Committed to the Future, Leadership of Youth Organisations of Rural Areas

Training Course organized by Proposito Inadiavel, 3-11 October, Portalegre, Portugal

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An improvised flash-mob at Praça da República in Portalegre: one of the ways to motivate participation in youngsters

Youth workers and young leaders from Portugal, Austria, Italy, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Greece came together to improve their leadership skills while debating on the topic of what is rural area and how to empower youngsters living there.

Maria Makri:

On the third of October, 22 people from 8 nations were gathered in Portalegre, a Portuguese province to discover the secrets of a successful leader. All active members of various youth organisations, yet sharing a common vision: to make the most of such an experience and put everything into practice when coming back.

The training programme, although tiring at times, was really effective. Through informal learning methods, we definitely promoted our communication and leadership skills, at some point our creativity, but certainly our open-mindedness. Workshops and campaigns, games, our every-day morning energizer activity and our team presentations composed a unique learning environment. The organisations’ bazaar afternoon, a typical presentation of each organisations structure and goals, was inspiring for everyone. During the open space day we felt completely free- and well-prepared – to come up with new ideas, discuss them and find people interested in cooperating with us. After all, if our idea wasn’t interesting enough, we had a feedback to rely on for the next step. The programme succeeded in what it promised: all together, we did create the next step for a better future.

The evaluation at the end of each day was a most interesting team activity. After all the knowledge we assimilated every day, we gathered at smaller groups to take down our thoughts. What I want to notice is the similarity of thoughts, feelings and emotions we had in our group. Evaluating the programme and giving our feedback was really beneficial since our amazing trainers were more than willing to make their best and become better day by day.

I have to admit that , in the beginning, having to cooperate with people from around the continent seemed as a huge challenge. Afraid I couldn’t express my thoughts and share my concerns, I wasn’t that talkative and active. By the end of the project, everything was completely different. We had become a united team, everyone felt confident to express themselves. Our mid-week trip to Castelo de Vide and Marvao is definitely a day to remember, since we had a great time all together. To my mind, true communication, deep understanding and respect of the difference have now become synonyms. No matter what are the problems we have to face, in our case we only had to deal with coming back to our normal diet after having tasted unbelievable portions of delicious food, such trainings offer a great opportunity to test our limits and become better in any field we do want to improve!

Kosmas Subashi:

We were fortunate enough to participate in a training course with a lot of experienced members of other NGOs, active trainers who inspired us to work and in a beautiful location with great hospitality.
We had the chance to discuss the advantages we have in rural areas, in contrast with an urban one, but also its difficulties.

We also worked all together on ideas we had, grown them and started to write potential projects on them. That gave us a big confidence boost on our skills and made us realize just few of the opportunities that exist. I really hope we will keep in touch to work on some of those and maybe one day we find ourselves implementing some.

For more information about this and other mobility projects, ask Boyka at: