From all adventures, one learns, but even more from the precipitous; of those, we allow ourselves without knowing anything else that will awaken something inside us.
From the 7th till the 15th march, Fátima, Ghizlan, Enric, Joan, and Ainhoa dared to challenge their limits and, thanks to ‘Fundació Catalunya Voluntària’, they entered the program ‘Inside Out’, which would take place in Lettele (Overijssel, Netherlands). And what was that?
Well, this was a Training Course organized and run by The Youth Company which was designed to work with a team of youth educators from different cultural backgrounds and to provide them with a space for the exchange of experiences and theoretical-practical knowledge.
“Through participative and truly productive dynamics, new concepts were acquired, and various issues related to the identity, values , and ethics of our society were also addressed.” The course had very clear objectives, which made it easier to develop programming, but straightforward, in broad terms, we could consider that it consisted of four parts -accompanied by previous and subsequent reflections – teambuilding, the theoretical contextualization of the different methods for working with young people, the application of knowledge through the preparation of team activity and finally, the approach for future exchanges that will take place in the near future in Lithuania.
But the truth is that from the intense week we don’t only appraise the training itself, but we also need to make a complete assessment of living together. “Sharing learning spaces with others is always an enriching experience, and if you have the opportunity to share it with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, it can be even more enriching.”
Fortunately, “everything went perfectly: the place, the food, the trainers … and also, the fact to see how different people, but at the same time so alike, were open and gave its best, that was for sure beautiful.” Although we all know for certain that it is not easy to live in a common space 24 hours a day for a week when we are not used to it, we were fortunate to be part of a team that brought by flag respect and solidarity.
And there comes a time when you, without realizing it, get rid of prejudices, of the idea that it will be too hard to dine at half past seven, go to sleep surrounded by seventeen more people; shower at the same time as someone else … and gratefully and consciously, you create a conceptual space for a snack-dinner, a company party, and a midnight swap, deep conversations between the steam of showers …
In short, everything is reduced to “a social learning built between all and all that we are and that defines us”, a skill directly related to tolerance and empathy.
“After having experienced so many adventures and met great people all over the world, the week I spent in The Netherlands may have been one of the best weeks of my life. It was a week of introspection, tears and lots of smiles. ”Clearly, the Inside Out experience has been an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. The participants of Catalonia agree that it did not leave us indifferent in any way; that marked a before and after in our lives, both for those of us who have never participated in a similar project (“I really value being able to be part of a European project of this type. It is very enriching to meet people from different countries, other cultures, ways of working, understanding and seeing things.
In addition, the working language used was English, so I was able to practice and improve it a lot! “) as for people who have already traveled with the Erasmus + program (“an opportunity that should be a must for all those people who want to work in social spaces and all those people who are aware that sharing is learning to enrich.
Without a doubt, for me the diversity is a wealth that cannot be counted; it is an inherent resource in people and being able to create these types of mutual learning space in the globalized world that characterizes us is essential to give us new approaches and learn from this diversity of cultures, thoughts, experiences, experiences that make us grow, and especially if we exploit them by sharing them ”).
As we mentioned before, there are still two phases left: Youth Exchanges and the Final Evaluation. Despite the current health crisis of the moment, we are motivated to keep going with our teams.
“I have never been so comfortable sharing and opening up to strangers. Unknowns that I miss a lot now. Thanks ‘Fundació Catalunya Voluntària’, The Youth Company, and thanks to all those people who have made it possible. We are certain that something important will be born here.