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Bridging Divided Communities training course

7. - 16. October 2012

booklet ‘This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.’


8-days training course Bridging Divided Communities aimed to connect youth workers, leaders, project managers and experts in the field of youth work who are working with those living behind invisible walls and provide them an opportunity for developing new skills, knowledge especially in the field of conflict and project management, communication and leadership and moreover a chance for sharing and creating new practices in the field of youth work which can contribute to break the invisible walls and connect disconnected. Simulations, group works, interactive presentations, outdoor activities were used to inspire and motivate youth leaders, workers and experts in the field of youth work coming from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia

and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Croatia, Romania, France, Italy, Germany, Estonia, Poland, Turkey and Republic of Macedonia to work together on developTo be “excluded from society” can take various relative senses, but social exclusion is usually defined as more than a simple economic phenomenon: it also has consequences on the social, symbolic field.

ing new tools for working with those who are invisible in way to create more inclusive society, fight social exclusion and to create new ideas for concrete projects which realized on local or international level will bring a positive social change to the participants’ local communities and contribute to more inclusive growth. This booklet is bringing insight into the project activities including new developed tools.

The training course

Bridging Divided Communities was implemented by

Volunteers Centre Skopje,, in October 2012.

Among this booklet the project results includes: project website: quiz: video submitted to the competition ‘Show Me Inclusion’: articles published in VOICES magazine:

New Tool - Cafe Debate Aims:




To encourage the participants to take part in discussion and through discussing various issues to strength their knowledge of the covered theme; To create open platform within which the participants can share their experiences, opinions and gain better insight to the realities of other participants countries; To increase communication skills of the participants and their ability to express themselves in mix-intercultural team; To develop leadership skills of the participants who are taking the leading role in this activity and moderating the discussion.

4 tables = 4 groups (it can be more depends on the number of the participants and size of the group) 4 topics to debate (for example Should it be forbidden to smoke in public area (bar, coffee, office)?; Do you think that children should be allowed to work?; Do you think that gay marriage should be allowed?; How gender balance could be improved in your country?). 2 glasses, 2 cups.


1. The group is divided into 3 – 4 team (preferably 4 – 5 persons in one team). 2. Each team gathers around one table and receives one issue to discuss. The table arranged as in cafés. 3. The main rules of the debate are reviewed at the beginning of the activity: a) At the moment when the café is open the discussions can start; b) In each team can only speak a person who is holding the glass or cup in the hand. c) If anyone would like to change the team - the table he/she need to asked the moderators (waitresses or waiters) who can allow them to change their places. d) The waitress and waitresses are following the debates and taking notes for debriefing. They are also making sure that the rules of the debater are respecting. 4. The activity is closed up by debriefing when the participants are sharing their impressions from the activity and the arguments mentioned during the debate are reviewed. By using this tool the participants had an opportunity to experience variety of opinions and attitudes as well as this tool can be starting point for discussion tackling the issue of judging in debates and youth work – how we can minimalize its influence if the group is diverse (especially culture and religion were tackled).

In which country the term ‘social exclusion’ was firstly utilized? France


New Tool - Driving Debate Aim of the Tool:

The main of the tool is encourage the participants to share their opinions, experiences when reflecting on various issues when having opportunity to step out of the debate as well as to bring new piece of information to it.

Description of the Tool:

This tool can directly include up to 6 persons - when one of them is playing the role of ‘driver’ having an opportunity to be a moderator of the debate by providing the passengers an opportunity to step out from the debate or join the debate. The passengers have an opportunity to change their seats during the debate and to share their opinions and ideas. Other participants are also included when following the debate and having an opportunity to become passengers at the next step as well as in the debriefing they are encouraged to reflect on the statements shared during the debate.

Which year was European Year of Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion? 2010

The debate is providing an opportunity to discuss any issue or topic. Important rule of the debate is a fact that just passengers can contribute to discussion thus when anyone from the participants willing to become part of the discussion he/she needs to wait on the stop and replaced someone at the bus.

Materials Needed: Chairs, pen and papers

Experiencing the New Tool: Driving Debate

New Tool - Pictionary with attitude! Purpose:


Develop discussion about various faces and dimension of social exclusion and brainstorm possible solutions.

Necessary Materials: Paper, pen, flipcharts. Recommended Time: 1 hour Description of the Tool:

1. Divide the group into several smaller groups of a maximum 3 to 4 people. 2. Give each group piece of paper or flipchart and pen. 3. Explain to everyone that their task is to draw their vision of a particular term on a given topic related to social exclusion. 4. Give first group to choose one term. For example some of term could be @ to be passive, @ to be active, @ to be helpful, @ exclusion: basically some general terms based on the topic social exclusion. 5. Every group has to draw the picture on the chosen term. 6. After they finish with drawing ask them to explain their work.

Question for Discussion:

1. Can this realistic picture happen in the real daily life? 2. Can we change it? 3. How can we persuade our society to behave differently?


Ask one participant to summarize all what was said on discussion with solutions of problem social exclusion. In case of mix-intercultural groups discussed how solutions implemented in one environment could be transfer to other cultural setting.

Comment from the Evaluation:

While presenting ideas, participants realised that the method is useful in creation of slogans and social campaigns tackling exclusion as it’s brings out of the box thinking method.

