Our training course in Newcastle was not at all planned but was definitively worth it! Everything started by a last-minute call on Facebook- one email, location north England Newcastle upon Tyne, training course Faith over Fear on the religious diversity in Europe and the negative stereotypes, looking for Slovak participants….The offer was too much tempting to say no and fortunately we were both free, so, decision made! In two days we arranged everything, booked the tickets, bought typical Slovak products and let´s go, direction Newcastle upon Tyne!
If you are interested in similar projects you should firstly understand what are these training courses about. Our project in Newcastle was focused on the topic of the religious diversity in Europe, negative stereotypes and religious tolerance. The theme was really comprehensive, participants representing one country should have prepared a presentation about the religious situation in their country followed by long discussions and debates. During the training we had the possibility to visit many religious places such as Hindu temple, Sikh temple, mosque and Anglo-Catholic church and debate directly with the spiritual representatives.
Discussion and visits alternated with creative parts of the projects such as video-survey about religious tolerance in the streets of Newcastle, creation of the “Fakebook” profile, many energizers and group activities, speed dating with questions about religion, presentations of our project drafts etc. For the first time in my life I had the chance to try so-called Theatre of the Oppressed, theatrical form where the audience becomes active and can transform the reality of the action, promoting social and political change.
The programme of the training course was really well-loaded and even though the course lasted 10 days, the time passed really quickly. During the training we still had the chance to see the city, visit some museums, check the Newcastle´s seaside and find out what the term “vodka coats” really means;) I have to admit that without such a great group of participants and professional organisers the training couldn´t be so successful and such fun! Thanks to the training I gained not only new ideas, skills, inspirational incentives but lots of contacts and friends as well !(thanks to our Spanish participants we have a summer meeting in Malaga, another positive aspect of such projects);)
Jana Fintova, participant of the training course