Really Including Inclusion – What the participants said and did

In November 2018, Consilium Development and Training hosted the ERASMUS+ Youth Workers Mobility: ‘Really Including Inclusion’ created, designed and delivered by BeDiverse Training. The Training Course took place in Worcester and was implemented jointly with the partnership of 14 organisations from across Europe.

Over the 6 working days of the course, 35 participants and staff members (trainers, youth workers, mentors, facilitators, members of the partner organisations, etc.) went through and intensive learning process aimed at developing the capacities of youth work practitioners in understanding barriers to inclusion, why they exist, how they are categorised in European Youth Work, and what can be done to help overcome them to support inclusion in international youth projects. This was achieved by means of successively fulfilling the following objectives, which between them scored an average of 8 out of 10 in terms of quantitative feedback:

  • training participants in the key areas related to preparation and delivery of local and international youth projects to ensure inclusion and accessibility
  • exchanging best practices and useful tools contributing to successful inclusion of people facing barriers in projects
  • fostering European cooperation in the youth field and supporting the development of sustainable partnerships for the future joint projects between partner promoters
  • discovering the potential of Erasmus+ Programme in creating accessible quality and value-based learning mobilities for young people and youth workers.

The mobility was implemented with the use of highly participatory non-formal education methods, including groupwork, mind mapping, role plays, field research, games, and simulation exercises.

Overall, the course allowed to achieve great outcomes, including:

  • Participants directly experiencing through activities what it feels like to face barriers to inclusion and the systemic oppressions that maintain these barriers even today
  • Learning about the mechanisms put in place by Eramsus+ to supporting the inclusion of people from backgrounds of fewer opportunities
  • Developed in all an attitude of inclusion and positivity towards difference and diversity, feeling they could all now confidently challenge assumptions made by themselves and others.

Also, we undertook a post course survey measuring the impact of the project. Here are some impressions of our participants gathered in the survey:

I have learnt that in some other countries they are still facing a lot of barriers and exclusion in which in our country. I believe that inclusion in the communities are being well adopted. Although sometimes there is still people in our country who are being excluded, still we are doing good period of inclusivity for all people.

 

This course has also given me a clear perspective of how in real life situations one can feel when excluded. We, who are normally fitting in with society, take every situation for granted. So being in the shoes of other people experiencing exclusion, makes you realise and reflect more on your actions and also other people’s actions.

 

The trainers have a lot of experience in the topic and it was useful to listen what they do when they work with certain kinds of people.

 

I would like to add that I have a really enjoyed the project and I have gained a lot from it! Inclusion is so crucial and I think we all have to work more on realizing that we are blessed and privileged… Exclusion has so many layers and we all felt it in our lives. I have certainly widened my horizons regarding exclusion and inclusion on this project. Thank you!

I felt more confident in my presentation skills. Very thankful to our “teachers”. They made it so we all felt welcomed and we could all have the chance to speak out minds freely. I learned to empathize a lot more with people who are excluded in society. I would love to attend projects similar to this one – really stood out for me!

 

I really like that we have time to talk with each other to say which kinds of problems we have in our country. It was very helpful for me to see what other countries have like problems and what they do to solve it.

 

The group was really diverse which helped because people shared their own personal experience of barriers they have faced. I learnt a lot about Erasmus+ and European projects which will be useful in my organisation and I feel a lot more comfortable now that I have met some workers and know my young people will be looked after properly on their projects.

 

This training was particularly useful in all aspects of awareness of inclusion and in particular the fact of how we can include those who feel excluded to take part and what we can do to encourage, plus the support available for excluded groups and individuals.

 

The best way to understand often is try to be in their place, so this project really gave opportunity to feel what can feel excluding people. That changed my mind about them, and now I’m even more open minded. Thank you!

 

Informal education works very well (as always) because it manages to capture everyone’s mind. I believe a lot in the theme, and I have learned new activities, knowledge and awareness. I’m grateful!

 

I think that projects like this one should be provided on a regular basis in communities, schools etc – because it is a topic which is present in all areas and if children, from a young age would get more aware of diversity and obstacles “other” people have, they’ll grow up with a way more tolerant attitude.