31 julho 2013

Aneta´s Grundtvig Assistantship at Spin

So the last day of my Grundtvig Assistantship is finally here... I knew it would happen, but why did it have to be so soon?!

Well objectively speaking I have been here for 10 months. Some of you might think that 10 months is actually a rather long time, but believe you me not here, not at Spin! Life at Spin (you would think I should probably say work, but it often seems as if I actually lived at Spin) is mostly crazy. You wouldn´t believe how much paperwork has to be processed everyday (and that is on top of actual activities!). I think that there is a piece of paper for every euro-cent that we get in grants! But let´s not talk about that right now, it is a whole different story!

These 10 months have gone by so quickly not because of all the paper, but because it has been a GREAT experience. I think I can honestly say that I have been trying to give my best and to get as much as possible out of my Assistantship. I feel that I have learned a lot, but also that I have contributed significantly to Spin´s activities and current situation. I don´t think I can do it, but let me try and recall what I have done:
  1. Youth in Action (YinA) 4.3 Training Course "Communication and Conflict Management for Peace Education" - support staff activities (general assistance to the project manager, some paperwork)
  2. Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) Grundtvig Workshop "How to Train Your Pen: Story-crafting and word-bending for novices" - project manager (very challenging! as I was responsible for the whole implementation except for the content, which was the trainer´s responsibility)
  3. infospin.a-spin.pt - volunteer selection and instruction as well as actual publishing on the blog
  4. Spin´s new website at www.a-spin.pt - also somehow challenging as it was my first time using wordpress.org and I had to create it from scratch!
  5. YinA 1.1 Youth Exchange "Our time!" - one of my favorite activities, but also one of the most challenging ones; I wrote and implemented the project almost completely by myself (although with a lot of moral support from everyone at Spin!)
  6. YinA 2 EVS sending - I was responsible for all the sending tasks and have been able to prepare and send 6 volunteers abroad to Latvia, France, Romania, Norway, Poland and Iceland
  7. YinA 2 EVS hosting/coordinating - I have written one group EVS project for 7 volunteers that is about to start (the volunteers are going to arrive in Lisbon within the first week of September)
  8. LLP Grundtvig Senior Volunteering Project - for the first time in my life I had attempted to write a SVP project and guess what? It got approved! AND? It actually was ranked nº 1 in Portugal! Whoa! :) 
  9. Portuguese classes for incoming EVS volunteers - I actually am an English teacher (been teaching for about 8 years now) but I also studied Portuguese and Lusophone Studies both in Warsaw (University of Warsaw) and in Lisbon (New University of Lisbon), however this year was my first time teaching Portuguese! 
  10. English classes for the local community - I must admit that I love teaching English, so this task was more of a hobby to me! Throughout the year I have had classes with the local seniors and young adults as well as mentally challenged adults.
  11. Communication Department - apart from creating the website I was also responsible for all of our communication channels (Facebook, newsletter, blog, Twitter)
  12. Information Sessions at Spin - once a month I would get together with people interested in participating in EU-sponsored educational programs and explain to them where and how to start!
  13. 0,5% tax donation - Spin has been trying to get accredited for these donations for a few years now, this year my colleague and I have done our best to make it happen and it actually seems to have worked (personal note: diving into the Portuguese bureaucracy was a really interesting but also frustrating experience)
  14. Zumba classes - support staff for Zumba classes implemented by Spin twice a week, I loved it!
I think that it may be enough for now. It´s definitely not all, but my memory is short. I still have to write my final report for the Polish National Agency so I will have to recall all the activities either way and will amend this list for sure (let alone the fact that I have left out all my activities at Academia Senior and I would go there once a week!).

This has been a truly enriching experience. I will take every bit of it with me and use it in my future professional life! If by any chance you yourself are thinking of becoming an adult education professional, do consider doing an Assistantship. If you choose your placement wisely, you will DEFINITELY NOT regret it!

Last but not least, thanks to all the people that I have come across this year. You made it a memorable one! 

24 julho 2013

Experiência SVE na Letónia

Já passaram mais de 5 meses desde que cheguei aqui à Letónia (Alūksne)! Comecei a escrever o post para vos enviar, mas ficou tão longo que decidi fazer a espécie de publicação que podem ver em seguida:

Além disso ontem depois de estar a ouvir  Martas Asinis (grupo letão de que gosto bastante), encontrei o grupo indie Gaujarts. Fiquei apaixonada logo na primeira canção! Portanto embebi um videoclip deles, que é adorável, numa foto que tirei há pouco tempo perto do lago de Alūksne.

No Inverno estava muito frio cá (chegou aos -20ºC), mas a paisagem era lindíssima! Agora está uma boa temperatura e a paisagem alterou-se radicalmente, de modo que o verde abunda por cá! Às vezes deparo-me com paisagens tão belas que penso que estou no paraíso! Confiram!



