Be rural, believe in You(th), create the Europe of tomorrow!


Past Activities

International training course 2015: LET ME LEAD YOU(TH) TO SUCCESS

After a successful international seminar in July, MIJARC Europe took it to the next level and trained a group of multipliers who will bring back in their own movements and countries the knowledge, skills and tools created this year. All this happened during our International Training Course "Let me lead you(th) to success". The training course was held in Gozo Malta, between 26th and 31st October 2015. The seminar was hosted by our member movement GUG Malta and it was organised with the support of the Council of Europe through the European Youth Foundation.

The international training course entitled "Let me lead you(th) to success" is part of an annual workplan developed by MIJARC Europe, the aim of which is to improve the employment skills and change the attitude of young people coming from rural areas in order to ease their transition from education to professional life. The work plan is funded by the Council of Europe, through the European Youth Foundation.

Why an international training course?
The international training course was the second phase of our annual workplan and it built on the results of the seminar that was held in Belgium, in July. MIJARC Europe chose to have a training course in order to make sure that in each member movement there is a least one person who can multiply the experience and share what they have learned with their member movements. Too often, international activities do not have a proper follow-up phase in the national movements and the impact is thus limited. As a European network, MIJARC Europe strives to have an impact at grass root level and bring benefits to those who most need them. This is why we chose to train a group of multipliers and support them to implement their own training courses at local level.

The aim of the training course was to give young people the right tools and methods in order for them to be able to successfully inspire young people from rural areas to make the transition from education to professional life. In order to achieve this, the training course focused on the following objectives:

• to develop the methods/tools created during the seminar and to train the participants on how to implement them among young people from rural areas,
• to develop the guidelines created during the seminar on how we as Christian rural youth organisations can ACT for the welfare of rural young people in Europe,
• to share the best practices from European countries and to learn the way of implementing them in participants’ countries,
• to build a paper presenting the European best practices for young people entering their professional life and to share it with our movements, church and governments,
• to provide the concrete methods/tools about cooperation, support and programs to young people, so that they could use the support (of church/ other Institutions/communities),
• to empower youth workers and youth leaders in taking active roles in their local/regional movements in preparing young people from rural areas for better access to the labour market,
• to prepare/train youth workers and youth leaders to work with young people from rural areas struggling with obstacles/problems in their transition from education to working life.

What happened during the seminar?
The participants to the seminar were 21 young people from 10 different countries: Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Malta, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey. They created a very nice group of brave young people who committed from the beginning to transferring what they were going to learn to 10 other people in their movement.

DAY 1: How did we get here and why are we here?
The first day started with a formal session of getting to know each other, that completed the informal sessions the participants had on the ferry travelling to the island of Gozo. They had the chance to discover the hobbies of the other participants, what organizations they came from, how they got to the training course and what were their expectations and fears. This session was very important for the cohesion of the group and also for getting to know people from three new organisations of MIJARC Europe: FYCA - Armenia, Landjugend - Austria and System&Generation - Turkey. The morning continued with the presentation of MIJARC Europe and the donors: the European Youth Foundation and the Cuuncil of Europe. Next the results of the seminar "LET US IN - Keeping the faith in you(th)" were presented and the participants ahd the chance to actually test the games and tools that were created during the seminar. The participants had a lot of fun playing the KUBB-inspired game and experiencing the forum theatre short sketch.

The position paper played the difficult role of introducing the participants in the topic but turned out to be a great tool for this job. In the afternoon the participants attended a workshop on building "soft" employability skills, held by a Maltese expert.

The evening brought one of the most expected activities - the international evening - organized in a very Maltese style, under the a wonderfully clear sky, full of stars and the noise of the waves. The international evening was a colourful and tasty mix of cultur es, expressed through dances, music, songs, games, food and drinks.

DAY 2: What is the problem with youth unemployment?
The morning session brought the participants in front of a very difficult choice: online or offline communication tools? They had to split in two groups and choose the workshop that best fit their communication habits: mostly offline or mostly online. The workshops focused on what offline and online channels people can use to communicate and what is important to use when you are delivering a training or communicating with young people. The knowledge and skills acquired during the workshop were tested immediately, as in the next session everybody had to present an example of good practice in the field of youth unemployment. The participants showed examples of governmental initiatives that encourage youth employment in their countries, educational initiatives that help young people prepare for their professional life, non-governmental projects and initiatives that have proved their efficiency or social campaigns supporting education and employment. The examples were very interesting and this session was very appreciated by everybody. The afternoon was dedicated to investigating the problems of youth unemployment that were indentified through the position paper, the examples of good practices, during the workshops and while experimenting the games. At the end of the session, the participants split the problems in five different categories: educational, economic, geographical, discrimination and religous problems.

DAY 3: What can we do about these problems and how can we teach others?
On the third day the participants brainstormed on ways to improve the tools that had been created during the seminar, or ways to use them in different learning contexts. All of them decided to create complementary tools that could be used in the local training courses for a full learning module on youth unemployment. They split in five groups, each focusing on one category of problems, and put their ideas together in order to come up with nice tools that young people could use to either become aware of the problems or to take action.

DAY 4: My tools, my training
On the last day there was a lot of tension in the morning as all the groups were working hard to finish their tools and to prepare the best presentation. It was time to see what they had created:
The first group surprised everybody with a very inspired game that had a simple design but a huge impact. The names their game "Find your own place". It is a game that puts the participants in the situation to reflect on the job market, its structure and the differences between work contracts and the jobs available.

The second group created a complex concept and detailed every step in organizing an innovative job fair. They named their tool "Changing perspective with you(th)". The fair starts with a World Cafe, during which different employers present their companies and the participants go to each stand. The next step is a "test of interest", to show participants the path that would best fit. Based on the result of the test, the participants will be guided on a specific path, and they will have speed dates with companies. The job fair ends with an informal dinner.

The third group really felt the challenges of a creative process as they had too many ideas and could not decide on one. In the end, the winner was "Ratatool", a picture-based activity the aim of which was to show participants their talents and skills.

The fourth group started from a very popular game known as "musical chairs" and explored this game's popularity and simplicity to create a version that makes people think of the different forms of discrimination there is on the labour market. Their game "Job-Chair-Discrimination" will certainly give all those who play a lot of food for thought.

The fifth group created a set of activities that together aim at showing young people how to get internships and why it is important to have this kind of experience in your transition from student to employee. Their activity is called "Catch an internship! Get a job!".
All the tools created during the seminar and the training course together with the good practices that were presented by the participants were compiled in a publication that you can download here. It is a great toolkit, but also a collection of good practices in the field of unemployment.
In the end, grouped by nationalities, all the participants came up with a plan, an agenda and the content for the local training course, presented it and received feedback from the other participants and the trainers.

Next steps
Equipped with the competences they developed and with the collection of tools and good practices, the participants are now ready to multiply this training course. Each national group will organize a local training course, with at least 10 young people from rural areas, between November - December 2015. MIJARC Europe will support them and will keep you informed about their work through a series of articles published on the website. We wish all of them good luck and look forward to hearing about the great events they organized!

Activity Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015