There I was, back in Spain! The country of my heart and origin, to which I always gladly return for various reasons. This time I was in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, one of the seven islands of the Canary Islands. There was sun, and heat, too. See you later, winter clothes! Bring on the t-shirts and sunscreen!
But I wasn’t only there for holidays, I was in Las Palmas for a training course on the “Tools+ Inclusion” Project, financed by Erasmus+, to learn more about various tools for the inclusion of young people in non-formal education. The association Mojo de Caña, based in Las Palmas, was in charge of the successful organisation of this training course.
The goal of the training course was to improve the efforts of working with young people with fewer opportunities. The course provided us, youth workers from all across Europe, with the time and space for exchanging our previously acquired experiences with each other, as well as tools and skills that have been useful in our daily work. More specifically, we focused on practices that are oriented toward promoting the inclusion of the young people at risk of exclusion in their communities.
We also worked on developing a flexible perspective for our daily work with young people who need special efforts to feel included. Through various activities, the training course helped me to improve some skills for my work, which we have been able to bring back to our projects and organisations, in order to be able to better adapt to the different social realities facing these young people with fewer opportunities. Some of the activities and games that were most memorable, and helped us to reflect on the notions of inclusion and exclusion through different methods, were: the Human Bookseller, the ToolsAthon, and the Casino of Europe, to name a few.
The training course was attended by 12 other youth workers from diverse backgrounds: German, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Ukrainian, Estonian, Serbian, Belgian and French. True multiculturalism! We were able to experience a great cultural exchange through a shared meal which allowed us to taste the cuisines of each country, and afterward we saw beautiful traditional clothes.
In addition to the training course, we were able to visit the city, which was quite nice. The people were calm, and we all enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere. We quickly got a taste of the culture of the city because our arrival in Las Palmas coincided perfectly with the start of the carnival festivities. ¡Vamos! People were singing and dancing to the rhythm of the music—it was impossible to miss!
This beautiful five-day experience made possible by Mojo de Caña has shown us that despite our different origins and languages, we can communicate, understand, support and help each other, while having wonderful enriching moments together. I’m eager to repeat the training course experience, and to take what I have learned in Las Palmas and implement it in my work at Eurocircle.