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Make an Impact

A group picture to remember “Make an Impact!”
Make an Impact! was a training course that took place in Larnaca, Cyprus 27 March- 2 April 2015. The educational activity was organised by SEAL CYPRUS,  the Cyprus Organisation for Sustainable Education and Active Learning. The training course was part of a wider capacity building project with the same title and a total duration of 10 months (January– October 2015).

The project brought together youth workers and youth leaders in order to explore ways to increase the impact of their projects within their organisations and their communities. The participants were guided to extend the potentials of non-formal education methods and techniques in creating original projects to address the needs of young people. Special focus has be given in the use of information communication technologies in order not only to coordinate (international) projects but also to multiply their impact. The participants were trained in ways to use open source software and the social media in order to maximize the influence of their work with the youth.  A guide for dissemination and exploitation of results was created with the contribution of all the trainees.

By augmenting their skills, the participants are expected to make a better utilization of non-formal education and to raise the visibility of their projects. This way they will support their own target groups, in particular young people with fewer opportunities (i.e. young people from remote or rural areas, young people in unemployment) in becoming more visible. 

The outcome of the training is expected to have a strong multiplication effect.

 Origins of the project

The project originated from an expressed need of the partners to raise the visibility of their projects in order to create more influence with their youth work.  They wanted to learn how to promote their projects and how to disseminate their projects’ results.

The youth workers in the partner organisations expressed the need to learn how to benefit from the experience gained from past projects without having to start from zero every time they plan a new activity. This is why the partners decided to explore together methods and techniques to make the most out of their projects. During the initial needs analysis, the improvement of Information Communication Technology skills emerged as an important factor for successful communication and dissemination strategies.

 Main theme of the project

The main theme was DEOR:  Dissemination & Exploitation of (Project) Results.

Dissemination = spreading information about the project results to key actors.

We explored ways to use a wide variety of media to document our project results and deliver them to the most appropriate target groups.

 Exploitation = making sure the project outcomes & products are effectively used.

We went a step further in order to make sure that our project results can make a difference and can be used in other projects or policies. We learned how to adapt our projects to different contexts and new audiences, how to share our experiences, how to train others and how to improve systems and procedures.

 Results = project elements worth showing off from the point of view of the receivers. We identified the most important results of our activities and the ways these results can be used in order to have the greatest possible impact.


Project type

Erasmus+ Key Action 1. Mobility of Youth Workers. Youth Workers’ Training & Networking.

 Profile of the participants 

 Trainers, youth workers, youth leaders, volunteers from 1o European countries (Cyprus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Malta, Italy) and one Neighboring country, Ukraine.


Added value

We believe that youth workers should benefit from the experience gained from the implementation of past projects without having to start from zero every time they plan a new activity


Goals and Objectives
The goal  was to support the professional development of those who work in the field of youth in order to improve the quality of youth work across Europe.

The main objectives of this training course were: to explore ways to increase the impact of youth projects within our organisations and our communities;  to extend the potential of non-formal education methods and techniques in creating original projects in order to address the needs of young people; to provide the participants with the skills necessary for strategic thinking and planning in order to raise the visibility of their projects.  One of the objectives was also the acquisition of competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) in order to improve personal development & employability.


Training methodology

All the working activities aimed at fostering intercultural learning and exchange between participants from diverse backgrounds. Methodology included simulation games, role play, plenary debates, interactive lectures, audio-visual presentations, small and large group discussions, self- assessment and more. With their participation in this capacity-building activity, the youth workers will be able to strengthen and support their organisations to tackle social problems, to raise the visibility of their projects and to multiply the impact of youth work.


Composition of the partnership

Participants write about the composition of the partnership

By Alina Nora Thiel, Germany and Daniel Fauldi, Germany

At the end of March 2015, more than twenty youth workers from all over Europe met at the beautiful beachside of Larnaca, Cyprus to discuss and exchange their experiences in the field of youth projects. More than an intercultural exchange, the training course “Make an Impact!” was an opportunity to learn about communication and dissemination strategies.

All the participants were passionate to be involved as leaders of European projects in order to create new spaces for youth work.  Some of the NGOs are already involved in different projects in their local municipalities like Solis Tuvāk from Latvia. MHSA, Malta Health Students Association is famous for the promotion of healthy lifestyles and drug use prevention. AKTYVUS JAUNIMAS, which is the biggest students’ organisation in Lithuania, work on the same issues. The NGO Joetz from Brussels is the youth organisation of the Belgian National Health Service.

In addition to health topics, an interest in environmental issues and their sustainability was also shown. The organization ITTA, from Ukraine planted trees and engaged local people towards a more beautiful, greener city. In addition, the organization NaturKultur from Germany promotes an environmentally friendly and sustainable way of life. Similar projects have been implemented in Latvia by the organization Solis Tuvak.

There were also organizations that promote political participation in civil society such as EProject Consult from Italy and Young Partners from Romania. A variety of projects were presented by the NGO FOCUS from Bulgaria and Raplection from Croatia who work with children. Last, but not least, the host organisation, SEAL CYPRUS, works on Environmental Education and Active Learning with the promotion of Non- formal Education and Life-long Learning.

The participants had the opportunity to identify similarities and differences in terms of culture and work methodologies.  All in all, the exchange of work strategies regarding the Dissemination and the Exploitation of project results was a great experience for all the participants. 

Interviews

By the participants Elena Cicardo, Italy and Oksana Tykhovska, Ukraine

We asked organizers and participants of the training course "Make an Impact!" to share their experiences and ideas about the project.

Andreas Skouropatis, Project Manager of “Make an Impact!”

ANDREAS, IS IT THE FIRST PROJECT YOU MANAGE AT SEAL CYPRUS?

- No, it's already the second one. The first one took place in 2014; it was a training course on “Biodiversity & Active Learning” and it took place in Limassol with the participation of NGOs from 10 European countries.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU ALREADY BEEN WITH SEAL CYPRUS NGO AND WHERE DO YOU GO AFTER "MAKE AN IMPACT"?

- I joined from the beginning, when the organisation was an informal group with the name YouthLabCY and we continued working together after the official establishment of SEAL CYPRUS in 2013. I am glad to be part of an NGO which impacts locally as well as globally.

After this course, I am going to a contact-making seminar organised by Euroteam in Czech Republic where I hope to identify partners with the same aspirations and aims in order make fruitful partnerships with SEAL.

ANDREAS, WHAT IS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT?

- In the case of training courses, it is crucial to prepare thoroughly for every activity you put in the agenda. It is important to have good partners and to communicate with the participants. A good project also includes balance between info sessions and different methods of non- formal education.

WHICH PART OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT ARE THE HARDEST?

- I think communication with participants and the creation of an education environment so that everyone can benefit in terms of knowledge but also attitudes towards different cultures. We want the participants to make as more impact as possible to their local communities upon their return home.

ANDREAS, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MEASURE THE RESULTS OF THIS PROJECT?

- We will analyse the evaluation reports of the participants and we will monitor the dissemination activities of all the partners and the measures for the exploitation/ multiplication of the project results.

Anna Dalosi, Project Manager & Trainer in “Make an Impact!”

ANNA, WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF A SUCCESSFUL TRAINING COURSE?

The consistency between the learning outcomes you want to achieve and the learning activities you are choosing to facilitate those outcomes. Moreover, there has to be a balance between info sessions and non– formal methods.

Another major factor for success is the quality of your partnership. You need reliable and committed partners to work with you throughout the project life– cycle.

During the training sessions, the active participation of the participants and their input are the most valuable indicators of success.

Anthi Gavriel, EVS coordinator-YEU, Cyprus (NGO “SEAL CYPRUS”)

ANTHI, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO APPLY FOR "MAKE AN IMPACT"?

- I wanted to learn how to promote the work I am doing (I am coordinating volunteers who participate in the European Voluntary Service), to multiply its effect and to disseminate its results better.

Marios Proxenos, Teacher, Cyprus. (NGO “SEAL CYPRUS”)

TELL US, WHAT DID YOU TAKE FROM THIS PROJECT?

- I learned a lot, especially through communication with the rest of the people. It is inspiring how motivated everybody was to think out of box.

Maria, Kaniclidou, Researcher, Cyprus (NGO “SEAL CYPRUS”)

WHY ARE YOU HERE?

- Currently, I am doing a research on neurodegeneration. This issue is very important in the society. Psychological therapy helps people to know themselves better and to make more informed choices. I want to disseminate the results of the research and to increase its visibility.  "Make an impact!" helped me a lot to improve my skills and get invaluable knowledge.

Oksana Tykhovska, Project Manager, Ukraine (NGO ITTA).

WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF THIS TRAINING COURSE?

- I am happy I had the opportunity to expand my professional contacts and get to know many creative individuals all around Europe. Moreover, it was great to find NGOs for further cooperation and new joint projects.

Alina Thiel, Drama Therapy student, Germany (NGO “Natur Kultur”)

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?

- To be more confident about my English language skills, to foster structured dialogue and to manage my future projects better.

Doris Velan, Teacher, Croatia (NGO “Raplection”)

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THINK ABOUT THIS PROJECT?

- To meet new people from different organizations. Cooperation and suggestions on how to disseminate of my projects better. I met interesting people for future cooperation. I found very interesting the visit to Europe Direct where we learned about information strategies and also we attended a presentation from the Cyprus Youth Council about their work on the Structured Dialogue with the Young People. 

Isabelle Ioannides, Researcher, EU Parliament, Belgium (NGO “JOETZ”)

ISABELLE, WHAT WAS THE MOST USEFUL PART OF THE TRAINING AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE HOME?

The team building exercises was what I found the most useful in terms of content.

The wonderful opportunity to meet potential partners for further impact. Building alliances already with like minded participants. Thank you SEAL CYPRUS for bringing us together.

 

Benefits of DEOR

Dissemination & Exploitation of your project Results:

Makes it easier to get support within your organisation

Helps you do more with limited resources

Is an opportunity to spread the word

Generates saving (you don't have to re- invent the wheel)

Creates spin- off effects

Improves the reputation and recognition of your organisation

Can get you more funding

Increases the sustainability of your results

Raises the motivation of your people

Transforms and improve systems

Enhances the impact of EU funded projects

Feeds the policy process- influence youth policy

 DEOR measures at micro level (within Erasmus+):

All promoters are required to reflect on dissemination and exploitation measures to be carried out during their project

The quality of dissemination and exploitation of project results is taken into consideration within the project assessment process.

 

Erasmus+ project by SEAL CYPRUS
This project was financed with the support of the European Commission. The content of the publication is the sole responsibility of the publisher and the European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SEAL CYPRUS,
May 27, 2016, 4:43 AM
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