Empowered through learning – a successful mobility project coordinated by Balkan Assist Association

Monday 17 December 2012

Home » In Action » Mobility » Empowered through learning – a successful mobility project coordinated by Balkan Assist Association

empowererd-through-learningAfter having successfully passed the selection process of the Youth in Action Programme of the European Commission, Action 4.3 Youth Support Systems, Balkan Assist Association managed to send one of its young volunteers, Radostina Vuteva, on a youth worker’s mobility experience to get some working expertise and learn new methods for improving the quality of support systems for youth in the social context. The hosting organization of the project is CESIE (European Centre of Studies and Initiatives), an non-governmental organization situated in Palermo, Sicily, committed to stimulating development and change in cultural, educational and economic spheres through the creation and use of innovative tools and methods.

Here are the personal impressions Radostina shares after her 6-month experience in CESIE has finished:

My Youth in Action experience started on the 5th February when I moved to Palermo, Sicily, for a period of 6 months. I was warmly welcomed in the office of CESIE – my hosting organization for the project which was going to facilitate me and be mentoring my work.

What I found there is an extremely helpful staff – an international team made up of around 30 full-time workers, on open space in the office for interns and fellows, 20 European volunteers working in a number of local centers who assists you in various activities done.

My duties were divided and included two different phases. The first one was helping the project managers during the whole process of project management – from drafting project proposals to project coordination and implementation. I was receiving my tasks from the experienced CESIE staff and worked in close relationship and under their strict mentoring using the “active learning” methodology. We managed to prepare several project proposals with international partnerships some of which already were successfully approved.

The second phase of my project included my involvement and participation in local events as a participants and coordinator. I took part in organizing and implementing two international trainings on the topic of intercultural dialogue and social inclusion and a number of local activities related to community development and more specifically to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. I was given the chance to intensively collaborate in the preparation and organisation of local events on the theme of informal learning and interculturality Before the activities began I received a training session in the use of creative and lateral thinking in community development before the activities begin in order for her to effectively apply this method.

Besides, for facilitating my social integration, the organization’s team constantly invited me to meetings with local youth, intercultural evenings, meetings with local experts for discovering the local community. I was also given the chance to learn Italian languge in one of the local centers of Palermo. Palermo as a city is a dynamic multicultural place, where to live a mobility experience means not just high quality education but also a cultural immersion experience. The enrichment of a mobility period has, in Palermo, the added value of a enjoyable weather in all seasons, a fantastic natural landscape, a  tasty gastronomy and an energetic cultural environment.

From a professional point of view, this experience, in its several aspects, has given me valuable ideas for investing in future activities in my local context based on the knowledge I acquired, which can lead to new employment and develop new social opportunities.

From a personal point of view, I could say many other things about the incredible experience I lived, focusing on its value in terms of personal and cultural enrichment.

I am very thankful to Balkan Assist Association – my sending organization which was coordinating the mobility project- for giving me the opportunity to experience a different working reality in another country and for helping me improve my citizen position and social status. It was an experience not only beneficial for acquiring strong personal competences and expertise as a young professional but also gave me a better understanding of the European dimension of youth work and networking as a means of sharing valuable knowhow.

“This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”

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