Name one of the mechanisms of social exclusion? extermination, exile, abandonment, shaming, marginalization, segregation, discrimination


Implemented Activities - Fish Bowl of Confict

Fish Bowl of Conflict is an opportunity for participants to get other perceptions on conflicts which they are facing at different levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, group) and find possible solutions that can be practical applied.

Aim of the Tool: Main aim of the exercise is develop participants understanding of conflict, its roots as to increase their possibility to find and reflect on possible solutions of various conflict situations as well as to develop participants ability to reflect on the conflict from other perspectives.

Description of the tool:

European Commission focus especially on ? to fight social exclusion. unemployment

Fish Bowl of Conflict in Practice

Firstly the participants are asked to write down description of their “conflict story” which they were or are currently facing. There is no need to sign the story but it is important that the story will be understandable to others when reading at the beginning of the discussion. It is also good to point out that the description should not include just information about “conflict escalation” but try to also introduce the history of the conflict. After the facilitators choose several situations for the own exercise and the working space is adjust when the participants are sitting in the circle and in middle of the circle are three chairs for people who would be discussing the conflict situation. To start the exercise the facilitators can ask for three volunteers who would like to take sit on the chairs in the middle of the circle. It is important to stress that just these participants have right to discuss the situations. If anyone else would like to express opinion he/she needs to replace person in middle by touching his/her shoulders. When first participants are ready the facilitator read the conflict situation. After reading without any additional commenting from his/her side the participants can start with the discussion with goal to share their point of view, experiences as their possible solutions. Others are encouraged to take part in the discussion by replacing with goal to gather also other points of view. When the discussion is finished the debriefing is taking place and after other situation can be discussed.

Implemented Activities - Visits of Local Organizations

The participants of the training course had an opportunity directly interacted with representatives, local volunteers, EVS volunteers of two non-governmental organizations located in Struga and Ohrid – the first visited organization was Poraka Nova working with people with intellectual disabilities. During this visit the participants were firstly shortly brief about the history of the organization, its activities by project coordinator and afterwards they had an opportunity to ask questions to the local stuff and also to EVS volunteers coming from France and Italy. The second organization visited in Ohrid was Opcija Ohrid working with sexual workers and drug users. Also during this visit the participants had an


opportunity to asked question to the stuff of the organization and to get to know more about realities of the hosting country.

Contact of Visited Organizations: Poraka Nova:

Facebook Profile:!/ poraka.nova?fref=ts EVS database: en.cfm?EID=66000156501

Opcija Ohrid

Facebook Profile:!/nvoopcija.ohrid?fref=ts

Visiting Opcija Ohrid - Group Photo.

What means OMC?

Open Method of coordination (OMC) - new means of policy making in the EU


Implemented Activities - Using Media Tools for Fighting Social Exclusion The training course was also for the participants an opportuntiy to strengh their abilities to use media tools for fighting social exclusion. During the session focused on using media tools the participants also work in mix - intercultural teams and were creating products that would tackled any issues connected with social exclusion. One of the created products - video was also submitted to the competition ‘Show me Inclusion’ that was part of project ‘End Exclusion’ three years public awareness project of European Union. More information about the project:

The submitted video can be found on following link:

How many percent of children in EU are in or at risk of poverty? 19 %

Presentation of Ideas.

Implemented Activities - Problem Tree


To explore the roots of social exclusion and economic, cultural, institutional and political features the participants took part in activity ‘Problem Tree’ when in national teams they were preparing presentation about the main social problem according their opinion in their country including identifying the reasons (roots) of the program and possible solutions. After the presentation the participants had an opportunity to discuss several issues tackled during the presentations and shared practices from other countries when dealing with any of the described issues.

Problem Tree: Italy

Problem Tree: Turkey

It is social exclusion multi-dimensional process?

Problem Tree: France

Yes. It affects both the quality of life of individuals and the equity and cohesion of society as a whole.


Implemented Activities - Project Management for Social Inclusion The training course was also for the participants an opportunity to develop their project management skills when working on ideas for new projects that could be implemented at international level with support of Youth in Action Programme.

Where can appear social exclusion? Social exclusion can occur in different sites and spaces: within state institutions, the market, the community and the family.

Exploring Project Management

Presentation of Project Idea - Youth Exchange Creativity Through Short Movies.

Implemented Activities - Sharing Feedback and Final Evaluation


During the project the participants shared their feedback through reflection groups. At the end of the project they had possibility to share written feedback within the group and write anyone feedback note. By end of the final evaluation session the participants also fill in the final evaluation forms.

Notes from Final Evaluation Forms:

Visiting the centres because it gives a clear idea what we are doing, why and for whom...

Making our videos, our ICL nights because I realized how people can function in short period of time and how brilliant things we can do together...

Improved: English, Italian, my soft skills, group work - learned that team can do much more than I though before...

I improved my communication and intercultural skills. I am even more aware of the social exclusion and I will try to definitely reduce them. This had also a positive impact on my personal development...

I met a lot of new friends. I hope that we will work together on our future projects...

Is social exclusion linked with inequality?

The concepts of social exclusion and inequality are closely linked. Unequal societies in which certain groups are discriminated against can lead to exclusion. Likewise, social exclusion involves inequality.

Contact Contact Email: VCS_CONTACT@YAHOO.COM Facebook Group: TC: Bridging Divided Communities Volunteers Centre Skopje

‘This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.’

Booklet TC Bridging Divided Communities  

Bridging Divided Communities was training course implemented with support of Youth in Action Programme by Volunteers Centre Skopje in Octobe...