Last Thursday, the Youth Palace of the Mari El Republic has hosted the final evaluation of the project “Identity and globalization – challenges for youth initiatives”, together with the participants and the organisers of the project. This was the occasion for everyone to come back on the results of the activities led by the young trainers and to collect the opinions of those who participated in those activities.
Here are some of their comments:
“It was not an easy experience, but surely a very interesting and useful one. I supervised the whole implementation of the project and assisted the participants in their activities. Some of the ideas were very good and the impact could be seen quite quickly. But it is also important to carry on activities on the long term, and I hope the participants will continue to stay active. Opora is globally satisfied with how the project went.”
“The training allowed us to distinguish between our many “dream-ideas” who seem interesting but without real implications, and to focus on a main solid idea, and gave us the tools to concretely set the steps of the realization. It was particularly interesting to interact with educators and propose some new initiatives for the schools. I am myself a teacher, so I have experience with young pupils, and it was motivating to hear that the educators were convinced by our new ideas.
As a Mari national, I also wanted to underline what I felt during the visit of the villages. Those visits were very inspiring, I learned a lot of things that I did not know and really felt proud of my culture. So this project gave me the opportunity to grow professionally and personally.
The idea of peer-mentoring appealed right away to me. It seemed relatively quick to put in practice in our school and I envisioned easily the positive impacts of it. Indeed it encourages the pupils to work together and help each other, and fosters a kind of horizontal communication, where the educator is only a facilitator. It gives the children a sense of responsibility for the success of the whole group. We have a few pupils that came from the southern regions of Russia and I am sure that this project will facilitate their integration not only in the classroom but also in their general environment.
Irina Protasova (trainer)
The participants had a lot of ideas and I was impressed by their social activeness. I was also glad to keep contact with them during the implantation face, to give them some advice and to hear about their results. It was a great experience for me too.
Ilya (student of the Mari State University)
I found interesting the idea of using comics to talk about social topics. Many youngsters (myself included) read comics, so it is actually easy to get a message across with this media. It is even more powerful when we are included in the process. I really enjoyed the “RESPECT” project and want to know more about it.
Aleksandra (participant of the project)
I already used the technics of social theatre and applied drama, which proved useful. Our best experience was with older students, because it was easier to put those technics in practice than with young kids. We worked together with the youngsters; they wrote themselves the scenes and performed them in front of their comrades who got in their turn impacted by the project.
The organisers congratulated all the participants for their successful activities, and thanked the sponsors who allowed the project to take place.
The project was supported by the European Youth Foundation together with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Mari El Republic and the Mari State University.