Programme & action: ERASMUS+: Youth, Key Action 1: training course
Dates: 20—29 June 2021
Venue: Viljandimaa, Estonia
Please read the info-pack.
Hosting organisation: Noored Ühiskonna Heaks
Age limit: 18+
Participating countries: Estonia, Sweden, Romania, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Italy, Spain, Poland, Latvia, Greece, France, Hungary and Turkey
Czech participant: Martina Kvapilová
The training course organized by Noored Uhiskonna Heaks took place between 20.6. – 29.6. 2021 in the Estonian village Viljandimaa, located about 150 minutes by car from the capital city Tallinn. The name of our project was “Stairways to Trainers”, which speaks for itself and its goal was to provide us with as much information as possible and also to awaken in us the desire to become trainers.
The project brought together 24 participants from Italy, Spain, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia, Sweden, Hungary and Estonia. Throughout the program, we were kept company by two amazing coaches, Marcus and Marco, who did not cease to enchant us with their knowledge and wit throughout the project. Among the organizators team, there was also Tairi, who took care of all the logistics, and Dotyi, who with her artistic talent diversified the visual side of the project. The entire training course took place in a beautiful hotel complex in the middle of the woods. We were accomodated in rooms for 2-3 people, so there was plenty of privacy, but also space to share our experiences and impressions. The premises were very tastefully and modernly furnished. During free time and post-program activities, it was possible to swim in the local river, go to the sauna or jacuzzi.
The food was served to us in the typical Estonian spirit. All delicacies were prepared by local cooks, who did a lot of work with food for vegetarians or other diets. I really appreciate this small fact, because it does not happen in the most cases and people with special needs are often hungry. Another big plus for Tairi, who almost every day created a shopping list of things we currently wanted or needed and drove for them to the nearest supermarket, which was located about 25 minutes by car from our accommodation. On the third day we even had the honor to participate in the most important Estonian holiday of the year, St. John. During this day we had the opportunity to taste traditional Estonian dishes and dance around the fire, which was to summon the spirits of the summer solstice. This night was the most magical of the whole project.
The daily program began with a written reflection on the previous day in the diary we received on the first day of the project, which helped us to sort out our thoughts before starting a new day. Then “the knowledge hat” was used, which contained various questions about the previous day. These questions concerned not only personal questions, but also questions about the program and the interpretation provided by the coaches. This was followed by an “energizer”, which aims to stimulate blood in the veins and excite participants for the next program. The chosen activities have always been fun and unique. The trainers also asked us to take the initiative and to organize som energizers on our own. This was followed by a very intensive program consisting of lectures and workshops on coaching methodology and its procedures.
On the sixth day of the project, we had the opportunity to ride a canoe on the local river. This trip was optional, but most of our group took part. We all really enjoyed it and during the trip we also had a lot of the rest. This ride through unspoiled Estonian nature gave us the necessary dose of energy for other demanding activities.
The participants were experienced youth workers and nice people, so the entertainment was taken care of even during the free evenings, which the organizers offered us more than usual. During all trainings and youth exchanges, it was common to end the day with a cultural night. During this project it was only one night, the rest were thematic and specific, such as passion night, game night, etc. Thanks to the informal space, many new projects and cooperation proposals were created, networking activities took place and we are already working with course participants on our own projects. So the project also helped in this dimension – it introduced me to capable people from the field.
For the last three days of the project, we were divided into multi-ethnic groups for a section called “x-periment”, where we had the task of preparing our own training section or workshop. During this section we had to think about what we will present, who will be in our group, what we want to pass on, etc. On the penultimate day of the project we were asked to carry out this workshop. No one was surprised that all of the projects were very successful and we received positive feedback not only from the other participants, but also from the trainers, who were present as “judges and advisors” of the individual groups.
The organization collected a participation fee of 15 EUR, which, given the high-quality program, the number of tools and the opportunity to meet interesting partners, I consider to be more than reasonable. At the same time, the organizers paid the entire amount to participants whose travel costs exceeded the limit.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project, because it taught me that being a trainer is not nearly as easy as it may seem and it is a respectable job. Overall, it enriched me a lot with new knowledge, experiences, and above all with amazing people, whom I really appreciate. I would like to thank the organization.