Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Contact Making Event
Venue: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Dates: 28th November – 6th December 2015
Participant: Lada Matyášová
Participants’ fee: £30
Hosting organisation: Consilium Development and Training “Unlocking potential through learning”
Participating countries: Great Britain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Albania, Slovenia, Romania, Latvia, Ukraine, Armenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Germany
The contact making event (abbrev. CME) Let’s get them working was held in Birmingham (UK) from 28th November till 6th December 2015 and it was aimed for thirty three participants from sixteen different countries around the Europe (particulary it was two people from United Kingdom, Portugal, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Albania, Slovenia, Romania, Latvia, Ukraine, Armenia, Croatia, Bosna and Hercegovina, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Germany).
As a contact making seminar its aim was to bringing together stakeholders interested in developing networks and joint future projects with the view to addressing issues of youth unemployment. More detailed the aim was set in following objectives: discussing the topic of youth unemployment around Europe so as to understand its short and long term negative effects on young people, exploring the themes of creativity and entrepreneurship in the context of combating youth unemployment, facilitating networking between partner organisations engaged in the project so as to create stronger and trust-based bonds for the future, exchanging best practices in the fields of youth employability and supporting the development of employability skills, developing capacities to prepare and implement high-quality, sustainable youth projects with long lasting impact, promoting and facilitating the use of the local and international funds (e.g. Erasmus+) in supporting young people’s development and developing ideas and strategies for the future joint projects to be carried out by the partner promoters. Because all those points of view on the issue of unemployed youth nowadays can help to understand it more and be prepared to fight against it.
First day we met each others and try to remember all those thirty names, what seemed to be impossible for the first moment, but we did it. We learned a lot, what CME means and what we have should expect for those few next days (as well as the rule sof all-week-long game of the auction was set). And afterwards we shared our cultures from our such a different countries (western Europe, middle Europe, Balkan countries and Kavkaz countries). Before dinner we had an evaluation (as every day). And after this we spend our fist common night together by intercultural recognition all ours countires through foods and drinks, talks and as well dances and more practical stuff.
Second day was all about the topic of youth unemployment. In the morning we played simulation game about skills market, where we offer our best skills and try to buy that once, we needed. And afterward we did a SWOT analysis of a situation of unemployment in our countries by snowball methodology (first talk in pairs from the same country, then we make small groups around a region and then talk all togehter) and try to pinpoined and named all those issues going around the problematic of unemployment. We went out for a dinner togehter to a very good „all you can eat“ buffé, yummy.
On Tuesday we made a NGO market, when we introduced our organisations and in a two minutek pitch try to impress the others and says as much as was possible to interest somebody else to be their future project partner. At the afternoon we focused on project management and discussed in a smaller groups about what is the role of NGOs i youth unemployment, what is needed to youth unemployment could be solved and what makes quality partnership. And we shared the best practice of english participant Hugh about thai-chi self-relaxation techniques. Afterwards we had a free evening so we went to a christmas market and enjoyed ourselves company by riding a marry-go-aroud and drinking a punch.
Wednesday was a special day, because we went for a study visit to much smaller and british tlen Royal Leamington Spa to visit a Sydni youth centre and discuss with theirs employees and volunteers and as well to visit this tlen with a rich history consist even the queen visit (that is why the town is called Royal).
Thursday could be called an Erasmus+ day, because we were really so concentrated only into this one topic from the whole time. We learned a lot about what is it, how ti works, what is the structure of the programme as well as what is the cycle of a project and a project management itself. It was very enriching and we enjoyed it, to have so solid based for preparing our own projects for the next day. And we spend our free night by tasting british tasted into ginger beer and ciders. 😉
On Friday we started the reall job, hehe, because it came idea and project labs. We created new ideas about the projects, discuss them in an open space format (continuing till Saturday actually) and touched many many topic like soft skills and communication, enterpreneurship and green enterpreneurship, social inclusion, couching, solve unemployment through sports or media and cultural awarness with arts and volunteering. We formed teams for topics of interested and set up some starting points for future projects – thrilling. And at the evening we finally went through the auction for what we collected some goodies for all the week (as a simulation of labour market) we did a big evaluation and reflection of the whole CME and went out for our last night, how else.
And on Sunday we just left, with a head full of new inspiration, new contacts on future partners and great ideas for potential projects. So I guess, the CME fulfil its aim and objectives very well. For me it was one of the best projects I have ever been in and the Consilium Development & Training (the hosting organisation) deserves only words of glory to themselves.