18 julho 2013

A experiência do Hugo no curso 3C for Peace

Após a minha participação no curso 3C for Peace, só me posso considerar um felizardo por ter tido a oportunidade de participar!! Durante a semana que passei em Florença, abordamos três temas chave, Comunicação, Gestão de Conflitos e Cidadania Activa. Na minha opinião o ponto alto desta semana foi, claramente, o “simulation game” no qual simulamos as eleições num pais fictício ligeiramente oprimido pelo governo no poder. Foi uma experiência intensa e bastante enriquecedora. Tive o privilégio de conviver com 20 pessoas de vários países, todas elas fantásticas e com quem tive a oportunidade de aprender, conviver, partilhar experiências e que tornaram esta semana ainda mais enriquecedora e inesquecível. Sem dúvida uma experiência a repetir! Obrigado pela oportunidade!

Hugo Balseiro

16 julho 2013

Intercâmbio Internacional de Jovens "Our time!"

O Intercâmbio Internacional de Jovens "Our time!" decorreu de 22 a 29 de Junho de 2013 em Lisboa. Aqui ficam uns pequenos testemunhos de alguns dos participantes.

Alexandra de Portugal
A participação no intercâmbio foi absolutamente fantástica. No inicio tinha receio em participar pelo facto de ter algumas dificuldades em expressar-me em inglês, mas acabei por embarcar neste projeto e ainda bem que o fiz.  Destaco a aprendizagem pessoal, o trabalho em equipa, a partilha e a interação. O intercâmbio permitiu-me melhorar a língua inglesa, conhecer diferentes pessoas e perceber que iniciativas existem nos outros países sobre esta questão da intergeracionalidade.  É de facto uma experiência incrível e uma optima oportunidade de conhecer novas pessoas, países, culturas e de aprendermos uns com os outros. Sem dúvida, recomendó!

Ieva da Lituânia
Firstly, as a group leader, I found this youth exhange very useful. I've learned some new and interesting methods of how to encourage young people to soak up new knowledge, how to make them understand the topic and have so much fun at the same time. As a participant, I realy enjoyed the topic. I was very happy to meet Portuguese seniors. They made me to break lots of stereotypes about old people. I also realised that intergenerational dialogue means sharing. Young people can learn lots of things from the elder generations. But they also can propose their knowledge. Therefore, If you want to get something, you have to give something, too. 

Urte da Lituânia
This youth exchange was the first for me. First when I heard that I'm going to participant in this exchange I was really scared. Because I don't knew how everything will be and what I'm going to do. But when I came I realized that this is the best experience for the future. All discusions,games and activities were all something that for now I can use in my own life. These topics like "generation dialogue","what we can change for olderly people,or what they can change for youngest people" and others are really important for all people. Now I can share my opinion with others and others can say them opinion to me,it is really intresting. I realized that no matter where you from,what your culture,nationality or who you are,you can communicate with all people and share your experience,which can change your and others life.

Nélia de Portugal
International Youth Exchange Our time! During 8 days, we were going to be around 25 people from 5 different countries working in activities about intergenerational dialogue while getting to know each other. It was a great opportunity to improve our skills and knowledge about other cultures and languages and to share our life’s experiences. We all spent 2 days with seniors in Senior Academy of Carnide and it was one of the best moments because they are really active people and they showed us that age is not a barrier. Thanks Spin, It was a great project!

André de Portugal
What a lovely surprise and experience. It is awkward to say that I went on exchange to Lisbon (yes, I'm Portuguese and I study and work at Lisbon) but it was a very enriching experience that I couldn't miss! Be a part of an inter-generational movement, practice English (and Spanish, Lithuanian, Polish, Italian, Português?!) and make new friends are obviously good arguments to convince. They convinced me, I hope someday will convince you too! Btw, SPIN ROCKS! Thank you so much for this unforgettable exchange.

08 julho 2013

SVE da Catarina em Craiova, Roménia

Already two months in Craiova, two moths that passed so fast that I feel I just arrived yesterday! Not two months of intense work or with a lot of activities but for sure two good months. 

Craiova is a beautiful city, not my dream city but a good one! The people are very nice and generous, always ready to help and also curious about the volunteers: where are we from, what are we doing here, if we are enjoying Romania, why Romania and all the questions that my short Romanian vocabulary let me answer. 

Since the last weeks we went to kinder gardens a couple times per week and there I was surprised in a positive way for the quality of the installations and the education of the children. Kids are very curious about us and it’s amazing how we can develop our Romanian communication skills with little children. 

Last week for the first time we meet some of the children who will be involved in our project and finally this week we started the activities with them. Till now my first impressions about them were very positive and I hope to develop a good work with them!