Caring through Sharing 2 — Ireland


Programme ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: training course

Dates: 24 September—1 October 2022

Venue: Woodstown, County Waterford, Ireland

Please read the infopack

National team size: 2 youth workers per country from the following nations: Estonia, Finland, Spain, Romania, Armenia, Czech Republic, Belgium and Ireland

Hosting organisation: Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Service Ltd

Project info:

A Training Course for Youth Workers to Improve Skills through the Power of Labyrinth Theatre
Based on Creativity and Inner Leadership as Tools for Social Inclusion

Background and Theme of the Project

Inclusion is one of the biggest challenges faced by all EU member states. In the recent past, significant social upheaval has taken place across the continent. Huge numbers of people have moved into and across Europe, and this has led to an upsurge in radicalization, the creation of divisions, and the erection of both physical and mental barriers. Europe nowadays has more physical walls between countries than it had during the height of the Cold War.

The challenge of how to create a safe and inclusive Europe is a high priority in the Erasmus+ program: “Europe needs more cohesive and inclusive societies which allow citizens to play an active role in democratic life. Education and youth work are key to promoting common European values, fostering social integration, enhancing intercultural understanding, and creating a sense of belonging to a community, thus preventing violent radicalization. Erasmus+ is an effective instrument in promoting the inclusion of people with disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Youth workers are viewed as professionals for whom inclusion is an important part of their work – in particular ‘youth at risk’ is an important target group for youth workers. Young people who feel excluded and disappointed, with little confidence and self-esteem, are in danger of becoming involved with extreme groups. Youth workers deliver important outcomes with young people who have ‘dropped out’. Youth work is a vital tool to bring young people in from the cold, to connect them with society, and to develop the self-esteem and self-confidence that empowers young people to choose their own paths in life. Youth work is ‘planned, informal education’, and youth workers engage and build relationships with some of the most vulnerable young people in Europe starting where the young people are at in their lives.

In this field, where the solutions are not immediately obvious, innovation and innovative ways of working are critically important in developing professionals and organisations.

The focus of this Training Course is on the stages before the problems start, using the methodology of Labyrinth Theatre, which is a proven, effective method to detect feelings, values and senses under the surface. It can be utilized as a prevention tool by stimulating feelings and commitments on a deeper level, which can help to avoid exclusion and isolation.

This European project is an opportunity to examine and reflect upon the issues around inclusion from different perspectives, to learn from different countries and cultures by sharing knowledge about new ways of working, and to clarify ideas around a common understanding of inclusion. It will also help to build a wider and better European network to tackle the challenges around how to be more inclusive within Europe. 

Overall Aim 

The overall aim of the Training Course is to improve the self-awareness and self-confidence of Youth workers from across Europe so that they can support the young people that they work with and can guide them in their learning process as full, authentic people. The Course participants will do this through the development of a learning toolkit which they can use with their own young people in their own countries after the Course.


  •  To support youth workers to become more aware of themselves, thus enabling them to make conscious choices and decisions that fit with the core of their identity and their goals in life
  • To dive deeper into, and really experience concepts such as resilience, confidence, vulnerability, empathy and creativity
  • To frame a learning process where youth workers feel commitment and inclusion by sharing and experience
  • To provide youth workers with tools to support a deep connection with young people they work with
  • To include local people with the effective method of Labyrinth Theatre and spread this around
  • To share tools and methods from across Europe, and to inspire the participants to implement similar learning processes after the Training Course for their own target groups
  • To reflect on their own learning process by using the Key Competences from the Youth Pass, and giving the opportunity for capacity building in the context of the Erasmus+ Program.

Approach and Methodology 

This Training Course will be based on non-formal and informal education with a self-directed learning approach. The trainers will use artistic tools and performances, in particular the very effective method of Labyrinth Theatre to stimulate growing self-confidence and resilience.

Labyrinth theatre is an immersive, interactive, site-specific and contact-oriented theatre form. While experiencing the artwork, the sense of touch is activated more widely than just in the area of the body that rests on the chair. The spectator also becomes a listener, a sniffer, a toucher, a taster, and a thinking agent. He or she is led through different parts of space, where scenes take place. These scenes have been developed according to the attributes of the space (in this case, Woodstown beach), and by adding elements to support the scene. The scene comes to life when the spectator and the performer meet and engage each other. Participants will put on a performance for local people in Woodstown, illustrating their learnings, and showcasing Youth work through the power of Labyrinth Theatre.

During this course participants are responsible for their own learning and the facilitators provide activities, and guide the participants through their own learning process. The Training Course will be characterised by highly participatory, interactive and experiential methods. The working methods will include case studies, working in pairs and small groups, meditations, contemplations, team building activities, role plays, discussions, and self-assessment. Some sessions will be complemented by theoretical inputs, and all of them will be followed by group reflection or self-reflection.

Profile of the Participants

Participants will be youth workers, project leaders and educators involved in youth work. The participants will have a multiplier role – in other words: they will adapt what they learn in this training course to their own context of working with young people. In their future projects and daily work they can incorporate tools, methods and theories which they have learned during this Training Course. They can also use their personal learning and development in their daily work with their own target groups.

This Training Course will be an emotionally challenging project for trainers and trainees. That’s why we expect from trainees at all times to the best of their abilities to…

… be fully committed to the process – to reflect, share, experience and participate in all activities
… keep a clear mind, that is neither intoxicated nor distracted
… have taken care of important personal and professional matters beforehand, so that these do not intervene with the Training Course (being completely present with the group)
… be on time for all of the deadlines, sessions and appointments
… challenge themselves to step out of their comfort zones
… be willing to look into themselves and reflect on their professional and private life
… join us on an intensive, immersive and unforgettable journey

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