Ester, member of BETA Italy, decided to share with us her experience during the ESN and Eduk8 autumn training, an event that took place in Pescara from November 27th to December 2nd, where “cooperation” was the watchword.
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Cooperation is one of our main values. From November 27th to December 2nd, my association, BETA Europe, joined this autumn training organized by the ESN section of Chieti-Pescara and Eduk8. The sessions were spread in four days and the participants were split into three groups, each one of them focused and worked on a specific theme: development of participation through volunteering, European citizenship and citizenship education.
BETA delegation, on the other end, was composed by members of different national branches, all coordinated by the president of BETA Europe, Nick Madžarov. We were divided too and joined the three ESN groups so we all had the opportunity to take part in the various sessions and then share what we experienced during the day.
The training was based on a non-formal way of teaching, the workshops were conducted by facilitators from all over Europe, each one characterized by different approach to learning methods. They made us experience firsthand several ways of expression and discussion; e.g. in small teams or all together one at a time, depending on the topics, thinking silently, speaking out loud or even painting, singing and representing our thoughts through theatrical scenes.
The atmosphere we were absorbed in was very laid-back and friendly. In the end, we not only were we fed with mouthwatering Italian food, but above all we had the opportunity to share our visions, to listen to and to be listened, without feeling the pressure of competitiveness at all.
This training gave us the opportunity to develop our ability in conflict management inside working teams, and to improve our capability to make these groups more cohesive and cooperative, moreover it expanded our knowledge on how to motivate the people that are part of our association.
We exchanged expertise and knowledge with other young and enthusiastic people, and understood why our activities as BETA are so important thus making us more motivated than ever in our activities. As a matter of fact, this meeting helped us realize that volunteering not only makes us happier, but also, by developing our skills, knowledge and net of contacts, makes us more engaged and active European citizens.
In the end, we came up with something concrete: we developed a panel of projects that will be reunited in a booklet and will hopefully inspire not only our associations, but also other ones, spreading this open-minded mentality all over the world and letting people know what the European Union really is. Our goal is to improve our society thanks to an active citizenship in our countries and across borders.
This meeting with ESNers opened up our eyes in front of the possibility for more cultural exchanges and BETA Italia is ready and looking forward for new cooperation and meetings around Europe!