Dates of the event: 23 November – 02 December 2018
Places: Houffalize & Brussels, Belgium
On the 23rd of November, we started our journey to Belgium where thanks to CODEC we had the opportunity to be a part of the training course “Globally Connected, Locally Engaged” along with 20 amazing people from all over the world.
Our meeting point was the Bruxelles airport where we saw each other for the first time. There were girls and guys from Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Turkey, Cyprus, Belgium, Italy, Nepal, and Croatia. People were arriving with smiles on their faces, carrying their luggage, excited and a bit scared of the adventure that was before us.
It was already evening when we arrived in Baclain, Belgium. Our bus suddenly stopped and we knew this was the place where we would all live together for a week, share knowledge, experience, learn together (and from each other) and have a lot of fun. In front of us was a beautiful house and our lovely hosts were greeting us and helping us settle into this new place. Slowly, we started to unpack, get familiar with the space around us and that first night all of the unknown faces started to become a bit more than a group of random people.
In the first few days we made plans, agreed on common rules, had an introduction to the idea and objective of the training course, presented our organizations, started with the intercultural nights and the most important thing – we connected with each other and became a family.
Starting with the intercultural night is always a great plan 🙂
Our neighbors in Baclain
The second part consisted of workshops that we did in teams on various topics. We had balloon modeling, chemical experiments, acrylic painting, origami, bracelets, introduction to theater, inclusive dancing, board games that do not require the knowledge of a common language, creative recycling, puppet theater, flash mob, circus and face painting.
On our last day in Bruxelles, everyone was divided into three groups and we used the knowledge we acquired in the training course in various organizations. Here are some thoughts.
Dora and Ingrid:
“We were in the D’Broej group which had the task of animating a group of refugee youngsters. We were a bit unsure of our plan at first, but all of our doubts were obliterated after the first 10 minutes. Everyone was really engaged, excited, motivated and happy to be there. It was our first time working with such a diverse group and we have learned so much from them and there was even a moment we found extremely moving. Everyone was so kind and nice and we worked together so well you’d think we were all lifelong friends. We had a feeling nobody wanted to leave after our session was over (which was scheduled as last for three hours!) and we will cherish this afternoon forever.”
Lana: “Our group did the animation within Spaghetti fest in Bruxelles theatre, we had a great experience creating art with children, doing balloon models and face painting. The atmosphere was amazing, both children and parents were actively participating in our activities and the whole team connected really well with everyone even though we did not speak a common language. We have learned a lot and had a great day with a lot of fun and laughter.”
Words cannot possibly describe the energy in this photo.
We’d like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts that are bigger and warmer as a result of this training course. The organizers (Association Strive!, CODEC), the facilitators (Natasha, Ingrid, Sagar), each and every single participant for his/her contribution, effort, idea, advice and conversation. We had the most incredible experience because of you and you have shown us how we can accomplish everything and anything we put our minds to and for this we are eternally grateful.
Participants: Lana Podgoršek, Ingrid Jakšić, Dora Vaing