Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Some time has already passed... and as it happens and not so rarely at all, the enthusiasm about our meeting and all the benefits in terms of ideas and contacts might have already been lost or is being fading out right now. But... it hasn't been the case and it isn't working with the rules we have got accustomed to.
Why doesn't it astonish me in any way? Because, as one of the Janus participant said, whoever touches the youth project, the Youth in Action idea, they will get influenced with it till the very end.
This issue changes lives, makes people think different, causes the difference. The week has made changes, and I am pretty sure there is not a single person who might deny it. Everybody has started somewhere, somewhen, somehow. And from this starting point we are still on our way, heading to some enhancing prospects, chances and perspectives. And it not only empowers young people, despite the fact they are direct addressees of the actions. It equally well strenghtens youth workers and their personal development. The more experienced people you talk to the stronger impression you have that learning process never ends and that you may expect the moment when you feel you are the one who takes advantage of a lesson which was initiative of yours in the very beginning.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.” 

That perfectly summarizes a discussion I had at my table during the second round of group meetings while the conference. We came up with the powerful statement: DO NOT TICK THE BOX.\

We mentioned that there is a though world outside, no doubts. We are living in the world at the edge of great transformation - nobody knows where it will lead to. The rules change, people change, even space is different. You are being constantly given answers and best solutions. You are being asked for knowingness and clarity pf yourobjectives But where to go if you have a hundred ways and all go into the same direction?

People will always give you a thousand of 'only best advices'. They always know what is better for you than yourself, they know what is behind the corner. They know you better, they understand you better than yourself and they know they are right.
Once, I put myself in such a situation, and everyone knew best - they advised my mother, my family and myself. And then I asked them: If you know all this stuff so well, why you complain about life so much. If you know a solution for my every single problem, why can't you find at least one for yours? - I have no people knowing better ever since :)

There is something more precious than anything else - it is your experience. Billy says: everyone might be clever, everyone might read a book, watch a movie and think he is clever. But to learn a lesson, to tick your box, to know more, you need your experience. And your experience might be totally different than one's next to you. But only then you learn, and then, you might come for a real exchange with others who learn a hard lesson of life.

You know why the JANUS has inspired us so much? Because each one of you who had a voice, shared a personal story, a moment of a real life learning process. And it will always keep amazing us!

Do not tick the box,
unless you want.
There is no a teacher who wants your box,
nobody to know yourself better than you.
You know what you need,
even though you don't know what you want.
Make your box by yourself,
do not ask anyone for permission,
and make it different,
in colour, in shape
and sign it by your name,
and take it out to the world.

Do not take the box,
just because everyone has it,
one says it looks good on you,
because it is funny,
or it is right.
Don't take the box,
unless you have made it by yourself,
and you're proud of it.

The Road not taken by Robert Frost

....and that has made all the difference.
There are lots of issues that are still present in my mind about youth work and its expected impact for my organisation and its every single member. I would like to use ideas that I have learnt form co-participants of Janus Seminar and I am also aware I have to adjust them to the needs of my environmental background. One of the participants told these remarkable words that statistics tell nothing important because what really matters is a real story that marks someone's way, someone's life and changes that arise due to work and adventure in the YiA. I recon this consciousness will influence the way I work, I involve other people as well as my contribution to common actions.
Danuta, Poland

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Final Statements- Inclusion

"100 years ago our countries were fighting with each other and now we're finding ways for countries to co operate together. Combined actions for real outcomes!"

"Young people who aren't included are worse off"

"Inclusion is ensuring accessibility and equal opportunities for a diverse range of young people"

"Inclusion equals awareness requires your involvement and making viral"

"Erasmus+ must be an inclusive programme that supports inclusive outcomes"

"We must increase accessibility to provide opportunities for all. How?"

Final Statements - Active Citizenship

"Active citizenship rewards you and your community but you must be involved in the process or someone else will decide for you"

"Provided with opportunities and skills, young people gain awareness and are empowered as active citizens to shape their community/ society"

"Erasmus+ gives people the opportunity for working together to improve the quality of life for all"

"Active citizenship equals enabling young people to be empowered to shape their lives and the society in general"

Final Statements- Education

"Erasmus+ becomes a brand name for recognition on par with a PHD"

"Erasmus+ should build a bridge for young people between their education and world of work"

"Erasmus+ is used as a platform to develop key competencies in order to improve employability!"

"Erasmus+ is a tool for connecting life skills with employment"

Introduction to final statements

When the groups split off into three rooms to talk about Inclusion, Education and Active Participation they were asked to write a final statement. These sum up what Erasmus+ and their topics are all about.