Tell Me – Training for Youth Workers

INTRODUCTION

Tell me Training is a project that took place in Villa Olanda from the 13th to the 16th of November 2018.

The countries involved were:

  1. Italy → CSD-Diaconia Valdese
  2. Kosovo → Diakonie Kosova
  3. Estonia → Pillistfer
  4. Portugal → Collippo
  5. Romania → Nevo Parudimos
  6. Turkey → Pi Youth Association
  7. Ukraine → Living Hope
  8. Spain → Nueva Vida

 The aim of the project was to create a new methodology that can be tested and used by each partner Country. The idea was taken from the reflection about Kosovo’s good practice.

During Easter time a Youth Exchange was organized and it was the occasion to test the new methodology.

The days during the training were fundamental to collect ideas and to brainstorm about the interreligious dialogue. It was an opportunity to exchange experiences and to inspirate each other by sharing methods used in each partner Country.

Tell me Youth Exchange took place in Villa Olanda from the 26th April to the 3rd May 2019. The Countries involved were:

  1. Italy → CSD-Diaconia Valdese
  2. Kosovo → Diakonie Kosova
  3. Estonia → Pillistfer
  4. Ukraine → Living Hope

The Youth Exchange involved young people (from 14 to 17 years old) coming from these four Countries. It was led and organized by four Youth Leaders that have participated to the previous training.

The aim of the Youth Exchange is to promote the interreligious dialogue and multiculturalism between youngsters using the new methodology that has been created during the first part of the project.

 

DAY ONE – 13/11/2018

After breakfast, the participants met in the common room to start the activities.

Laura, the responsible of the project, introduced herself and her role in the CSD (Commissione Sinodale per la Diaconia) and after she explained briefly the program of the training.

The ice breaking games were a way to start to know each other better and it was an opportunity to start to work together and to do a general brainstorming of some key words. Participants were split in three groups and each one of them had a word: Religion, Culture and Dialogue. Later on they shared the ideas and discussed all together.

Erika Tommasone, pastor of the Waldensian Church, presented the part of the waldensian history related to the training topic and everyone was free to ask her questions. The interest was focused on how Diaconia works nowadays.

The morning session finished with one last activity called Post your post-it: everyone had to write their fears, expectations and contribution to the training and stick it on a paper on the wall.

FotoTraining3.pngThe meeting was set after lunch and Miradin, the only participant from Kosovo, introduced the good practice of his organization. In Mitrovica they founded a Youth Centre to open the dialogue between people of different confessions. They offer a wide range of activities for youngsters: like films evening, karaoke night and intercultural feasts. He finished his speech by showing a video taken from a movie called: “The Messanger” and through a Skype call presented Agon, young member of Diakonia Kosova. This gave the inspiration to share the activities that each partner is doing in their sending organization and the group discovered new good practices that some of them will present later on in Tell me Youth Exchange.

A daily evaluation closed the first day, a general discussion summed up the most relevant ideas.

 

DAY TWO – 14/11/2018

The day started with the intervention of Luca Bossi, an expert about History and Sociology of Religion.

The workshop was focused on the role of religion in the contemporary society. He spoke about the relationship between politics, religion and private life. He put the highlight on how ghettos were created, on Waldensian History and on the most relevant religious aspects of the city of Turin.

The presentation ended with pictures of Mosques, Synagogues, Orthodox Catholics and Protestants churches in a specific neighborhood of Turin.

After a short break the group did a SWOT Analysis. The aim was to stress the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the kosovarian Good Practice. This exercise helped the group to analyse in an objective way also the activities that they are doing in their organizations.

The afternoon session started by reading the template of the Tell me Youth Exchange program and the following two hours were dedicated to point out the relevant activities proposed by the partners which could be possibly used there.

We collected opinions, practical activities and suggestions that on the last day would have been reconsidered, reexamined and eventually implemented.

FotoTraining6In the second part of the afternoon the group went to visit the

Waldesian Culture Centre in Torre Pellice. The guide talked about Waldensian history and presented the cultural and religious identity of this protestant minority.

 

 

DAY THREE – 14/11/2018

The group spent the whole day in Turin. The first activity was at Il Passo Social Point, community centre of CO in the multiethnic neighborhood of Barriera di Milano.

There the participants met two members of FGEI (Federation of youngsters of Evangelical Church), who explained their role in the association and their projects with young people.

Later, two EVS volunteers working at Il Passo talked about the centre, what they do there and when it was born.

FotoTraining8After few hours of free time, the group met again in Porta Nuova, where a guide of Migrantour was waiting to show them the multiethnic aspects of San Salvario, another neighborhood in Turin. The stops were a Mosque, a Synagogue, the Waldensian church and a Catholic church. The participants had the chance just to go inside the Mosque and the Catholic oratory and to interact with an imam and a priest, who explained the principles of their religions and were opened to answer questions and solve doubts. The Imam talked briefly about the five fundamentals of Islam and he let the group see the Mosque while some muslims were praying.

The catholic priest welcomed the group in the oratory and presented a russian girl who was becoming a nun and a kurdish boy, who arrived in the city the previous day. The day ended with an happy hour back in Villa Olanda.

 

DAY FOUR – 15/11/2018

 

The final day started with a general evaluation of the training.

