It was shortly after New Year’s Eve when we, 3 Slovak girls, were looking forward to our 1 week long trip to city of European Parliament, quality chocolate and well known sculpture of peeing boy…yes right, in Brussels. It was training included in program Erasmus + with title “Vivid” and we had a chance to get there thanks to Slovak NGO ADEL that send us there.
Project participants came from Spain, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, Turkey, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Belgium, Italy, Romania and Montenegro. The training was mainly aimed at social entrepreneurship and creativity and it was led by skilled leaders and facilitators Miguel, Diego and Noemie. The accommodation was situated in interesting hostel in Arabic quarter where every room was in different design. One Belgium girl and we were accommodated in “Monkey room” where we could sway on ropes and tire. The association Women heritage (mostly muslim women living in Belgium) was taking care about our food, they were cooking different Arabic, organic and very tasty food. I, personally, was really satisfied because I love to discover new tastes.
During the first days we did different games aimed at remembering and recognizing our names, I have to admit that some foreign names were not easy to remember. Besides that, everybody introduced what he or she does and what kind of experience he or she has with working with people – internships, volunteering, job or other activities. We were also dealing with factors influencing including and excluding in general and we were comparing the experience from our home countries – what are the biggest issues.
Later we had a lecture about social economy from French professional Jean Fracoic who was talking about differences between entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship and besides him; there were also local entrepreneurs or in other words, social entrepreneurs who came to share their experience with us. Another guest was expert of social projects funding who explained us how to get money for our projects. In the last part of project, everybody was thinking of his own project through which he could help the community in his home country. For some of us it was new and for some of us not, but I think that we have learnt basics of project management and its presenting.
Besides the main program we also had a time for ourselves. When international group meets, there is always fun! We enjoyed activities like night wandering in city center, visiting of local beer houses, different games, dances or songs. We didn’t forget to visit main sights as European Parliament, Atomium, peeing boy and girl (yes, since 1987 there is also peeing girl). We cannot forget visiting of local center that is hard to describe – it was underground center where different people (young, old, hipsters, punkers and others) could meet and drink beer, eat vegan food, exchange old clothes and enjoy comedians, poetry and singing. It was only shame that all of it was in French that I unfortunately don’t understand.
A week is a short time and even shorter when you have fun. And also our training full of experience, new friendships and adventures was finishing. We can only hope that we will meet one day on some other project. Because when you start with projects once, you cannot stop, it is like a drug.
Slovak Team was also formed by Alexandra Bekova and Janka Schweighoferova