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‘Humour is Serious Business’ Training Programme
Thursday12th – Friday 20thApril 2012, Derry, N Ireland.
3 Participants from Malta
Summary of Training
‘Humour is Serious Business’ is a Training Programme aimed at youth work practitioners from a eight countries (N Ireland, Germany, Austria, Greece, Malta, Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia and Poland) who have an interest in and commitment to the examination and use of Humour as a proactive and deliberate methodology in their work with young people and other youth work communities.
The programme will provide space and time for participants to examine a multitude of issues, concerns and questions related to the use of Humour in an effort to increase their skills, knowledge and experience of Humour as an effective method of engaging young people.
Participants will come away from the training much better informed and ‘upskilled’ with a clear direction of how they can use humour in their work setting and with a clear plan for developing a locally-based project which will be documented to further inform the discussion regarding Humour as a mechanism which can be used in effectively engaging young people.
We are looking for three participants from each country/partner organisation to participate in the programme – we are targeting Youth and Community workers, Young Leaders (18+) and Trainers.
Content and Methodology
The overriding theme of the training is the use of Humour (as a pro-active methodology) in youth work practice. By providing space and time to examine humour, participants can develop a better understandIng of its use and application and in doing so increase their capacity to use it in their work setting so as to engage young people and other youth work communities in a constructive fashion, e.g., a ‘mulitplier’ capacity.
Before getting to that point participants will be engaged in consideration of important questions such as what is humour? Is it simply our ability to make people laugh? Is it how we perceive things, people or certain situations? Is it a means of escapism? Is it what we use when we feel all else is lost? Is it what we turn too when we have nothing else? Is it our mechanism for dealing with ‘stuff’ when we don’t know how too? Is it our way of dealing with embarrassment?
Is it our disregard for other people’s feelings? Is it a means of avoiding what we need to confront? Is it our way of avoiding feelings and emotions? Humour is often a natural reaction to or consequence of a given situation - a raised eyebrow, a look, a word but often it is and can be a deliberate act, planned with precision, timed to perfection
and designed to maximise given circumstances. It’s something that everyone knows, something that everyone feels, something everyone sees yet is one of those things that is often frowned upon. It is one of those things that can ‘hit the target’ and when it does it is great but when it misses it can be disastrous.
What are the rules, the boundaries, the parameters of laughter? What is the acceptable face of humour? What is ok, what is not? This training programme is designed to equip participants to use humour as a means of engaging young people effectively, if not more effectively that in the past, hence the title, ‘Humour is Serious Business.’
Some view humour as irresponsible, inappropriate, irrelevant, even poisonous, perhaps reprehensible, and disrespectful. Sometimes practitioners take themselves ‘too serious’, are so committed and so passionate about their work which is admirable but don’t allow themselves to laugh or to see the funny side because they feel it will undermine their approach, it will deviate from their given task, it will diminish their work, it will make light of their much sought after principles and values, what they stand for, what they hold dear!
Can humour though be a tool for good, can it be put to good use, can it be a constructive force? Has the question ever been asked? Has there ever been serious examination of humour, at least within youth work anyway?
We have designed a programme which we believe not only allows participants to examine humour in detail but enables them to achieve a greater understanding of the subject matter, enhances their capacity to use it in their work and provides them with space to test it in a safe environment.
Participation fee: EUR 50
Application form below which should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 20th January 2012: