The training course “VISUALLY – A guide to reach youth through visuals” was held between Tuesday 4th October and Tuesday 11th October in the mountainous village of Eco dos Teixos, Casaio up in the mountain range which separates the regions of Galicia and Castilla y Leon. The 24 participants hailed from a variety of European nations. Apart from 3 Maltese participants Fabian Mercieca, Lynden Ellul and Thelma Bonello, the training course also included youth workers and educators from Spain, Portugal, Poland, Italy, Greece, Romania, Germany, Estonia and Latvia. The training course was hosted by Ticket2Europe with the support of the SGI network funded by the Spanish National Agency Injuve and funded by the Erasmus+ programme under the Key Action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals.
Upon arrival, participants had an ice-breaking session to get to know each other. Throughout the 6 full training days at the heart of this project the participants went through intensive training days with around 6 hours sessions a time split with appropriate break slots. For everyone to understand the dynamics of the group, in the beginning of the training course, the participants were asked to share the contexts they come from, their experiences in relation to visual facilitation and other realities such as the places they want to visit or that they went to.
Throughout the course the participants learned a variety of methods and skills related to Visual Facilitation which can be used in their roles as youth workers, youth leaders and teachers but also in other work. Participates were given a set of markers: black for boldness, yellow for highlighting and grey for shading and slowly but surely started to learn to draw through various sessions such as the Visual ABC, Essential 8 and Visual…..What? Among other skills the participants learned about the objectives of visual facilitation, principles of visual facilitation, the fundamentals of non-formal education and a multitude of visual facilitation methods including those related to fonts, colouring, spacing, designing and many others. Finally the group was split in teams of 3 so that 3-5 visual facilitation templates per group were produced. Some of the templates were also digitalized on drawing tablets!
In the evenings, specific delegations cooked a typical meal representing their counties, for Malta it was the traditional Maltese Timpana and on the same night Vastlakukkel (an Easter dessert) was served by Estonia: an appropriate pairing going back to the start of MUYA that has its first contacts from EUYA (Estonian UNESCO Youth Association).
Saturday was the day dedicated to the local discovery and the participants were taken for an 8-hour 20km long trek in the mountains. On this trek participants were taken deep into the forest to see the typical Celtic trees that have roots that are so intertwined that it is unclear how many trees are in the forest, the local tour guides from Eco dos Teixos, Elba and Pedro explained. In the evening a local Galician dinner was organized by the Spanish team - a much needed energy boost after the day long trek!
The final evaluation of the VISUALLY training course highlighted the fact that at the beginning most participants were not exactly sure of the journey they were embarking on. However, as time passed, it became obvious that a lot of thought and preparation went into the build up to this training course. The trainers Jaanika Siiroja & Olalla González together with the helping team were all very well prepared. Olalla, considered this training course as her baby project as it was the first held in her home region of Galicia which was 2 years in the making due the original planned dates of 2020.