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Training for youth workers Module 3 – an important spice in the “Kitchen of Youth Work”

Another training module for youth workers was successfully completed. From the 11th to the 15th of December, the city of Sandanski became a center for the development of the competences of youth workers from all youth centers in Bulgaria. During this dynamic week, the focus fell on several specific themes in the youth work, such as team and teamwork, learning and facilitation, and modeling training sessions. We gained knowledge from our favorite trainers from the Council of Europe – Natalia, Magdalena, Stefan and Jafer, as well as from all colleagues ready to share experiences and impressions with us. Let’s now take a look at the program of the 3rd module, divided by days and sessions.

On December 11th, we started the training with a reflection session, through which we remembered the past so far and set ourself “on the same wave” for work. The day continued with an introduction to the program of the 3rd training module and more about what is to come.

The second training day was devoted to clarifying the concepts of groups, teams and teamwork. We began by looking at the intersections in the work of youth workers and educational mediators. We highlighted what unites us, what our cause is, how important it is to collaborate, what skills are required to work better with others and how to manage conflict. We worked in parallel groups, which helped to better manage the participants time and interests.

The focus of the third day of the training was on the topics of learning and facilitation. The emphasis fell on learning styles and the specific experiential learning model. We also talked about the dynamics in the different groups and the roles we often play – trainer, facilitator, mentor, coach. The afternoon sessions were related to the graphic facilitation model and building skills for its application, as well as digital applications in the youth workers toolkit. Again, we worked in sessions that ran in parallel.

The training sessions on Thursday covered more specific topics in youth work related to methods, methodology and approach, as well as activities and their selection. We dived into leadership styles and went through the steps to craft educational sessions and/or programs. The last two sessions were devoted to the concepts of Learning Experience Design and Instructional design learning, highlighting the details related to these practical processes. The hours after the sessions turned into a time for fun and sharing. Everyone had the opportunity to break the ice by sharing an incident from their everyday work, where everything “screwed up” and how they got out of the situation.

On the last day of the training, we had the opportunity to “go through” each of the trainers like a book. We asked them all the questions we were interested in and got knowledge directly from the kitchen of youth work. This time together was extremely useful for us!

During the days of the training we were encouraged to develop our skills by using different techniques and tools in working with young people. The balance between lecture and interactive activities managed to create a stimulating and inspiring environment. The training left us better prepared by strengthening a common sense of mutual responsibility and empathy in youth work. Thanks to everyone who make this training module happen! See you soon!

Project No. BGLD-2.001-0002 “Establishment of the Youth International Center Burgas” is implemented within the framework of the “Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Improved Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups” program, financed by the EEA FM 2014-2021.