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Grundtvig Workshop Literacy Opportunities for Adults in Rural Areas

miercuri, 13 august 2014

It was my first Grundtvig Workshop. A great and challenging experience... After two days spent in Istanbul, I arrived to Gaziantep, the 6th biggest city in south Turkey, near the Syrian border. The recent problems did not change my decision to join this event. Actually, I was amazed by the way Turkish Government and people are managing the situation. It was one of the key aspects of the workshop. The topic, literacy, the ability of reading and writing, is much more complex than it seems to be at the first hearing. The group was heterogeneous, with people aged between 25 to 53 years old from different domains: academics, linguistics, international relations, education& innovation, finance, media and history; and different countries: Bulgaria, Ireland, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Scotland and Turkey.  


The workshop was structured in several parts: the concept, the methodology, practical tasks, study visits, presentation of the new program called Erasmus + and the evaluation. We had the chance to learn about the forms of literacy (basic, functional, multiple), we worked in groups and presented the characteristics of each country related to understanding literacy (in the people’s and state’s opinion), the current situation (facts and numbers concerning illiterate people), and the type of literacy used by each member of the group. We learned new things, we had a view of literacy in present times in different countries and we reflected on our activities and how literacy works in our daily life.
  
Also, we delivered some presentations about methodology used in academics, teaching-directed learning, self-directed learning, plain language and its usage, the level of literacy in Bolivia (the case of indigenous people) and the way we trust Internet sources. We learned about the Pedagogy of the Oppressed of Paulo Freire, literacy for adults, by doing research on The Banking Model of Education, which "it transforms students into receiving objects. It attempts to control thinking and action, leads men and women to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power"; on the Praxis, Easter Experience, Dialogue, Conscientization and Codification. We had some interesting interpretation tasks, divided in groups we had to make a live photo based on a certain word; based on a live photo we had to create a story, to give life to the actors and to come up with an ending (called Theatre of the oppressed). It was creative, challenging and funny, we learned to express what we see, to let our imagination fly and to act in this direction.  An interesting task was developed by the Bulgarian team: a quiz about learning styles. We had the chance to discover what type of learners we are: activists, reflectors, theorists or pragmatisms. Also, we presented differences between children and adults as learners according to different aspects: self-conception, experience, orientation, readiness and motivation.


I appreciate the high quality of this workshop due to the consistency of all activities and implication of both trainers and participants.


An impressive aspect of this event was the study visit part. We had the change to visit two education facilities: the Mother-Child Education Foundation and the Syrian Refugees Education Center.
   
Firstly, the Turkish Government and the local authorities strongly support the education of Turkish mothers (in specialized centers they learn to read and write, to sew, to sing etc.). The attendance at these classes gives them the opportunity to integrate in the social life, to find a job, to be able to communicate within the community). Secondly, the situation of the Syrian Children, in terms of education, is very well handled by the authorities, they have very good conditions to learn, classes diversity, Syrian teachers, moral support in order to continue the learning process and to get through the major problems faced by their country. It was amazing to see the reaction of the Turkish people towards this situation, the result of the big investment that Government made (infrastructure) and the solidarity and care for these people. Also, we had an open discussion with the director of the Syrian Refugees Education Center and we asked question about the current situation, the number of participants, their activities, financial issues.


In another day, we visited the Gaziantep Training & Youth Association, the organization which made possible this event. We met the volunteers enrolled in the EVS program, we found out information about their current projects, we had a great time.
   
The intercultural evening was full of surprises, with good food and wine, great music and dancing, nice presentations, a lot of joy and friendliness. The Turkish participants prepared a special concert inviting a local band, mostly students from the Gaziantep University Turkish Music State Conservatory. We learned their traditional dances; we enjoyed the famous baklava and we felt like one big happy family.

In order to establish new collaborations, in one evening we presented our organizations, our activities and interests. Also, we received new information about the new program Erasmus+ as much as there are official records. Last, but not least, we enjoyed a visit in the city (we entered in a Turkish Hamami, we walked through the parks, the boulevards and the bazar).



Personally, I consider this experience very useful based on the information that I received (related to the objective of the course, different cultures, new places I visited), the people that I met, the tasks I fulfilled and the future opportunities that were created throughout this meeting.
 
During this training course, I have been active, communicative, flexible, open-minded and I embraced challenges. I also realized the high potential development of such activities. 

To conclude, I gained new friends, I improved my skills and my knowledge, I looked into myself and I evaluated my personal resources (the intangible ones) as a preface of my potential as a member of the European community. 


Written by Anamaria Avadanei

12-month EVS Program at CITIZENS of EUROPE Office in Berlin

Căutăm un tânăr activ, interesat să desfăşoare un stagiu de voluntariat pentru 12 luni, în capitala Germaniei, în perioada ianuarie 2018 -...

 

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