitar lessons I have already improved my guitar skills significantly, even after only a couple of lessons. Taking lessons motivates me to practice more regularly and I also learn more guitar theory(notes, scales, etc.). Rizko is an incredibly skilled guitar player and a great teacher, I would recommend him to anyone who wants to take up lessons.“ Stefan

Stefan with Rizko

Rizko describes his experience in the Chari(Tea)Time guitar lessons:
„Teaching the students with different backgrounds has given me great pleasure, especially seeing them smile when they make progress and come a step closer to their goals. In the end, music is about having fun and sharing the positive vibes that come with it.“ RIZKO

If you are interested in learning the guitar from our lovely teacher, send an Email to Rizkomusic@gmail.com and get inspired!