18. – 25. February 2017
Nowy Sacz, Poland

EPEKA, Soc. Ent., is a partner in the project “Mindful Coaching in Youth Work”. The project activity took place from 18th to 25th February in Nowy Sacz, Poland.

‘Mindful coaching in youth work’ is a 6-day training course which gathered 27 youth workers, youth leaders, community development officers, facilitators, trainers, mentors, etc. from 12 different countries across Europe: United Kingdom, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Belgium and Poland. The main aim of the project is to develop the capacities of youth work practitioners in using coaching as an effective guidance, motivation and empowerment tool. Through developing basic knowledge and skills in coaching attendees will then be better prepared to support young people and help in building their resilience, especially for the job market.

In order to achieve the aim, the following project objectives have been set:

  • To analyze present-day situation around Europe concerning young people and support provided towards facilitating their mobility in the job market.
  • To train youth work practitioners in the use of basic coaching tools that can be applied directly within career coaching sessions and leading to greater empowerment of young people and building their overall resilience.
  • To develop competencies in assessing young people’s well-being so as to appropriately apply the tools to their personal and professional development.
  • To provide an open and friendly environment for the exchange of further tools and best practices used by the partner promoters and their participants when supporting young people towards employability.
  • To plan follow-up steps in order to ensure transfer of learning forward beyond the programme.
  • To facilitate networking between partner promoters and the development of strategies for the future joint projects focused on coaching, youth guidance and support.

The methodology of the activities was based on the principles of non-formal education such as experiential learning, cooperative learning, shared responsibility, etc. These were enriched with numerous practical examples of tools, methods and projects that have brought about change and success in the subject area. Overall, we hope that the course helped to create wide impact on the participants, partner promoters organisations and, most importantly, young people themselves. This included:

  • Developing better understanding of the issues related to youth unemployment and gaining practical skills in addressing these;
  • Refreshing knowledge and/or learning about the existing coaching tools;
  • Creation of new international projects and partnerships aimed at supporting young people in their personal and professional development;
  • Greater resilience of youth work practitioners to work with young people, especially those with fewer opportunities and affected by prolonging periods of unemployment;
  • Getting more young people into employment or training (particularly those disadvantaged ones, insecure, without concrete or any educational background, etc.);
  • Changing young people’s perspectives regarding the job search. Here: greater resilience applied, healthier perspectives developed, positive attitudes, openness to challenges and treating these as opportunities, etc.

A short report from one of the participants coming from EPEKA, so. p.:

“It is not long since we returned home and we already want to go back. Last week we had the opportunity to attend Erasmus + training in Nowy Sacz in Poland on “Mindful Coaching and Youth Work”. Training was excellent organized by the organizers and great trainers from the field of coaching.

After breakfast we started with daily activities. Usually this were activities for self-awareness and awareness of our feelings, like meditation. After that we learned variety of new tools and methods for the implementation of coaching, which can be used in our work with young people. In the afternoon it was usually the time for testing new tools and methods in practice. In the implementation of these methods, we usually came to a deeper lessons learned about ourselves and our goals that we want to accomplish in the future. This was excellent training for self-discovery as well as networking with others, because we went through so many activities together that we quickly connect with each other. Despite the many hours devoted to our training we had a free afternoon in which we could see the city and try how successful we are in escaping from the Escape room.

It is because of such a good organization and execution of training that has been very hard to say goodbye and return back home.”

Alenka Stražar

For more information and if you wish to join the project please send an e-mail with a motivation letter and your CV to epeka@epeka.si.

The coordinator of the partner organisation: Štefan Simončič, president of EPEKA, stefan@epeka.si

This project is financed by the European Commission. The content of this announcement only expresses the opinions of the author. The National agency and the European Commission are in no way responsible for any use of the information the announcement includes.

The youth program of EPEKA, Soc. Ent., is supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport — Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth.