The first phase of the project “Gr.A.C.E. Greek German matchmaking for Active Citizenship Education in Youth Work“ took place in Berlin from May 8th to May 13th. The second part will take place in Corinth, Greece. Kelly Manoudi from Hellenic Youth Participation writes about lessons learned
Gr.A.C.E. is a new Erasmus+ Project, which was implemented in two parts. The first part took place in Germany inMay 2018 and the second part will take place in Greece. The project is organised by the Faculty of Social and Educational Policy of the University of the Peloponnese (UoP) and the Association of German Educational Organization (AdB). It is characterized as a Greek–German matchmaking for practitioners/trainers in youth work and their organizations with the main aim, to create new partnerships and collaborations between organizations of both countries specialized in the field of youth work.
As a greek youth worker and very active in the field of Greek and German friendship, I had the chance to be selected by the organizers for the whole phase of the project. I have participated many times in conferences about Greek-German cooperation but it was the first time that I participated in a bilateral Greek-German training.
Historical background of both countries
During the training different sessions were offered, which I found very useful for my personal and professional development. Apart from the getting-to-know-each-other and team building games we gained insights in the historical background of both countries. Although the period of WWII is very well known, we realized, that in both countries there are unknown historical chapters that are not being taught in schools. In the end, we reached the conclusion that mutual understanding is the base of any cooperation and learning about your partner’s historical and social background is essential in order to establish a good cooperation.
In the same topic, we had a session about the history of youth work in both countries. We realized that there are many elements and structures to exchange in order to promote youth work and attract youngsters as well.
The stage was given also to us as participants. An open space was created either to present our projects or to train each other with activities based in methods of non-formal education.
We also had the chance to explore Berlin and pay a visit in two organizations that are working in the field of youth. The first one was the Archive of Youth Cultures located in an old beer factory in Kreuzberg, where we had a tour and a presentation about the projects that they implement currently. The second one was an amazing workshop venue called “7XJung” – 7 times young in the centre of Berlin just under the rails of the S-Bahn station „Bellevue“. The trainers of the venue guided us to an exhibition and explaine how they work on topics like xenophobia, racism, antisemitism and extreme right-wing violence.
Both study visits were a totally new experience for me and for the rest of the Greek participants which attracted our interest from the very first moment and we were discussing if it is possible to establish these types of organizations in Greece.
On the last day of our meeting, we evaluated the project so far and we set up our goals for the next meeting, that will take place from October 29th to November 4th 2018 in Corinth and Athens, Greece. As a result, new friends, new partners and many different kind of projects will be delivered next year.
Text and photos: Kelly Manoudi
More about the project in a previous article on agorayouth (in German and Greek).
Dieses Werk ist lizenziert unter einer Creative Commons Namensnennung – Nicht-kommerziell – Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland Lizenz.