Youth Worker in Debate
24 – 30/11/2019 Turin, Italy
For me, the Erasmus+ experience began when my application was approved. I didn't really know much about neither the procedure followed in programs like this nor how a legit official debate was like. Although I knew I could and wanted to be the best I can during this process so I can discuss efficiently and compete with people probably more trained on that topic. Talking about the topic, as a Greek student I was educated in school about the way justification was structured. However, being up there and forming it into a speech session spontaneously felt totally new. The way to the debate education was easy-going and I think we all felt capable of achieving it. Due to the geographical positions of our countries, immigration was something we could all talk about and bring some new ideas on the table, which I am happy to say we all did, without being interrupted. All trainers were so kind and really made us feel that they truly cared, something that gave more passion to us and the project itself. As a result, I could state that the debate and its aims were covered in a really efficient and "participating" way.
Of course, the passion sprang also from the visit to Torino. Drastically different from Milan, this city -and the attractions that awaited us- gave us an excitement and a constant source of energy, which we transferred in the open table discussions. Personally, I support that mental widening comes not only from focused thoughts in venues but also from inspired people, and this city definitely inspired us to be the most active possible. Meeting people from other countries, visiting cultural spots and museums (cc. Museo Lavazza) and being a part of a youth-activating program is something that will be always remembered as an experience of a lifetime
The Erasmus + project in Turin with issue "Youth worker in Debate" was an amazing experience. First of all, the team of my country was very supportive and we had a good communication to achieve the goal of this training. Our leader Vasilis, was so helpful for us because He was informed us very well about the trip, the destination and the project. He is one of my friends now and I am so grateful to United Societies of Balkans that gave me this opportunity.
Secondly, the project was very interesting because we had a lot of activities, which helped us to meet our teammates from the other countries and to have a great cooperation and a new intercultural friendship. But especially this project informed us and trained us so well about Debating. This opportunity was a challenge for me. Before I went there, I had a lot of fears about what we will do or about the professional's expectations from us. But now, I believe that I have a very specific experience and knowledge about Debating and I can achieve the future goals of the program with our workshops. My feelings are so optimistic and I hope to have the same experience in the future in every aspect of my career. Thank you so much United Societies of Balkans, who gave me your confidence to make this opportunity true.
The youth mobility in Turin was an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse of the world of debating in Italy and in North Macedonia while providing input from my own experiences in Greece. I was one of the two relatively experienced debaters participating in the project, and I think the greatest strength of it was its trainer. The trainer had extensive experience in the domain of teaching debate, and that is what I found to be most useful - methodology on how to transmit this kind of knowledge. That being said, I don’t think it would be possible to relay this knowledge into local communities through most of the participants, as teaching debate would require one to already be somewhat adept in it. I hope that the project has served as an impetus for participants to get more involved in this activity with the aim of becoming part of the community and enlarging it in the future.
Practicalities-wise, I can say I’ve felt fully satisfied with how the programme was structured. The number of participants was also adequate. I thoroughly enjoyed the project, not only because I got some valuable feedback on how training people in debate can work, but also because I got the chance to speak in Italian, which I hadn’t done in over 5 years.
This article has been written by the three participants of the project Youth Worker In Debate, which is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.