On April 29 – 30, 2016, we held the seconf Train-the-Trainer workshop at Co-working Cvernovka, Bratislava.
The decision to conduct a second Train-the-Trainer workshop proved to be a good one, mainly because of the lack of time for proper training and the planning of activities during the previous one, as well as because of the additional time needed to establish the team of Slovak EFS trainers. Just like the first meeting, the second one was also organized jointly with our Czech project partners, this time taking place on April 29th-30th in Bratislava, Slovakia.
In contrast to the first Train-the-Trainer workshop, the composition of participants was slightly different in the second meeting. In addition to two youth workers who also attended the first meeting, three new participants joined the project, representing NGOs and community/youth- focused organizations from both Bratislava and Banská Bystrica . Out of this group, four trainers emerged as the team who prepared, organized and facilitated three youth workshops in Slovakia during the final stage of the EFS project: Zuzana Szabóová, representing the Centre for Community Organizing in Banská Bystrica, Radoslav Sloboda, representing the civic initiative Not in Our Town! in Banská Bystrica, Michal Haman, representing the Centre for European Policy in Bratislava, and Barbora Bodnárová, representing REACH – Research and Education Institute.
As in the case of the first Train-the-Trainer event, the second workshop also presented an approach of youth-cultural social intervention which combines elements of civic education/ pedagogical anti-bias training, psychologically based open-process group work and peer-learning within youth-cultural activities. However, during the second event, participants had also a chance to experience a DJ/hip-hop sub-cultural workshop firsthand, led by a CI trainer and a DJ. This workshop included hip-hop-related visuals combined with a DJ set as a means to attract youngsters and engage them in the discussion regarding civic education and human rights topics. This demonstration of the EFS method combining civic education with youth cultural work, was an
important inspiration for the Slovak EFS trainers, especially considering their background.
The second important topic that was covered during the training and that also gained exceptionally positive feedback from Slovak participants, was the Narrative Approach, presented by our colleagues from Cultures Interactive. The Narrative approach, i.e. a method of exchange with vulnerable youngsters/youth is based on using emotions and self-projection with regard to certain situations – as well as discussions about self-experienced events in a non-debating, narrative manner. CI’s We-Amongst-Ourselves group work is organized along the principles of the Narrative Approach. Based on the professional experiences of participants, such a method is often intuitively used in their work, however, it has never been systematically elaborated and explored (cf. CI presentation slides concerning the narrative approach in the report). The session on the Narrative Approach turned out to be one of the most helpful methods for youth workers
interacting with young people.
The second Train-the-Trainer workshop provided the Slovak EFS team with sufficient space
to plan and consult the plans for the youth workshops that were supposed to be prepared during the final stage of the project. As a result, three events were scheduled:
- An additional „Train-the-Trainer“ youth workshop – in order to dedicate more time to fully adopt and discuss the EFS methods and their adaptability in Slovakia, and to reach out to more NGOs and youth workers in different regions of Slovakia with the aim of including them in the project. The workshop took place in Banská Bystrica in September 2016.
- A pilot (experimental) hip-hop workshop – considering the time constraints and capacities of the target group, which was consulted in advance, a one-day pilot workshop with young people from Bratislava interested in civic education and hip-hop was organized, in order to test the cross-connection between the hip-hop sub-culture and civic education in Slovakia, as well as to explore the possibilities of creating a “pool of trainers” within this particular youth subculture. The workshop took place in Bratislava in October 2016.
- A youth cultural workshop at a Slovak high school – prepared by the Slovak EFS trainers and utilizing EFS methods in combination with their own methods of youth work in order to motivate young students on their own to engage in civic action focused on their peers. The workshop took place in February 2017.