Youth Sport Work for Reconciliation

and Acceptance of Diversity

From 7th until 13th of March the volunteers Chiara, Elisa, Tsvetomira and Cristiana participated in the Training Course held in Blagaj (Mostar- Bosnia and Herzegovina) on behalf of FOSDI. Throughout the training, together with other 15 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo and Germany, they had the chance to reflect and carry out activities regarding youth work, sport and reconciliation processes, by using non-formal education methods.

Non formal education (NFE) is the pillar of Erasmus + programme. It is the learning which takes place through planned activities (in terms of learning objectives and learning time) where some form of learning support is present, but which is not part of the formal education and training system.
Work in small groups, brainstorming, role-plays, outdoor activities are often included in non- formal learning. During this training two facilitators of the Bosnian NGO “Youth Power” supported the learning and the reflections, even if the effectiveness of non- formal learning relied on the individual and collective resources of the group of participants, following the concept of peer learning.

Specifically, the activities carried out throughout the training were: ice-breaking, team-building, brainstorming, group reflections, work in small groups, outdoor activities (such as national childhood games, sport activities addressing the concepts of cooperation and competition).

The topics addressed by the activities and thorough the methods of non- formal learning have been several, with interesting outputs (posters, songs, pictures). Particularly, hereby is the description of each single day of activities.

7th March “Welcome” In the welcoming evening, the participants briefly introduced each other to the group and the facilitators. The rules of respect and safety for all the duration of the training were set by common agreement of the group.

8th of March “Team-building and YouthPass”. The day started with ice-breaking activities (using nonverbal communication) and creating an inclusive atmosphere, reflecting also on each one’s knowledge and expertise on Erasmus + youth mobilities and non-formal education. The afternoon activities were focused on reflecting on the YouthPass and the competences that it certifies. Youth pass is a tool to document and recognize learning outcomes from youth work and solidarity activities. It is available for projects funded by Erasmus+: Youth in Action and European Solidarity Corps Programmes. It confirms the participation in a project and the development of competences. Specifically, the key- competences certified by the Youth pass are: multilingual competence; personal, social and “learning to learn” competence; citizenship; entrepreneurship; cultural awareness and expression; digital competence; mathematical competence and competence in science, technology and engineering; literacy. Through a “treasure hunt” in small groups, the participants had to give the definition for each competence.

9th of March “Interculture” The participants were facilitated to reflect and discuss in small groups and couples about communication and intercultural dialogue. Morover, they were given time to work in national groups to present the present situation of sport clubs and youth work in their countries. FOSDI’s volunteers worked on presenting a poster about Serbia.

10th of March “Sport and Personal development” The participants reflected on sports benefits on personal development (at mental and physical level). In the evening, as for most of Erasmus + youth mobility projects, an intercultural dinner was held in the meeting room of the TC location. During the evening, each national group presented its country, by offering traditional food and drinks, showing traditional dances and games. FOSDI’s volunteers presented Uzice, tried the “kolo” dance and, of course, offered rakija and domaca kafa.

11th of March– “Youth work and sport” The activities focused on youth work and sport clubs, and how the two action areas with youth could be connected. In the afternoon, the group of participants was given free time to visit the old town of Mostar and to know better each other through an intercultural perspective.

12th March “Culture, differences and similarities through the sports”. The facilitators explained different theoretical approaches regarding culture and intercultural dialogue. Then, the participants have been asked to prepare some sport/outdoor games of childhood, and the task was to think about rules of cooperation and competition. The outputs of the individual and collective reflection groups on the meaning of intercultural dialogue led to one shared definition: “Readiness to open and willingness to accept differences in opinions and attitudes, knowing one’s originally background”. The participants were also divided in small groups to think about the definition and advantages/disadvantages of informal and non- formal learning methods.

After each day of activities, the entire group was asked to give a feedback or evaluation on the feelings experienced and the learnings achieved throughout the day. This daily evaluation activity was carried out by creating a personal paper envelope in which each participant could insert notes. 
Another activity to strengthen the team-building and especially the intercultural value of the project was “the secret friend”. Each participant had been assigned secretly another participant’s name, and he/she would be his/her secret friend. So, every day, the participant could fill the secret friend’s envelope leaving some messages or small gifts.