By participating in the Connectivity project so far, we strengthened our way of working locally. We learned more about mapping our needs, creating local programs, evaluating the results, and creating a sustainable method of inclusion. As an organization that is already working with adults and young people with fewer opportunities, supporting them in gaining skills via non-formal education, we have always seen the need for a tailor-made method of inclusion for this target group. Towards this direction, after one and half years of contributing to the project by exchanging different practices and ideas, and getting together with our partners and local participants, we feel that we can implement our local activities and projects in a more structured and easy way. We have created work forms and evaluation forms as new tools, which seem to offer great guidance while we are working and recording our experiences.
We are very proud that from the very beginning of Connectivity we have given the opportunity to young people all over Europe to get involved creatively by designing for example the logo of the project, through a creative contest. The response was great, we received a lot of very good high-quality proposals, and the results were inspirational – based on the description and on the terms, all these outcomes exceeded our expectations. So, we started dynamically with the active participation of young adults in our programs. This extra idea strengthened our self-confidence and we will continue to work on a successful program.
We also cooperated with some other local organizations, we have done ourselves or our teams have participated in outdoor activities with local organizations in Serres, Greece; organizations that are experts in orienteering outdoor activities. For some extra indoor training, we also involved the UNESCO club of Serres, particularly during the pandemic quarantine.
Even though the COVID pandemic period is strange, we strongly believe that Connectivity is a good example of cooperation between different types of organizations, since so far, we managed it well under unforeseen situations. We agreed on a rolling schedule for promoting activities through our social media accounts so we are always in connection and collaboration. Moreover, because of the COVID situation, we improved new online tools for our work (tips and tricks while working on Zoom, creating interactive online experiences). Since our first training activity was postponed, because of the pandemic, we kept the flow on social media writing articles about the work that we do locally, promoting what we have done, and connecting and promoting Connectivity through Facebook. We also created a group with Greeks involving also our candidate participants for the first training event and we had online – via Zoom – meetings/seminars once per week about “youth involvement”, thus producing online content/learning programs while presenting and including the Connectivity project. Regardless of what we faced especially in the last months, we had Skype meetings or mailing contacts in order to discuss, propose ideas and create ways in order to overcome the obstacles. This is a well-functioning practice that we can recommend to everyone and one that has great benefits and insights for our organization as well!
The implementation, in person, of the first training meeting, gave new wings to our participants!
After their participation in the first meeting in Ommen, the Greek team immediately started to plan our activities regarding the project, taking into consideration the feedback from the meeting.
Priority for us was to disseminate the knowledge that our participants gained during the meeting regarding the Impact tool and to adapt it to our work with different target groups. Furthermore, we used the Impact tool during the implementation of our campaign for FARE network football weeks (Football Against Racism).
Our team is in a very nice flow and we are eagerly working on new ideas and upcoming steps.