03 February 2014

Departure :(

Study Visit "Discover Youth Work in South Estonia" has been absolutely amazing. It has been an awesome time to chill, work, have fun, cooperate, see friends, and just enjoy the winter in January. But it was time to say goodbye to each other.
Last moments together
Early in the morning around 7 am we had breakfast and than everyone jump into the bus that took us to Tartu. We left this place that was our home for the last 8 days and it wasn't easy to say goodbye. But for sure we will remember the great time we had together. Never the last - all of us were very thankful for the pleasant days in Vidrike…
And that is it - amazing project is over.
We say goodbye and we all look forward to see each others on some other projects or even making reunion somewhere one day....

 Ines, Toni, Alfredo & Tomasz

Day 8

During the morning participants had to work on further development of their international youth projects for Erasmus + programme. There were six groups with different topics for projects : Music, Environment protection, E-learning, Human rights, Sport and Social media.

Each of the group has made effort to develop their ideas and put them in the framework of the E-plus programme. In the evening all the project ideas were more or less developed enough for presentation and they were presented on a plenary, so all participants could give feedback and suggestions. As a result of the last day and the whole project we have 6 projects for E+ program which will be applied for funding in the first deadline of 2014. 
Alketa & Ratko

30 January 2014

Day 7

It was a beautiful day: During the morning we visited the Youth Center in Veriora. It was really great, interesting and we had a lot of fun. We saw a very folkloric dresses and these were incredible! For example we went skating on ice, played ping pong and table football. We met local youth and they took also apart from our activities in the youth center.

Introducing new project ideas.
We learnt more about different "action" projects as EVS, Youth Exchange, Training etc. It was about learning, how could you improve your knowledge about Erasmus + projects. We shared our experiences and ideas about earlier projects (human rights, sport, environment, social media, music… ) and then tried to think and find ideas about new projects in the future to cooperate to each other and also local people. It was very important moment and we learnt a lot!!!

Listening new project ideas.

The evening was about more relaxing after hard working day - so we had a sauna night: 
YES - there was about 90 degrees and they felt still COLD!!!! 
YES - after being in sauna they jumped into SNOW!!!!! 

Getting ready for sauna!

Silvia & Dusan (B&H)

Day 6

In the morning it was time for us to get ready again. Even earlier than the day before. This time the destination was the student city- TARTU!! 

Our first visit wad to the Ugala fraternity house.  We learned about their history and traditions. It was a male fraternity, so all the members were male. As it comes out, Ugala members lead a very active social life. Fraternity is like a brotherhood,  where respect and traditions are highly valued.

The next stop was at the Annelinna children center (Anne laste päevakeskus). We met the youth worker Helina, who introduced us the center. It was a place where children aged 8-13 can go after school to do their homework and to play games  with other children. Each year they host EVS volunteers who work with the children. They organize different activities such as game nights, pidjama parties and also help them with homework.   Most children who go the day centre come from families with social difficulties. For that reason at the day center there also works a Councillor to support and advice the families of the children.

Now it was time for lunch in the city center. After that we all got free time to discover Tartu and to see around on our own. Dejan and Zlatko went to cinema during the afternoon free time.  Anna went with Giuliano, Marina, Rodolfo, Ana, Toni, Kerli, Tomasz and Alfredo to the shopping centre. The organizers also made a small city tour for anyone who was interested. We visited the Tartu University main building, Toome hill and different monuments around city center.

Soon it was time for us to gather for dinner. For dinner it was a PIZZANIGHT at Taverna. As we all were tired from a long day, we were glad to hop onto the bus again, and return back to Vidrike. 

In the evening the house became quiet quickly!!  Most of us went  to bed early to get some rest for the next, and final, visiting day. 

Dejan, Anna & Mai

Day 5

Day about visiting Põlva. We woke up really early (again) to go to the Põlva county council. After that we went to the Maarja village and later to the Põlva youth center. It was day full of learning about youth councils, youth with disabilities and also youngsters in youth centers....
Our participants Keidi (Estonia), Toni (Macedonia) and Ana (Serbia) will tell little bit more about these visits:
Still having an awesome project! ;)
Group picture in Põlva.

Elen & Dusan (Serbia)

29 January 2014

Day 4

On the fourth day we went to Tsirguliina, where we visited local youth center and also local school. Here are some pictures about weird things about Estonians many participants did not know before:

This picture represents our morning activities in snow with -24 degrees, this one is called the Jungle Dance: huka-tšaka-huga-tšaka-uh-ah ! It was really funny!

With this study visit we realized that Estonians love school and even with ­­­­­-30 they want to go to school (the younger ones only actually...)! We also realized that youngsters are involved into a school-life pretty much. For example they have their own school-radio and newspaper what in Portugal you will not find.

Another funny thing in Estonia is that everywhere you enter you must take off your shous what for us as a foreign countries were really weird.

Keidi, Ana & Philip

Day 3

At the morning we took a bus at 9.15 to Valga and we spent all the day there. In the morning we had a meeting at the Valga County Council. Valgamaa youth work head specialist at first gave a presentation about data and facts on Valga county youth work and then a small session about networking was held with local youth workers who had joined us for session. Participants were divided in mixed groups, where local representatives and participants of the project exchanged contacts. We also visited the information office. Then a presentation from the TANKLA Youth organization took place. They showed their activities, their newspaper and TV and several videos from their activities.

