On 23 and 24 February the project activities of the AKA Active Citizens project were kick-started with an exciting Training of Trainers organized by SOLIDAR Foundation on Global Citizenship Education (GCE) with all project partners in Brussels!
The AKA (Awareness, Knowledge, Action) Active Citizens project aims at promoting the democratic participation and engagement at the EU level of young citizens with vulnerable backgrounds in 8 countries (Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain). Through 24 Global Citizenship Education-based activities carried out in 8 local Community Centres, the youth involved will be empowered through Awareness and Knowledge resulting in Action for tackling social challenges for a Just Transition as well as structural inequalities in our society in a collective and transnational manner.
Participants at the ToT consisted of one educator and one young leader per organisation and the project manager of each partner. SOLIDAR Foundation staff also took part in the training for ensuring a smooth running from the organisational and logistical point of view and to assist the trainer on project coordination/management aspects. In total, participants came from 10 different countries.
At the ToT, the Trust Team methodology was introduced, and participants found out more about how to create a Trust Team and Safety Contract. By using this methodology, each Community Centre will adopt a Safety Contract and establish a Trust Team during its activities to ensure that the project environment is safe for all. By appointing a Trust Team, project partners aim to ensure a safe learning space and to allow every participant to participate on an equal footing, while actively promoting anti-discrimination and gender equality.
The project partners also exchanged their understanding of GCE and reached a common understanding based on concepts such as (but not limited to) active participation, addressing injustice, co-creation, formal, non-formal and informal learning, intersectionality and political education. Participants also discussed do’s and don’ts when using a GCE approach. When working with GCE, partners recommend, among other things, being authentic, empathic, collaborative and transparent and forming partnerships. It was pointed out that it is important to be flexible with the methodology, foresee changes in the planning, and address real needs adapted to the context. The ToT resulted in a Toolkit on which project partners will rely on when organizing their activities.