YOU(th) Decide!! Training Course
11-14 July 2021 we implemented training course for youth workers and youth leaders within the YOU(th) Decide!! initiative. The training activities took place in Tuchów town, in Poland.
The main objective of the training was to strengthen the capacity of the partner organisations by developing the competences of the youth workers and youth leaders working in the partner organisations.
The 16 participants were provided with tools and methods that will enable them to strengthen participation among young people in their communities. The mobility was also an opportunity for the participants to experience some of the activities that they will later apply at the local level during the meetings with youth. The trainers presented ways to identify the needs and problems of young people, how to prioritize among them, and communicate the findings. During the training, the concept of structured dialogue and its main characteristics were introduced. Participants then shared practical experiences in implementing activities that facilitate dialogue between young people and so-called important adults.
- Day of training:
The introductory activities were devoted to getting to know the participants, presenting their previous experience with the topic, and their expectations from the training. The group was composed of experienced youth workers, representatives of the Tuchów municipality, as well as youth leaders; therefore, we used team-building activities and creative methods to break the ice. The opening day was also used to present the YOU(th) Decide!! initiative, its timeline, and expected activities.
- Second day of training:
The second training day was dedicated to youth participation.
During the introductory activities, participants shared the perspectives of young people from their communities on this topic. Together, we tried activities that will help us define the concept of participation and its forms during local meetings with young people in our communities. We then focused on how to motivate young people to participate and how we can support it. Creative methods, group work and discussions were used.
In the second part of the day, we focused on identifying young people's needs and the problems they perceive in their environment. We tried out activities we will use for this purpose during the local meetings. We then discussed possible adaptations for local needs. The end of the day was devoted to the ladder of participation, according to R. Hart. We asked why it is important for young people to be able to assess the level of participation in their community and how the ladder of participation can help us meet the objectives of the YOU(th) Decide!!
- Third day of training:
During the third day of the training, we focused on structured dialogue and future cooperation between local young people and so-called important adults. We stressed the importance of thorough preparation of both groups and setting rules that participants will follow during the discussions. After trying out several discussion methods and tools to support group work, we set about sharing examples of good practice from our communities. The educational program was enriched by a short visit to the Tuchow municipal office and the cultural center, which implements activities targeted at young people from the town. We concluded the day by planning new joint activities that can support the fulfillment of the YOU(th) Decide!! goals.
4. Fourth day of training:
The final day of mobility was dedicated to specifying the next steps and milestones of the YOU(th) Decide!!! initiative. We summarized the methodology that will be used in the local youth meetings and discussed the possible risks of their implementation. Participants unanimously agreed to implement the activities in a face-to-face format. The next point of discussion was the dissemination of local activities and the creation of promotional materials. The partners agreed that the young participants themselves should be involved in this production. As their perspective will guide us on whether young people will find the promotional materials attractive and whether they will use them.
After clarifying the initiative's next steps, we offered the participants an Open Space. Here they could share their experiences with participatory budgeting, cooperation with municipalities, creating strategic documents such as action plans or concepts for youth work, and the possibilities of involving the youth council - youth parliament in decision-making processes within the municipality.
This was followed by verbal, graphic, written, and kinesthetic assessments.