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Revitalizing Ecosystems Through Experientialisation

- a professional development training for youth workers & youth leaders -

- in Vienna, Austria from 11 to 18 October 2024 -

GENESIS OF THE TRAINING:
Europe is facing several recent challenges that impact social, personal, and professional lives, such as increased social exclusion due to heightened political tensions, exacerbated health issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and deteriorating economic conditions due to inflation and environmental degradation. These challenges have significantly affected the mental health and social inclusion of young people and youth workers. But who should receive care first? We believe that youth workers should be equipped with the necessary tools and support first, to prepare them for working with young people. Otherwise, providing care without adequate competencies may have negative consequences. Our solution-focused intervention addresses pressing issues, emphasizing social and human wellbeing. This will be achieved through Experiential Outdoor Education (EOE), where youth workers will learn how to organize outdoor nature-based activities to enhance youth inclusion and wellbeing. Several studies also showcase how EOE in the form of experiential activities is a powerful tool for addressing wellbeing and inclusion issues, while raising awareness about the environment. EOE uses experiential outdoor challenges to boost personal growth and group development through authentic experiences, Interaction with the group, and self-exploration. The significance of EOE has increased due to the pandemic, which has led to high levels of stress, anxiety, and over-digitalization and even accelerating rates of digital gaming disorder among youth. Numerous studies have proven EOE's effectiveness in reducing stress, increasing motivation, mobilizing for the environment, and improving mental hygiene. EOE also embodies important values for youth work, such as sustainable living, respectful coexistence with nature, humble attitude, and a willingness to step out of one's comfort zone.  Hence, our training for 30 participants from Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia with the support of ERASMUS+ of the European Union, aims to provide youth workers with a more comprehensive approach, namely Experiential Outdoor Education, as a pragmatic and a multidisciplinary approach that can tackle several youth issues on the local level.​

LEARNING EXPERIENCE:
During this ERASMUS+ training, we will discover together several youth issues (exclusion, mental health, climate anxiety) and explore the role of youth work in tackling these issues. We will explore one practical way, Experiential Outdoor Education, that can help tackle current youth issues in a pragmatic and inclusive healthy manner. Together we will discover the principles, theories, and practices of Experiential Outdoor Education and experience relevant activities. At the end, participants will design their own small activities in the frame of Experiential Outdoor Education and they will pilot them during the training.
 Participants will also be supported to design a local action plan for their own community. After the training, all groups will be further supported by the team to implement these newly designed initiatives as a follow-up to this training on the local level. Each initiative will receive the needed programmatic to enable its implementation. The actual implementation of the follow-up initiative is an integral part of the training itself. 

THE PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS:
- you live in one of the participating countries:
(Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia).
- you are between 20 and 35 years old.
- commit to full participation during the whole activity and sessions.
- you can communicate in English (B1+ level is enough).
- you wish to learn new skills, methods, and tools.
- you wish to improve your conflict transformation capacities.
- you can cooperate and work with others in a team.
- you are ready to work in a team to design and implement an initiative.
- Be motivated to explore new approaches in youth work.
- Have the ability to do the follow-up initiative.
- Ready to support dissemination and visibility activities online and offline.
- you are curious to learn and you appreciate diversity in every sense.
- you would like to build new friendships and international connections.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS:
- The training is "fully" funded!
- It is financed by the European Commission as part of the Erasmus+.
- The hostel, training, materials, meals, and transport are covered to the determined limits.
- Participants are required to book their own transport (flights, busses, trains) to and from Vienna and we will refund the eligible costs to you after your successful participation.
- Only selected persons can book their tickets, after our advice!
- The refund of travel costs is after the implementation of the local follow-up initiative.

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PARTICIPATION RULES AND CONDITIONS:
- You should attend the entire activity from 11 to 18 October 2024.
- You should engage in all preparation and follow-up activities.
- You should fill out the form before 30 May 2024 (Initial dealdine).
- You should sign the participation agreement once selected, within a period of three days.
- You should purchase your travel tickets within five days of signing the agreement.

TIMEFRAME:
Preparation:
From 01. 06 2023 to 30. 09 2024 (in various stages)

Participation:
11. October to 18 October 2024 (in Vienna, Austria)

Follow-up:
October 2024- December 2024 (local implementation of follow-up initiatives)

 

OTHER IMPORTANT REMARKS:
- Applications will be reviewed and accepted based on motivation and eligibility.
- More details such as preparatory tasks will be shared after selection via email.
- You will receive a YouthPass certificate on the last day of the training.

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