Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interactive! Through practicals you learn to facilitate!

The training was fun! It was interactive and I was all the time involved. Especially the practicals and doing it yourself were stimulating. These were the comments from participants coming from ICCOenKerkinActie and Oogzorgnetwerk, who participated in the training facilitation methods on the 26 - 27 April 2010 in Nijmegen.
Participants got acquainted with the Technology of Participation methods (ToP). These are basic facilitation methods, which provide a solid basis in facilitation. ToP has been developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs and is applied in all continents over the world and in different sectors, such as development, government and the commercial sector.Mind mapping, the caroussel, the basic conversation method, the brainstorm workshop method and the action planning were part of the tools with which was practised by the participants.

The training was conducted by Simon Koolwijk. He is certificied professional facilitator with the International Association of Facilitators.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Moldovans learn about Dutch community development work

'We got a clear perspective about community youth development in The Netherlands'. 'Youth workers spend much time on the street to make contact with youth', 'Youth participation is one of the keys to success! ' We got a broader perspective on how community youth development projects are linked to the national governmental policies. ' These were some of the comments by the Moldovan delegation which visited The Netherlands from 14 - 23 April, 2010. The delegation was composed of representatives from central and local government, the State University of Moldova, youth leaders and adult support leaders from 4 villages, youth resource centres and Pro Community Centre.


This study visit is part of the program 'Youth in the Center', which is financed by Matra (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). This project which is aiming at building sustainable structures for community youth development work in Moldova, is a partnership between Pro Community Centre, Kontakt der Kontinenten, Proni Centre for Social Education and Hogeschool Windesheim.
During the study week several youth and community projects were visited. In Deventer the Moldavian delegation got acquainted with sportscoaches and street work. These projects are facilitated by Raster, a local social development organisation. Two rural youth development projects were visited in the North of Friesland. These are guided by the local association Doarpswork. In Wageningen the participants got acquainted with the Play bus, which is an intiative of Wijkcentrum Nude. Lijn 50, a local centre for youth, was visited in Renkum. This project is part of the work of Stichting The Bries. A one day visit was done to Hogeschool Windesheim.

The program was well balanced. It provided practical and theoretical insight on community youth development work in The Netherlands, commented one of the members from the delegation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Building capacities - I have a broader perspective!

"The training was complete. We tackled a lot of topics, but we had enough time to practise and internalise the concept of capacity development. I did not think about how to involve parents as part of the structure of the local school. They are part of building sustainable structures. Now I have a much broader perspective what capacity development is!"


These were some of the comments of the participants, who were part of the course Project Cycle Management & Capacity Development (6, 7 & 9th April 2010) which was organized by the Hendrik Kraemer Institute (HKI). Participants coming from ICCO, Togetthere, ZHHK and Stichting Burgland were preparing for their placements for Vietnam, Mozambique, Bolivia and Suriname.
Project Cycle Management and methods for organisational development were part of the course. The participants practised with PCM tools, most coming from the Tear Fund PCM guide and capacity development tools which can be found at the ICCO Capacity Development site. On the last day one of the Young Professionals working with ICCO-Togetthere shared her case from Honduras. This actual real life story provided some insights that you have to be flexible working in a different context and different culture, where means and financial resources are limited. More stories can be found at the blogspot 'Everything you always wanted to know about Capacity Development'.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Youth leader in the Center - story from a youth leader in Moldova

I learned as a leader until now, I have to work, work, work........ Just through working I can achieve something, to be known by others, by many others and to promote these activities. This is one of the comments from the youth leaders, who participate in the project 'Youth in the Center' which is aiming at building sustainable structures for youth work in Moldova. Following is an interview with one of the youth leaders.

The project is a joint initiative of Procommunity Centre and 4 villages in Moldova, Kontakt der Kontinenten & University of Social work - Windesheim in The Netherlands and Proni Centre for Social Education in Croatia. The project is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Matra. Linking, exchange and facilitation are the key ingredients for fostering and encouraging youth development. Youth from 4 Moldovan villages (Varnita, Ulmu, Vadul Rascov and Cotujenii Mari) are participating in this project. Supported by adults (parents, teachers) and their local municipalities the youth have started initiative groups. Most of the youth are between 14-20 years. They organize recreational, cultural and educational events in their own village. Procommunity Centre supports the groups with trainings on topics as job orientation, c.v. writing, Hiv/Aids, diversity and tolerance. Together with the international partners exchange events are organised so that knowledge and experience is exchanged and new links for mutual support are created. Students from Moldova gain experience in the Netherlands and vice versa. It helps us to develop our social and life skills, comments one of the youth leaders. By organising and doing activities in our community, we learn how to work in teams, lead groups, plan and build networks. I have become aware that youth work in my own community is a useful educational tool, and it is fun to do things together with my friends.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Facilitation - practical, useful and it is fun!

"It is practical, useful and facilitation is fun!" This was one of the comments from the participants who felt that she should have had this course 5 years ago. Others commented: "The course has a good balance between listening, discussing and doing. The methods are relevant. Through systematisation you discover what you have been doing intuitively. The training is a must for our project leaders."
On the 31st March and 1st April, 2010 staff from ICCOenKerkinActie and Togetthere participated in the course facilitation methods, conducted by Simon Koolwijk. During the course participants got acquainted with the mindmap, basic conversation and workshop method. These facilitation techniques are called the Technology of Participation (ToP) methods and have been developed and tested by the Instute of Cultural Affairs.On the first day much attention was paid to the theoretical principles, experiencing and talking through the methods. The second day was full with practicals. Each of the 9 participants got an opportunity to be on stage as a facilitator. One team came up with an new creative method, which was a mixture of the mindmap and the workshop. Topic: "How does the ideal facilitator look like?"
Participants left full with inspiration. "I am going to apply the methods in my own team next week! I will use it with my project partners by the end of April/ early May. I can use it for 1-to-1 coaching and conversations. Facilitation is not only about methods, it is also providing space for emotions and people's feelings, I will make note of that. The energizers were fun! I am going to use them much more often."