Discovering Valga County Council
"What is TANKLA?"

After having lunch at some restaurant close to the Valga Youth Center, we went to visit them. The girls working at the center showed us all the rooms where youngsters can do several activities (billiards, table tennis, special room for the kids etc.). The World Café activity started as part of the afternoon session, where participants were divided in mixed groups and were discussing about the given topics together with local youth.  The groups were switching, so that participants could give ideas and opinions and examples from own countries related to the topics. 

World Cafe @ Valga Youth Centre

In evening we returned to Vidrike and learning buddies and reflection groups discussed daily activities, contributions, group and other issues and reported to the organizers. Afterwards the Intercultural Night part II took place and the countries (Portugal, Italy, Serbia and B&H) presented their culture and traditions through videos, food &drinks and music/dance. 

Kerli, Enkeleda & Rudolfo

Day 2

The second day started with breakfast at 9 o’clock. After that we had really interesting discussion about formal, non – formal and informal education. We needed to find out the most important characteristics of these ways of learning. 

What is formal, informal and non-formal learning?

After little break, we got to know key information about Youth in Action and Erasmus + programme. First, we checked our knowledge with quiz, where all of us could show how much we actually know abut YiA. Learning continued with presentation about Erasmus + by Zlatko, when we find useful information for the future projects. 

Presentation about Erasmus + by Zlatko
Presentation about Erasmus + by Zlatko

After we loaded our batteries with lunch, we had a group building game where we found out about 8 key competences, what our team members had. Each of us discovered every key competence by solving the tasks which were separated at 8 islands. We got know more about ourselves and also about the others.

Also we did something what helped us to get to know each other and to represent ourselves, our activities and goals. We were writing our profiles about developing our interests and plans at flip-chars. We put them on the wall so everyone could see them. That helped us to find out more about others and to start communication and networking between us right away.

Our seminar room.

The most interesting part of the day was intercultural night, when four participant countries presented their cultures. Estonia, Macedonia, Poland and Albania showed us their culture with interesting videos and also a lots of traditional food and drinks. Participants had great time tasting different food and enjoying chatting with each other.

Irena,  Viktoria Vladimir

Day 1

This is the first day of our training experience: To Discover Youth Work in the wonderful South Estonia!! People are warm-hearted and very kind, but also little bit shy at first.There's nothing better then a Scavander Hunt in Estonia! 

Our first step was to discover Otepää. The teams were starting to build solid basis to establish partnerships and exchange experiences in the future! After getting to know each other and establishing the house rules we finally started working!!!

All the participants introduced themselves and shared their expectations! Great and durable partnerships were about to come, we hoped. Despite the cold weather the group had still warm hearted and ready to start!

After an amazing afternoon in Otepää we were ready to share our opinions and thoughts about what we have learned during the day. We did the Learning Buddies exercise, which consist discussing about our day experiences and reporting to organizers about it after dinner. 

The group started in a great way: the personal contribution level was high, the suggestions and commentaries were useful and opinions about the daily programs were positive!

Some pictures from the daily trip to Otepää:

So let's have a good time and then go to sleep, because we are tired from the long plane trip to Estonia. Ready for a new promising day!

See you tomorrow, guys!

Marina, Giuliano & Pawel

Arrival to Vidrike

Today was the day when all the participants from different countries arrived to Tartu, Estonia. The official meeting time was at 6 pm. We heard that the Portuguese group is the first one arriving to Tartu so we met them in the bus station and we went to sightseeing. We saw the town hall, old Toom-Church, University of Tartu, some statues and some shopping centers. The Portuguese people were really awesome!

We were walking around for more than five hours so we were really exhausted when we finally met the others. When all the people from Estonia, Portugal, Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Italy, Poland and Albania were together, we went into the bus that took us all to the guest house in Vidrike where the Study Visit took place. At the bus we had a great time and we knew that we can expect only good things from this Study Visit in Estonia.

Than later when we arrived we had dinner and started to get to know each other . It was really cool to meet so many people at one time.

Can't wait for the next days ...

Ines, Toni, Alfredo & Tomasz

22 January 2014

About the Project "Discover Youth Work in South - Estonia"

Youth in Action 3.1.2 study visit "Discover Youth Work in South-Estonia!" bring together 27 youth workers from 8 countries. There will be four programme countries: Estonia, Poland, Italy and Portugal and 4 South-East Europe countries: Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania. Project will last for 8 days: 19.01-28.01.2014 and takes place in Valga and Põlva county in South-Estonia.

The objectives of the study visit are:

  • To understand the youth work reality in South-Estonia.
  • To explore the use of formal and non-formal education in South-Estonia. 
  • Exchange experiences and good practices between youth workers from rural areas .
  • Creating opportunities for international partnerships for youth, youth workers and youth organizations in particular in rural areas of South Estonia.
  • Create partnerships and new links between South-East Europe and European Union countries with focus on international youth exchanges and EVS projects. 
  • Promote use of non-formal education opportunities in rural areas.
  • Develop new projects in framework of Youth in Action programme.

The activities will include visits to different youth organizations, schools, local governments, youth centers in Valga and Põlva county, but also workshops and other events. All methods will be non-formal, such as work in groups, role-plays, study visits, open space etc. Study visit will be facilitated by international team of trainers and supported by organizing team from Estonia.

Project was funded by European Comission Youth in Action programme!