boyka-webSounds sophisticated and maybe artificial, but in CESIE the process of learning is completely natural, exactly because of this multicultural environment. In our work the words multi- and inter-cultural have long time ago become clichés but not in CESIE; Here this is the exact word which describes the spirit and the opportunities around.

But let’s not get ahead of the details: My name is Boyka and I am a youth worker from Greece. For a period of 6 months I was hosted by CESIE for an exchange under the Youth in Action Programme, Action 4.3 Youth Support Systems, Support to Youth Workers’ Mobility, implementing the NEA PRAGMATA – Learning from the Bigger Brother (NP-LBB) project.

Nea Pragmata means New Things (from Greek, Νέα Πράγματα) and the main idea was to acquire as much as possible in terms of knowledge and experience from the hosting organization about youth work, project design and implementation, etc. At my sending organization we came up with the concept of the project, because learning new things is essential not only for one’s personal and professional development, but especially for a youth worker, who is in constant need of discovering new methods and tools for engaging the youngsters’ minds. That is why the name of the project came quite naturally. Moreover, when I was conceptualizing and writing the application, I could generously offer promises for a rich working programme, as I could hardly believe it was possible to be among the few approved by EACEA. At the beginning of September 2013 we managed to submit the application and a long waiting started. After the results were finally announced in January 2014, I still couldn’t believe that those marvelous 6 months were already a reality right about to start happening.

Logo BoykaThat is why I began keeping an online diary – the Nea Pragmata LBB blog-spot: www.neapragmatalbb.wordpress.com.

The constant feeling of support

I could feel the dynamics and care of the team at CESIE yet before my arrival. They never left a question unanswered. Then, they helped me to find a nice flat to stay, open a bank account, and start Italian courses almost immediately. I mention all these details because I never felt alone, although away from home and this was the right basis for my learning process. I could work, learn and study about youth work full of energy and enthusiasm.

In this same team of dynamic and international professionals responsibility is a concept that is used both for motivation and reward. I was assigned to participate in the design of a project that was submitting an application under a new programme, thus for the first time. Tough task, that only made me try harder. The results haven’t been announced yet, but I know that regardless of the outcome, this task and its process for accomplishment were important for my own growing, as a project manager and as a person (see more here: http://neapragmatalbb.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/week-12-letter-from-the-office-aka-epistula-ex-villa/). And although I had to face many challenges for the first time, I was never alone, and my effort was constantly supported and enriched by my new colleagues, a colourful bunch of well-educated but most of all warm-hearted people. Then, I understood, that learning everything that I have come for was absolutely possible.

In a nutshell, these six months contributed essentially to my professional development. I did everything I was planning and promising in the application and even more!

See you soon, Palermo; work again with you soon, CESIE!

The project “NEA PRAGMATA – Learning from the Bigger Brother” is supported by Youth in Action Programme, Action 4.3 Youth Support Systems, Support to Youth Workers’ Mobility.