In 2016 our work focused primarily on training and consultancy and we took a break from hosting volunteers. We hosted 6 training courses this year and started some new partnerships with organisations from Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Malta and FYR-Macedonia. Additionally, we also supported the UK based charity VSO with project development in Malawi and Mozambique.
Tools for Reflective Practice – Training Course
We started the year in Wales where we hosted a training course called Tools for Reflective Practice, which looked at both the practical and theoretical aspects of implementing reflective practice into non-formal education and youth work. Including participants from the UK 7 countries participated in the project, the other countries were Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Estonia, Greece and Turkey.
During the training, we explored reflective based practice in order to better understand how it could be used effectively in our own work settings. We used reflection throughout the week in order to assess our progress and see it in practice. Participants engaged in various activities that explore the topic and looked at reflective practice while discussing models for its growth and development in Europe.
The aim of the course was to analyze reflective practice from different cultural perspectives from across Europe, but using the UK as a showcase of how as a country it has developed working practices through its practical application. The project also gave the chance for participants to visit some non-formal educational institutes in Wales and discuss with some practitioners about their work and the challenges they face. This was the third time we had delivered this training and we feel that the course has grown and developed very well.
Developing an Anti Oppressive Practice – Training Course
Our next course called Developing an Anti Oppressive Practice (AOP) was in partnership with two organisations, Inženjeri Zaštite životne Sredine from Serbia and UOC “Kosmos” from Bosnia and Herzegovina. AOP was a one-year project supported by the Erasmus + programme, which involved a training course in Bosnia & Herzegovina in February 2016, the development of a publication on Anti-Oppressive Practice for the Balkans Region and a launch event for the publication in Serbia in October 2016. The first course brought partners from 8 countries, 4 from the EU (UK, Netherlands, Estonia and Portugal) and 4 from the Balkans (Serbia, Montenegro, FYR-Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), too look at the topic of AOP and gain an understanding from each country and cultural perspective. During the course we explored the topics of Race and Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, Disability and Age, we discussed who experiences the most oppression in each country and why.
The second stage of the project was to write a publication, each country nominated a representative from their organisation to support writing the publication from their countries perspective. The final publication looked in depth at the areas of Race and Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, Disability and Age from each country, exploring statistics, laws and movements that were happening to support people who experience oppression on the grounds of these issues. The aim of the publication was to give an introduction to the issues faced in each country for anyone looking to make a project in the area and around this topic.
Finally, towards the end of the year, we had finished the publication and had also created a website for the project which we launched in Novi Sad, Serbia in October.
Still continuing on the theme of oppression we started a partnership with an organisation based in FYR-Macedonian to look at the issues of migration. Joining the project was also Germany and Bulgaria and together we agreed to take part in a 2-year project that would also create a publication to look at how recent waves of immigration have affected the four countries. The publication is aimed at youth organisations that work with vulnerable groups and wanted to give information about the issues migrants face and the support needs they have. The project was initiated by the FYR-Macedonian partners in response to the shock the country faced in 2015 when around 800,000 migrants came and crossed the country, as the population of the country is only 2 million they where taken back and unprepared.
During the summer was the first meeting of the partners, which took place in Bali, Indonesia and was hosted by Act Global, the next activity that took place was a study visit to Germany, follow the links below to read more about these projects.
Start-up meeting Bali on the topic of migration – https://bit.ly/2lDU4On
Study visit to Germany – http://www.act-global.org/4080-2/
Website – https://www.migrationportal.eu/
Publication – https://bit.ly/2lFeaI0
Green Entrepreneurship As An Opportunities for Youth – Multilateral project
Our Director from Indonesia travelled to Portugal late in the year to meet with new partners to discuss and agree on a long-term multilateral project that would start in 2017-18. The project brought representatives from organisations based in Argentina, Ghana, Nepal, Slovenia and Portugal. A series of meetings were held over the course of the week to discuss the planned program and agree on the objectives, outcomes and time frame. Additional to this the local Portuguese partners took all the representatives to see an example of an environmental entrepreneur project based in Porto.
Links : https://bit.ly/2MwxAdC
T.A.K.E – Training Course
In October Act Global was in Croatia working with our Romanian partner Addo Consult and local hosts Carpe Diem to deliver a 1-week training course called T.A.K.E. on Entrepreneurship with participants from 9 countries, (Turkey, Spain, Romania, Slovenia, Poland, FYR-Macedonia, Croatia, Estonia and the UK).
During the week the team learned various business models including how to create a canvas map for what a business’s objects, focus and audience should be. The participants formed into teams and came up with business ideas they pitched to local people. During the training, we also went to meet with some local entrepreneurs that had created a brewery that started in their apartment and was now a major brand in the city selling to bars, hotels and clubs.
The training was a very positive week with very enthusiastic participants and Zadar, Croatia was a wonderful location for the project.
VSO – Consultancy
In October our UK director started a 7-month consultancy project with VSO (Volunteer Service Overseas) to support their Malawi, South Africa and Mozambique office with project development initiatives in all these countries. Focused around the area of inclusive education we supported projects that helped bring technology into schools in Malawi to improve numeracy and literacy, and in Mozambique support the development of research to look into how to engage more girls into the education system. More details of this activity can be read in our 2017 review of the year.
Tools for Coaching Young People – Training Course
The next course was all about coaching and was held in Wales, UK. Another week-long project this time with participants from 8 countries (Malta, Greece, Estonia, Romania, FYR-Macedonia, Spain, Netherlands and the UK). The project objective of the course was to tackle the issue of coaching and participation of young people, which focused on how good quality coaching, increases the active participation of young people in the organizations and projects they engage in.
This project was in 3-parts, the first was an initial introduction to the topic. The second part involved participants running their own coaching projects in their home countries (which took place in 2017). The third and final part was an evaluation meeting on the impacts of the local projects and took place in Malta in November 2017.
The initial first training course tackled the issue of inclusion and participation in detail, reflecting about different kinds of inclusion that exists and are also categorized in the Erasmus+ programme, it also routed itself in the reality which youth workers/leaders face when working in groups.
This project aimed to enhance the skills for youth workers/leaders in the area of coaching and provided a space for participants to design, plan and implement activities on their own, which was implemented in the second phase.
The course was enjoyed by all and the second and third part was also successfully achieved. See our link for the full blog on the project.
Developing Cultural Competency – Training Course
The last course of the year was called Developing Cultural Competency and was also held in Wales, UK. For this course, 10 countries participated (Greece, Estonia, Romania, FYR-Macedonia, Spain, Hungary, Poland Portugal, Netherlands and the UK) for a weeklong one-off training course.
Supported by the European Union fund Erasmus +, Developing Cultural Competency supported those engaged in both formal and non-formal education projects at the international level and supported participants to develop working praxis (integration if theory and practice) for this type of work.
The course sets out to support participants to develop the tools for inter-cultural learning, understand how to develop empathy and how to be effective in cross-cultural communication, which we believe are necessary skills needed to be an active European Citizen and Global. The course focused on cultural learning from a variety of viewpoints, National Identity, Religion, Ethnicity, Multiculturalism, historical, shared Ideologies, ethics and philosophies. The course wanted to share about the rights and opportunities European citizens have and explore the benefits of further international cooperation and relations.
Set amongst one of the oldest cultures in Europe (Wales), this project was based at the Urdd centre in Bala, which was established to support young Welsh people to have a place to engage in outdoor education using the medium of Welsh. The setting added to the topic and allowed participants to reflect on how important culture and language is in their own countries, and how those from minorities are treated and accepted in their countries too. As well as engaging with the topic of culture from their own realities, participants learned how the Welsh culture has maintained its survival while also allowing for the inclusion of other cultures and nations within the nation. Another successful course and was a great finish for the year.