Each participant gave a feedback and voted which activities could be suitable to be done during the youth exchange. The group agreed that for the youth exchange:

  1. It’s necessary to have a general introduction about religions, but more interactive and less frontal
  2. The Migrantour was interesting, but it would be better to visit all the religious building inside (also the Synagogue and the Waldensian Church)
  3. It’s important to give to the young people a background before the tour by showing them what we are going to visit (i.e. the pictures of the religious buildings they are going to see; a Bible, a Torah, a Coran…; la Ghieisa d’la tana, celebrate together rituals of different religions.)
  4. It would be better not to be repetitive (i.e. the Waldensian history was repeated in different occasions..)
  5. It could be relevant for the youngsters to meet the migrants living in the oratory and to participate to some of their activities (i.e. going to il parco del Valentino)

 

The work on the new methodology ended with many suggestions, that can be summed up in these categories:

Games:

  • Team building:
    • One Step Forward: each participant receive a paper with a different role (i.e. “You are 20 years old, syrian refugee, for six months in Romania” or “You are 26 years old, daughter of a famous politician in your country”). Each of them should feel, think and walk like the character. Later display them in a line and start to ask them questions about social, economical and political aspects and see after what happened. Reflect all together on the characters and how they felt in their role. Aim: reflect about stereotypes and prejudice.
    • Spaghetti tower: split the participants into five groups. Each of them will have the same tools (i.e. scissor, tape, 10 spaghetti..). They have to build in 30min. the highest and most resistant tower. At the end towers will be presented and tested and the group that had the highest and the most resistant tower wins. Aim: team building and promote cooperation and creativity
    • Guess who?: give the participants 20 photos of people from different religions. Make them guessed which religion they belong and after that tell them for real their religion. What happened? Aim: Reflection  about stereotypes and prejudice .

 

  • Ice breaker:
    • Name game: split the group into two and put a blanket or a sheet in between. Now just two persons of each group should sit in front of the sheet. Let the wall fall down and they have to say as fast as they can the name of the other sitting in front of him/her. Who wins take also the other participant to his/her side.
    • Portraits: do two lines with the chairs and let participants sit one in front of the other. One line start and they have to start a portrait of the persons sitting in front. They will have 10sec. to do that and after, they have to leave the paper on their chair and skip one chair on the right and continue the portrait the the previous person started. The draftsman should change every 10sec. and at the end present is/her work. After, the other line can do the same and start doing portraits.
    • Don’t talk to me: without talking, participant should put in order according to their names/date of birth (day, month, year)/size of shoes.

 

  • Energizers:
    • Rain: participants are in a circle and one stays in the middle. Everytime that the person in the middle start to do something, the one in front of him should repeat it. The gestures are: rub hands, fingers’ snap, hit legs, jump and then come back to the beginning. Each gesture can be repeated or done with different intensity.
    • Tornado: In a lecture moment, suddenly someone says “TORNADO” and everyone should get up and change the seats. the last one who does it, should ask a question about the topic spoken.

 

Song: Young people could work all together and invent a song using the key words of the Youth Exchange. It could be a great opportunity to work together, fight stereotypes, and to remember for a long time what they have learned.
They could also make a video and use the song as their hymn (Youtube, radio).
Aim: create something together that they can bring back to their countries.

 

Theater:

  • Simple and classic theater play (about religion)
  • Stop and play: split the participants into groups. each group decide a little play to act where there is a negative situation (i.e. a gay wants to get in in a club but the bodyguard at the entrance tells him that he cannot go inside because he is gay”). Later the situations will be presented and the public can stop the play and switch one character with itself to solve the problem.
  • Shadow play/shadow puppetry: flat articulated cut-out figures (shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen.

 

General activities:

  • Famous quotes: finding out and sticking on a wall famous quotes belonging to different religions on a wall.
    Aim: help everyone to focus on the important principles of every religion and learn their similarities and differences
  • Principles: After Migrantour youngsters could find out the principles and key words of every religion
    Aim: Young people have to pay attention and to think about what they have learned.
  • Secret Friend: On the first day, each participant will receive a paper where there is the name of another participant. During the whole youth exchange the secret friends should do nice things the other person (i.e. always open the door for him/her, tell compliments, give him/her a gift…) Aim: get to know each other better, take care of somebody else.
  • Trust exercise: one person has to fall in the arms of another one, in this way they can see that they can trust each other in a practical and visual way, and at the same time they have fun!
    Aim: I understand I can say whatever I think or feel without being judged.
  • Flower of identity: everyone has to draw a flower and put himself/herself in the center. Every petal is an aspect of their life, the more the petals are near the center the more important the aspect is for them.
    Aim: how near/far religion, culture, family(…) are to me?
  • Social Tree: each group has to write a story and by drawing a tree they have to point out the problems in the story (writing them next to the roots) and the possible solutions (writing them near the leaves).
    Aim: visual way to find a solution and to cooperate, the story can be about religion.

Suggestions: make them understand on which purpose the activities are done and ask them how they felt by doing them. Be sure that all the activities are dynamic, through debates, discussion, games…

 

At the end of the “Creating a new methodology” session some of the participants prepared typical food from their Countries and made an Intercultural night also with the youngsters of Spazio adolescenti, a project held by the Diaconia Valdese, to give the chance to youngsters to meet and spend time together.

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