My experience in a Seminar on Recognition and Added Value of Non-formal education

A story from: Joana Cruz

Country of origin: Portugal

Country of destination: Lithuania

Seminar on Recognition and Added Value of Non-formal education

A week before the seminar starts I received an e-mail that called my attention: a group of professional and non-professional youth workers were going to meet in vilnius, lithuania, for a week, adressing questions as:

“how can we contribute with our organizations to meet businees, youth and work?”;

“how can we reinforce the value of non-formal learnings into working competences and curriculum analises?”;

“how can we pression power instances to recognize non-formal learnings as a formal and valuable learning?”

So, I wrote my expectations and wills of learning, got selected, and pack my things for a week of changing conceptions and learning/meeting inter-cultural ideas over these questions.

Vilnius is a cold, rainy city with a nice outgoing ambience and special saucy food. We stayed in a central hotel, surrounded by a river, a KFC and a ten minutes walking effort to the animated centre.

The hotel was a confortable, cozy spot where we also had our meetings and shared meals. We would have a nice, spaced schedule which we could merge with informal discussions during cigarrets, coffee breaks and free afternoons/nights.DSCN0266

A diverse group, with different experiences and backgrounds met for a rich non-formal space of learning: it was a very horizontal and non-powered based group, where everyone felt free to participate and opinate over a serial of subjects. And this is quite rare. We had two group facilitators who made the discussion flow easly and respectfully. We carefully listen each other and got to other points than the ones we took to the meeting with us. We shared laughs and frustrations from works and political situations in each country and organization. We tried to achieve some common goals and prespectives but this is not that easy!

What we most found was: networking with similar organizations (similar methods/target-groups/objectives/ideals), share different methods and organizational functioning, meet different ideias that need other organizations to be develloped (find the right partners!), learn over already existing recognition tools to aplicate in our own organization/system, reflect over our own procedures and compare it and grow with others,…

And all of these in: a common language, a delicatesse in ways and postures (you never know what will offend other community and you soon learn to carefully communicate with others), a tryal to common meet in the difference, a open-mind to learn other wills and intentions, a limited time that expand and in-power the connections; a roof that is known-to-be yours in future travellings; a word or two total new in a foreign language!

And then it’s time to pack back and arrive re-energized and largely improved in our security place (send-organization and home) and think it over to conclude what was learned in the process and what is there to be done in future for our organization and our living area.

It is called success.

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