The training „People First“ was truly a unique experience
The topic of the project I participated in was Human rights and the way how to communicate them in the era of migration; and it have given me more than just new theoretical knowledge. In spite of the interesting topic, rich programme and amazing organisation, the greatest asset laid elsewhere – in people who took part in the project and made it a unique, enriching opportunity. Even though we were all different, in only a week we became almost a family, we helped each other and even the cleaning together was suddenly fun. Four experienced organisers provided for smooth course of the project and they were capable of programme adjusting to needs of participants. The training was in form of workshops most of the time, which were often emotional and full of personal stories and experiences. In the second half of the training we switched roles with the facilitators and we had a chance to try it ourselves and create our own workshop.
The training „People First“ was truly a unique experience, not only because it was organized by Lunaria but also for the attitude of the facilitators and the spiritality that complemented the main program. It scared and surprised me at first, but I got used to it in two days and even to the singing in the kitchen during common shifts, to the isolation from the rest of the world and to the constatnt presence of other participants, as it was a really small house and you had no choice to be alone for some time. This taught me a lot about people, relationships and I became more aware about different stories and personalities that I encountered. It naturally went with the theme of the project – human rights. All the workshops, discussions and personal experience, which were parts of the program, were emotionaly strong, interesting and also unique, as I’ve never met a refugee or a transgender person before and here they were my colleagues and peers.
Project was happening in an unique place, in the forest, approximately 20 minutes far away from italian Orvieto. The neighbourhood and the house where we were living has its own charm and I felt like at home there right from the beginning. Before my travel, I was worried about the days without the internet and the signal, but in the end it was one of the positive things of our training. I think it made relationships in our group stronger, and we all were convinced that the world will go on even if we are offline for one week. Now when I look back at those things, I have a feeling that everything fit together for a reason. Intensive course was sometimes challenging, but otherwise balanced, big rooms pushed us to talk to each other and that we „had to help with tidying up“? I would never said that we will almost fight for who can clean the dishes or sweep floor in our public room. Simply every detail of our training course had sense and fit as a puzzle. I‘ve met a lot of interesting people from different countries, who shared their own personal stories, which I wouldn‘t find in books.
To sum it up, this project helped me to realise that paper, even the one like the Declaration of the Human Rights, means nothing if it is not put into use. Unfortunately, many of those rights are oppressed and not only in developmental countries like most of you would think. Thanks to this project, I have learned new tools and methods, which can be used in my volunteer work with youth, but mainly, I grew as a human being and widened my horizons. This project gave me hope. Hope that there are still people who aim for change for better. That is why I recommend similar intercultural experience to everyone. Because everyone is affected by the environment one grew up in and the stereotypes/prejudices one was surrounded by; and this is the way how to get rid of them. However, it is important to notice that every each of one is responsible. As Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
During People First I improved my language skills, I learnt a lot about patience, tolerance, empathy and about myself. The topic of the training course was human rights and fascilitaitors from Lunaria and girls from the kitchen teached us a lot about this topic. The food was incredible and I am sure that I will dream about italian lasagne and italian tiramisu, which I ate there, for a long period of time.