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Youth Empowerment, through Soft Skills Development

Youth Empowerment, through Soft Skills Development

It´s 4 pm, and I am standing by the bus station, waiting. When I say Croatia, I think ofbeaches and rocky shores, yet there is nothing but rural homesteads all around. I am in a smallcity called Gospić, and in front of me is a guy with a big bag looking lost. We don´t belong, so I know for sure that is my fellow Slovak participant, Slavo.

We are just about to take part in a week-long training course hosted by Outward BoundCroatia,  filled with knowledge and new experiences. And surely enough, we are greeted and given a ride 6 more kilometers into Croatia´s beautiful countryside.

The first night is spent meeting other participants from Greece and Spain, not knowing that 8 days later we are going to cry like babies when saying bye to each other.

Then, day 1 of the training course started, and before we knew it, a group of strangers had become a team, and ice-breaking activities quickly turned into challenges requiringcooperation and dialogue, where each of us played a pivotal role.

In some of them, people were carried through the air like supermen, others required profoundthinking and had us mute or blindfolded.

After each one, we brainstormed what just happened, and realized how much we are learningthrough our personal experiences. Most of the week was spent outdoors, in beautiful Croatiannature, and the lack of cell phone service was irrelevant when the team was blooming withcommunication. Ivana and Čedo from Outward Bound Croatia did an amazing job teaching usabout soft skills and their use in communication while leaving us enough space for thelearning to be natural and self-guided.


Despite all our efforts, the training course did come to an end, and we had to part ways, fornow. Yes, the project has ended, but the friendships we have made and the skills we havelearned.... those are going to last a long time... 🙂

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