A tale of a LOOP Training from a participant perspective…
The last LOOP implementation training in 2017 took place in Wroclaw, Poland and gathered participants from Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Poland, Germany and Bulgaria. The trainers that guided them through the LOOP journey were Marzena from EEE-YFU, Bianca from YFU Romania, Christiane and Marie form YFU Germany and Henri from YFU Estonia. They were all present at the Changemakers Academy Training earlier this year, so they were well prepared to pass on the knowledge on LOOP and Global Citizenship Education, which were the main themes at that training.
The program started with some team building exercises, followed by a very engaging and interesting session on Global Citizenship Education and the YFU Educational Goals.
The second day started with a recap on Global Citizenship concepts, before the big moment of the day… the LOOP Manual was revealed!! Bianca and Henri presented the history, concepts and theories behind the LOOP and showed everyone how the manual should be used. After a short exercise which helped to understand in which ways the manual can be used, the group was divided into 2 groups. The more experienced group learned about Non- Formal Education while the others enjoyed a session on Coaching.
Afterwards, the group was reunited and it was time for the final session of the day. Debriefing, which is something we can always improve, no matter how experienced we are as facilitators, concluded the learning of the day.
The day ended with a lovely dinner in the center of the city. On the way there we passed through the city center where we found a fairytale-like Christmas Market.
The third day started again with two sessions; while one group continued their session on Coaching, the others discussed Communication and its possible traps. After these quite mild sessions, it was time for the big guns! The next session presented NAOMIE, a methodology highly used in the YFU network, which helps the trainers to design sessions in a quality way. The trainers did their best to explain to the participants how to use this model, but the best way to internalise it is of course learning by doing!
After NAOMIE session, the participants had the whole day to complete one last task: to design their own orientation session with the help of NAOMIE and the new LOOP manual. They could just redesign one old session which was no longer aligned with YFU’s definition of culture and LOOP or come up with a completely new idea. Everything was possible!
The participants were divided into 4 groups, mostly by countries and regions: YFU Romania formed a team with YFU Bulgaria and YFU Turkey, YFU Germany teamed up with YFU Slovakia, YFU Poland teamed up with YFU Czech Republic, and YFU Lithuania formed the last group, supported by the participant from YFU Mexico. Each group could come to the trainers and ask for guidance if they needed it (and they did!) so that they could get the best results. They were all very motivated and stayed up until late hours to finish their project.
The last day was show time! All the groups got the chance to present their work and facilitate the sessions they prepared. They each ran a 1,5 hour workshop and got feedback on it. Every group did their best, showing that they really put a lot of effort into this task. Some sessions handled topics new for YFU, such as the use of Social Media during the exchange year, or Global Citizenship.
Since the participants will be the ones who will help the National Organisations work with LOOP, this exercise was very important to them.
After receiving Feedback, there was the Closing session where the participants reviewed what they learned throughout the entire training, reflected whether their expectations were fulfilled and made plans for the future. We all hugged and promised each other to keep in touch and keep working to align the YFU orientations with the new LOOP.
This was the last training on the new LOOP in 2017. The LOOP Manual will soon be shared with all YFU organisations and the YFU Orientations’ Library will be created. The LOOP continues to get integrated into YFU orientations, which is a step towards increased consistency, quality and accuracy of YFU educational offer.
This activity was made possible thanks to the funding of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe