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Training Workshop for GNRC Youth Europe

A European workshop for the development of GNRC Youth Groups was held from 26 to 29 November 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland to help strengthen the youth participation and involvement in the region. The four-day workshop trained the youth leaders on the development, facilitation and follow up of interfaith youth activities using the Learning to Live Together manual.  Among the participants were youth leaders from Belgium, Denmark, Palestine, Portugal, Romania, Samoa and Spain. Read more…
The objectives of the workshop were threefold: To promote the creation of the GNRC Youth in Europe, to train youth leaders on the development, facilitation and follow up of interfaith youth activities using the Learning to Live Together manual and finally to create a plan of action for the region.  Participants representing the World Council of Churches also participated and had their own space to discuss the Ecumenical Peace Convocation to be held in Jamaica in 2011.

The participants were first introduced to the current activities of the GNRC and Arigatou International followed by a short session on the objectives of the workshop. Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, Representative of Arigatou International, sent a message to all participants encouraging them to continue to transform the world and thanking them for the work they are doing within their youth groups.

The program was designed under four components that use the acronyms of the GNRC: To Grow personally but also in their knowledge on how to work with children. Network with other youth leaders from Europe and other parts of the world. Respond to the issues that face children in their societies by using the Manual, and Create ideas and ways to develop the GNRC.

In order to discover the diversity of the group, the facilitators prepared activities that encouraged the group to learn more about each other. On the first day, the participantes shared their youth groups activities and issues tackled in their work with children. This session helped connecting to each other and getting inspired by different ways to work with youth. The manual was then introduced as a tool to develop interfaith programs in their youth activities. The participants familiarized themselves with the methodologies and the learning process at the basis of the pedagogical material, and discussed spirituality, beliefs, faith, and culture as part of an engaging activity called ‘Interfaith Café’.

The second day started with a session on how to develop a team and the stages in its development. Participants were given tips and ideas on how to bring a group together and then discussed the initial steps for the consolidation of the youth groups through the GNRC network. The day continued with activities related to the improvement and development of their leadership skills to help them lead their activities and to identify ways to develop themselves as youth leaders.

The day was followed by a session on the Convention on the Rights of Child and Ethics on the framework of the Learning to Live Together manual, this helped understand how to use the Learning modules and methodologies of the manual. The day ended with a cultural evening where the participants shared music, food, and dances from their home countries.

The third day was used to prepare the participants for future sessions within their youth groups based on the manual. Participants worked in groups on a simulation on how to prepare an ethics education program based on the pegagogical approach of the manual. Practical activities were also done in order to get a better understanding on the type of activities, learning process and methodologies.

On the last day, facilitators held a session giving tips and ideas on the different types of methods that can be used to organise a successful activity or event in terms of budget, checklist, invitations, publicity and evaluation. The evening ended with a short visit to the town of Geneva.

The last day picked up on the preceding days session and followed by discussions on the next steps of the GNRC youth groups in Europe. In country groups the participants worked on strategies to build and reinforce the GNRC activities and prepare a plan of action. The workshop ended with the groups sharing their plans. Ms Marta Palma, GNRC coordinator in Europe closed the workshop by encouraging the participants to continue involved in the GNRC, developing themselves as youth leaders and making possible the development of the GNRC youth.

Arigatou International staff coordinated the facilitation of the program of the GNRC Youth Europe workshop as part of its commitment to support and empower GNRC Youth initiatives and activities in various regions. 


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