VIEWS International welcomed participants for a learning teaching training activity in Liège. Participants from countries as far as Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, Poland as well as Belgium gathered to take part in an intensive training camp for our project ADD@ME (Ambassadors of Diversity and non-Discrimination @ new Methods in non-formal Education) which aims to teach youth workers how to organize awareness raising workshops and equip them with the necessary tools towards this end. Our guests arrived on May 16 and stayed until May 22, during which they learned about facilitating awareness raising workshops with both theoretical and practical exercises.
The first day of the training kicked off with the participants getting to know each other and receiving an introductory session into facilitation with good practice examples. The partner countries presented the ADD@ME project including the tools they developed along with the idea that visually impaired participants would organize their own awareness raising workshops when they returned to their home countries. Of course, future facilitators had also a session where they were informed about how to plan and implement awareness raising workshops.
The second day of the training was allocated to familiarising participants with the project tools and testing those tools for usability. Trainees got the chance to test first the Mobile Toolkit which has more than 100 non-formal training methods (awareness raising and energiser activities) to choose from while organizing a workshop. It is one of the two comprehensive tools designed specifically for raising awareness about visual impairment as part of the project. The next tool that the participants got their hands on was the ADD@ME Online Trivial Game, a platform with a set of quizzes on different topics of visual impairment that aims to increase the knowledge of quiz takers and make them more aware about how people with visual impairment live their lives with a gamifying approach.
Then came the third day of the training with cultural, social and outdoor activities. The day got to a start with a guided tour of Liège which took everyone to a journey in the past and introduced the main attractions of the city to the guests with a bit of history. After a nice picnic for lunch, the group went on to visit la Lumière, the local association of the blind and learned about the services that la Lumière offers to the visually impaired people living in the area.
In the last two days of the training, the facilitators left the stage to the participants and they planned their own awareness raising workshops in small groups, working on the main elements of an awareness raising workshop such as their aims, target groups e.g., students or adults, how many people to involve, how to promote their workshops, find a place and set the timetable according to their aims. Then they used the project tools to find the activities and methods they needed for their workshops and prepared simulations of activities, which they presented to the whole group and got feedback to improve themselves.
The event came to a close with evaluation and feedback sessions to improve the project tools and the participants left Liège, well equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to organize their own awareness raising workshops in their local communities.