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PTPI Chapter Project Grant: Tallinn, Estonia

PTPI provides Chapter Project Grants so that our global chapter network may carry out cultural, educational, and humanitarian projects that exemplify the mission of PTPI. Chapters provide reports after their projects have been completed.

PTPI Chapter Project Grant: Tallinn, Estonia

Chapter Name: PTPI Tallinn, Estonia

Project Name: 3C in youth work: Creative thinking – efficient Communication – active Citizenship

Number of Beneficiaries: 250+

Project Description: Participants of the training course were youth and youth workers selected by partner organisations. The age of participants were different: the youngest was an 18 year old high school student from Bulgaria and the oldest was a youth worker and professional actor from Poland. There were young job-seekers, young people from ethnic minorities, and most of the participants had experience in NGOs work. In order to ensure that the training course program reflected the interests of all participants, before the final adjustment of the program participants were asked to fill self-assessment forms. At the beginning of the training course participants formulated their expectations and contributions to the training course and gave feedback during the activities and during the evaluation session, thus program elements were continuously adjusted to the interests and wishes that participants had expressed.

“3C” training course was designed in partnership between Estonian and Armenian organisations to underline the experiential learning approach as a tool for non-formal education: the participants, by taking part in different project activities worked on efficient communication, analyzing attitudes, behaviors, and the emotional aspects of the interpersonal relations, solving problems and creating youth activities as creative entrepreneurs and active citizens.

This seven-day training course took place September 22-28, 2013 in Tsahkadzor (Armenia)  and brought together 24 young people and youth workers from  11 EU and EU neighboring countries, also 3 trainers and one facilitator from Estonia and Armenia.

Through a cooperative approach, the training course gave a better understanding of the complexities of creative thinking, efficient communication, and active citizenship and underlined the importance of all these competencies, thus expanding the mutual understanding. As outcome, the participants gained new approaches and tools to concretely act as creative entrepreneurs and active citizens in their local context.

The first day or the training course was used for ice-breaking and team-building activities. Several name games, bingo and snow-ball game were implemented.

The second day , participants expressed their expectations, contributions, and fears. They interviewed each other in pairs, drew portraits , made individual posters to explain how/why they came to this training, then introduced themselves and discussed their needs in the training. Through team-building activities – spaghetti tower building, flying eggs, and building  creative machines  - participants trained in creative thinking techniques.

The third day was about efficient communication. Participants shared their own knowledge and skills about communication, discussed efficient communication, tolerance, mutual understanding and peace building, and what skills are needed for good peace builder in an intercultural environment.  Participants also appreciated Armenian coffee break with national food prepared by organisers. Different methods were used during the day: presentations, individual, pair and teamwork.

The fourth day was devoted to active citizenship, facilitation and educational leadership with the aim to develop participants’ competence to become active citizens. Participants worked ine intercultural teams on a city quiz, then produced videos about team work and shared them with other participants in the evening. During the quiz participants had an opportunity to discover Tsaghkadzor city and practice their citizenship skills. They had to create an object in order to exchange it for something more valuable and different with the inhabitants of the city. They also had to discover the meaning of several sentences and expressions in Armenian language and visit cultural heritage sites and institutional buildings.

There was study trip to Yerevan on the fifth day. Participants visited Youth Events Holding Center in the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs in Armenia where they met with its Director Davit Hayrapetyan, young people, and local journalists and discussed main issues of youth in Armenia and cooperation with EU and other countries in the world. Participants visited Holy Ejmiatsin in the afternoon where learned about Armenian culture and religion. Participants organised dance flesh-mob in the city and involved many locals in different ages in this activity. The reflection of the day was made with pictures: each of the participants chose one and explained why.

Creating opportunities was planned for the day six. Trainers introduced various opportunities for participants to transfer their learning experience to their organisations and communities. The training course concluded on day seven.

Outcomes and Impact of the Project: Project promoters and participants transferred their gained knowledge to their closest communities using the new approaches, tools and resources which they learned during this training course. Participants established new partnerships and created ideas for common projects in the future, which means also  new participation and learning opportunities for the members of their communities.

We expect that after this training course participants will find their way to become active citizens, will improve their communication skills, will develop their creativity and will know new methods of creative thinking, will be more aware of cultural differences and working practices in the different countries, will be encouraged to be team leaders, active participants of the political, social, cultural, economic processes in EU and EU neighboring countries. After participants return in their home countries, they shared experiences from this training course in their youth organisations, as a result, the quality of the local and international youth work increased. Networking among the participating countries intensified.

Reflection on Lessons Learned: Here are some quotations from participants:

Rossella Aschieri (Italy):  I had the opportunity to compare my views with those of participants coming from the former communist block. I admit it was quite a cultural shock to compare our different outlook towards life and politics. Since we were always divided into intercultural teams we had to cope with our subtle cultural differences. It is already difficult to find a compromise when discussing with people who have a similar background. In this case the challenge is more complex. To have the opportunity to compare my point of views with everybody else was also very useful because it just allowed me to see different solutions to basic problem. I want to do this project again!

Yoana Barakova (Bulgaria): I reckon that our creative thinking was working on maximum, because the majority of the tasks wanted us to express our ideas not only via words but art and performances. I acquired much more knowledge and skill than I expected. I will spread my competence, for sure.

Clément Blasco (France): This training course was my first occasion to discover so many cultures from several eastern Europe countries. I am conscious that this cultural diversity should be preserved.One workshop was about thinking of a new Youth in Action project. Sense of entrepreneurship developed in this way. Creativity through creating several posters and power point presentations was essential. I am convinced that creativity is the best tool to create our own path.

Oleksandr Nepytailenko (Ukraine): I learned to make compromises while working in a team. We used a lot of digital equipment to make our presentations. I really loved the creativity workshops.

Anastasia Pociumban (Moldova): I increased my critical thinking for project writing; problem solving and environmental analysis. I also developed ability to apply gained knowledge into practice; ability to plan further development.

Sona Sargsyan (Armenia): We learned a lot about other participants’ cultures during the intercultural evening and during other activities. We learned many things we didn’t know before, we also taught them about our culture, our national meals, important facts about Armenia, and about our history.

Beata Zawiślak (Poland): I learned how to take a risk in expressing ideas in a language that is not so fluently learned, how to introduce my own ideas to the group, and hot to lead the creative process. I used my actor experience in presenting some team efforts.

Maksym Skulinets (Ukraine): This project helped me to improve my English much more. I did my best to express myself and learn as much as possible. I started to think in more innovative ways and I came up with a lot of new ideas. I became more creative in expressing my ideas through music, art and different games. It was cool!
Grants are awarded twice per year and applications are due February 1 and/or August 1. All applicants will be notified within 30 days following the application deadline and funds will be distributed in March and September. Chapters may apply for and receive more than one grant in a year. Preference will be given to chapters who have not received a grant within the calendar year.

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