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Training workshop on Learning to Live Together held in Romania

A training workshop to introduce the Learning to Live Together manual was held in Bucharest, Romania from 8 to 11 November 2009.  The workshop aimed to introduce the manual to teachers, social workers, theologians and child protection authority representatives.  26 participants hailing from different parts of Romania, Sweden and Switzerland became acquainted with the manual and willing to introduce it in different educational settings in their countries. Read more...

The four days workshop on Learning To Live Together aimed to introduce the manual and enable the participants to gain practical skills on how to use it in activities and projects dealing with peace building and child rights. The participants were provided with space to reflect on concrete activities that they could use with children and youth within their educational framework. During the first session the participants received a brief introduction to Arigatou International and the GNRC which was followed by a discussion about  their objectives and expectations for the workshop.
 
The next day started with a morning meditation that helped the participants to find inner strength and be fully concentrated for the day. It was followed by an introduction of  the Learning To Live Together manual and discussions about ethics education, interfaith and intercultural learning, how to nurture spirituality in children as well as protecting and promoting their rights. This sessions enabled the participants to acquire tools needed when dealing with issues to foster social cohesion in Romania.

During the afternoon session they familiarized themselves with the methodologies, modules and the learning process on the basis of the manual. They acquired different techniques and discussed the importance of critical thinking to properly use the manual. The day continued with a session on listening skills, in groups of three the participants were told a story that then was re-told to another participant. This activity allowed the participants to acknowledge and share among themselves the different techniques used to improve their listening skills.  It also raised awareness on the different levels of listening and about the importance of empathic listening when working with children and youth. 

The day ended with an activity called “interfaith café”. The participants shared their personal spiritual experiences and beliefs in an intimate and secure environment that enriched the interconnectedness of the group. 

The third day started with a simulation on how to prepare a workshop based on the Learning to Live Together. In groups of four the participants went step by step through the process together with the facilitator. Each group had to prepare their own session for children based on the manual given a fictitious scenario. They then shared their session with the rest of the groups to get views and feedback on their session.

This activity was followed by a full afternoon session with children on how to experience the Learning Modules through activities. The first activity was called the Silhouette. Youth and adults mixed, drew each others' silhouette writing and sharing their thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. The aim of this activity was to reflect about one's identity and put themselves in the shoes of the other. The next activity was walking blindfolded, an exercise on how to overcome imaginary handicaps. The day continued with role-plays about situations of discrimination in their schools, families, neighbourhoods, city and country, which led to discussions on respect and responsibility.
 

The last day continued with a session on facilitation skills where the participants were encouraged to use a different approach to teaching when working with children and youth.

The workshop ended with a follow up of the session with children, a wrap up of the Learning Modules and an evaluation of the workshop. Ms Marta Palma, GNRC Coordinator in Europe closed the workshop by encouraging the participants to further their involvement with the GNRC and a possible implementation of the Learning To Live Together in schools and in non formal educational settings.

Special thanks to Santa Macrina Foundation in Bucharest for their logistical support.