On September 30 – October 2, 2016, we held the third Train-the-Trainer Workshop at Banská Bystrica.
This Train-the-Trainer workshop represents an added interphase between learning the methodology and its implementation. Given the great deal of time necessary to fully convey and comprehend the complex EFS methods as well as the necessity to discuss them in a wider circle and confront them with practical experiences by youth workers from different Slovak regions, we decided to prepare one more workshop using the “train-the-trainer” principle, this time with Slovak EFS trainers as lecturers instead of representatives from CI. The workshop was led by Zuzana Szabóová and Radoslav Sloboda, both civic educators and activists from Banská Bystrica, with Michal Haman coordinating the sub-cultural sessions. The workshop took place on September 30th – October 2nd in Banská Bystrica, central Slovakia, and was attended by approximately 25 NGO representatives from different regions (but affiliated with organizations based predominantly in Bratislava or Banská Bystrica). Banská Bystrica was selected as the site for the workshop for several reasons. First, its location in central Slovakia makes it easier to access from other regions, compared to Bratislava. Secondly, our close partner organization (the parent organization of two Slovak EFS trainers trained within this project) is located in this town. Last but not least, the choice has a symbolic meaning as well. Banská Bystrica is currently infamous for being the first region in Slovakia to elect a right-wing extremist politician to the position of Chairman of the region, as well as the region with the highest public support for a right-wing extremist party. Participants, again, were selected in order to represent a diverse spectrum of community and youth workers from Slovakia. The workshop lasted for three days and consisted of three parts. The first part was the introduction of the European Fair Skills approach and the principle of interconnecting civic education and youth cultures as a means for establishing dialogue with youngsters. The main objective was to inspire youth workers to implement parts of the methods in their own work and to engage in more interactive methods of youth work, using their language and preferred means of spending time and using this strategy as an advantage in communicating civic educational topics to them. Secondly, more detailed attention was dedicated to certain specific methods that proved to be most helpful for the work of youth workers in Slovakia. Similarly, just like during the previous event, the Narrative approach received the strongest response from participants, it being a systematically elaborated method that they intuitively used but had not had the chance to analyze and discuss until now. Thirdly, participants were also given the chance to experience the EFS workshop themselves, as one session was devoted specifically to working with the camera, pictures and video, and their applicability in the civic education process. Photos from the event are available at the gallery below: