Creative writing as a tool for community change

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CREATIVE WRITING AS A TOOL FOR COMMUNITY CHANGE Booklet of good practices



Creative writing as a tool for community change Booklet of good practices

An international ERASMUS+ Training course Publishers Nikola Stankoski (director of Association for volunteerism Volonterski Centar Skopje) Hussein Ibrahim Dahir and Shukri M. Fitig (respectively Chairman of the Board and of Puntland European Associations Network ry)

Design Camille Labbaye Trainers Goran Adamovski Vafire Muharemi Sascha Shlüter Photos Sascha Shlüter Paula Cámara Esteban


WARNING

NOTE! The Booklet of good practices is part of the project « Creative writing as a tool for community change ». The project was realized in Struga, Republic of North Macedonia. In this booklet are included part of the methods and activities on the Training Course. The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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THANKS TO...

THANKS TO... The project « Creative writing as a tool for community change » was realized with the support from the Erasmus + Programme. Also, this project and its results would not be possible without the work and efforts of Puntland Diaspora Associations Network (PEDAN) ry, as the lead applicant of the project, and the Association for Volunteerism Volonterski Centar Skopje. We would like to render thanks our partners : Sahan TV from Denmark, UDUG ASSOCIATION from Ireland, ASOCIATIA HAIR REDIVIVUS BUZAU from Romania, XERACION VALENCIA from Spain, HORUSOCOD from Norway, MINE VAGANTI NGO from Italy, FAYO Foundation LTD from United Kingdom, and PUNTLAND DIASPORA FORUM from Sweden.

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CONTENT


CONTENT

PROJECT SUMMARY & OBECTIVES p8

LEARNING OUTCOMES

p10

WORKSHOPS

p12

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PROJECT SUMMARY & OBJECTIVES


1/ PROJECT SUMMARY AND OBJECTIVES

PROJECT SUMMARY With the training course ‘Creative Writing as Tool for Community Change’ we aim to increase competencies of youth workers and educators to explore ways of using creative writing as tool of addressing community issues and challenges and moreover as a tool giving an opportunity to the members of the community to express their concerns, ideas or to create a feeling of belonging to their communities. We decided to focus on creative writing because we got inspire by results of the strategic partnership project ‘Creative Learning Cookbook’ implemented with support of the Estonian National Agency. One of the key results of the project was a booklet of methods and techniques ‘Creative Writing Cookbook’: www.salto-youth.net/tools/toolbox/tool/creative-writing-cookbook.1896/. We tried out several of the activities with our young people and their reaction made us motivated to create a training course giving us and our partners an opportunity to gain deeper understanding of creative writing.

OBJECTIVES 1. To strengthen knowledge of the partici- practice during the training days pants on using creative writing as innovative tool of addressing community challenges 4. To support sharing lessons learned across participant’s countries and to support ex2. To develop capacities of the participants changing good working practices in the field needed to use creative writing methods and of community work and addressing commutechniques in their work on the community nity challenges level 5. To increase participant’s knowledge on 3. To provide the participants an opportu- the Erasmus+ programme and support denity to interact with hosting community and veloping new project ideas (especially under directly apply their new knowledge in the Key Action 1)

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LEARNING OUTCOMES


2/ LEARNING OUTCOMES

Participants gained more theoretical and practical knowledge about creative writing and how this tool can change our societies. Participants enhanced their competencies in solving issues connected to discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices, using methods learned during both mobilities. Participants also improved their public speaking, organizational and leadership skills during different workshops and sessions. The activity was based on non-formal approach and involved experts was paying attention to use set of various working methods to meet different learning styles of the participants and meet their expectations towards the training course. During the training course the participants took part in discussions and debates, team and individual challenges, role plays, interactive presentations, problem solving and creative challenges and especially the participants explored various creative writing methods, techniques and tools in relation to addressing community issues. Some of the methods was based on individual work of the participants, some of the methods was provided the participants an opportunity to work in smaller or bigger team together with people coming from different cultures. Moreover, on regular bases in the program was included evaluation activities that was implemented with goal to provide the participants an opportunity to reflect on their learning process and reaching set learning goals and objectives. Also, reflection activities was a opportunity to give feedback on the programme and the practicalities.

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WORKSHOPS


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Workshop n°1 : Getting to know each other A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

T - To get to know each other and learn everyone’s names I - To get to know the other participants on a deeper level already, but on a more M anonymous way. Also promote interest in each other and foster self-reflection E The story of my name The participants are divided in groups of two. Everybody is telling each other their first and last names and explains what do they mean, how/why did their parents chose this name, is there some story behind it?. In the end, everyone presents his/her partner to the rest of the group The onion of personality Every participant gets 4 small sheets of paper in four different colors. Each color represents a layer of their personal «onion». For every layer, the participants are being asked three-four questions about themselves (layer one: what music do I like etc. - going deeper and deeper with every layer - layer four: My values/beliefs are...).

After answering all questions, the participants crumples up the pieces of paper starting with the «deepest» layer (number four) and rolling the other layers around it - so in the end they have a small ball of paper with different layers like an onion. Everyone marks there’s and puts it in the middle of the seminar room. Afterwards every participant picks one onion (that is not their own), opens it and has the opportunity to put comments under the answers. In this way, the participants can already get to know another person in a deeper level but still anonymously. In the end of the exercise, every onion is being put back in the middle for its owner to pick it up again and see the feedback written on it, that can be a useful trigger for self-reflection.

Workshop n°2 : The YOUTHPASS certificate A I M

T To explain/make clear what the YOUTHPASS certificate is and I how it's made up, since on this TC we issued this certificate to all participants M E

I N S T R U C T I O N S

In this session, the participants learned about the YOUTHPASS as a tool for recognition of non-formal learning. The main focus here, was put on the eight key competencies listed in the YOUTHPASS. After a brief presentation, the session went with an open discussion/ space for questions regarding topics like the process of effective learning, self-reflection, prominence and recognition of YOUTHPASS ect.

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Workshop n°3 : What I will take a home? Creating Learning Diaries A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

To overview on the learning outcomes

T 30 min I Or every day M around 15 min E

This task is a long term activity. Participants at the beginning of the TC will create their learning dairy and will reflect their knowledge, emotions and experience every day on it. Firstly, the participants will create their learning diaries where they will be asked to capture their impressions from the training course. Give to the participants simple note book. Ask them to open it from the back side. Instruct them to design seven pages (depends on the lasting days of the training course). Give them about 30 min time. As next step the participants are asked to reflect on the day and its activities and write down the learning points of the day.

Workshop n°4 : The portrait of my city A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

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T To reflect about the participants own city/village (in general:Iplace/s where they live/d / where they are a local) and present it to each otherMin order to find similarities and differences and gain more awareness. E Every participant get the task to write a short story/tour guide/trip advisor etc. about their home town/village or place where they live based on the following guiding questions:

- A piece of art (poem, song, movie etc...) about my city/village or related to it? - What its name means? - Something people should NEVER do in your city/village or say to someone - My city/village is like..., its character from there? can be described as... (including also basic geographical and statistical facts Afterwards, the participants form and numbers like population, geogr. si- groups of two, to present each other tuation etc.) their cities/villages and share their - What do I like about my city/village? thoughts and findings. - What do I dislike about my city/village? In the last step, every participant pre- Something that makes my city/vil- sents the city/village of his/her partner lage special/unique? to the rest of the group, before the - Places where I like to go VS. places whole group has a short reflection sesthat tourist get to see? sion about their thoughts and findings.


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Workshop n° 5 : Writer’s block and tools for breaking it A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

T I 60 min M E

To break the writer’s block

On one table in the working room put colored cards with aquarelle colors. Each card should be colored different. Make the cards ready before the participants enter in the working room. The number of the cards should be equal on the number of the participants. Ask each participant to pick up one card. Share one sheet of paper to each participant after they are back in the circle. Now ask the participants to describe the color in the card as human being.

- Word cards Divide the participants in 5 groups to each group assignee one word card. Ask the participants to create a story using the card word as main topic. - Individual work Ask participants on a piece of paper write down, at least 20 words starting with the letter B. Afterwards ask them to create a story using this words. OPTIONAL: If participants want and feel comfortable they can present their work with the rest of the participants.

Workshop n°6 : Creative Writing as Tool at Youth Work A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

T I To introduce to the Creative Writing as tool at Youth Work M E

60 min

Start the session with the brainstorming. Pop up with some of the following questions: - Where do we recognize Creative Writing in youth work? - Experience where we have applied - What is Creative writing (CW)? - Where we use Creative Writing as tool? - Why we need Creative Writing as tool? - What are the different Tools, techniques, methods of Creative Writing? At the end participants should pop with following answers: poetry, poems, drama, dairies Key elements of CW: Character, plot, setting, point of view, style, theme and literary devices. 15


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Workshop n° 7 : Creative writing as tool for reconciliation A I M

To find tools of creative writing for reconciliation process

T I M E

60 min

Give to each participant piece of paper with the following questions: What’s your gift to community? How could you contribute to Reconciliation with your gift? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ I N S T R U C T I O N S

Reconciliation from the heart looks like ______________________________________________________________ Reconciliation from the heart sounds like ______________________________________________________________ Reconciliation from the heart feels like ______________________________________________________________ Reconciliation from the heart tastes like ______________________________________________________________ Reconciliation from the heart smells like ______________________________________________________________ Reconciliation from the heart means ______________________________________________________________ We speak and listen from the heart, ______________________________________________________________ Ask participant to be fully focused on the question and do not give any additional instructions. After they are done ask each of them to present their answers. Close the session with discussion upon the questions and answers.

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Workshop n°8 : Creative writing in youth practices A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

T I M E

To offer a creative framework for developing ideas for new projects

Get the participants familiar with the main elements of the storytelling: setting, characters, conflict, plot and message. After that, ask them to develop their ideas using the same framework. About settings, it’s important to describe context of the project: location, historical timeline, social context, statistics, trends, information about unmet needs, current challenges and so on. Characters are the team and the target group. Conflicts are challenges to solve and goals to achieve. Ask participants to describe the problem and the need their project will address. What aims will they set to solve the challenge?

90 min

Plot is the plan of the activities. Participants should answer what results each of the planned activities will bring. The project can be completed without message – promotion. The message of the story is an ideological or moral statement that works as a central theme throughout the story. It is imperative to develop a clear defined message. Only one, because more than one will confuse the auditorium. Ask participant: What are the criteria of a good project? What are the other elements of the project that should be discussed and described in addition to what we’ve done?

Workshop n°9 : Creative writing as tool for working with young people with vulnerable youth T A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

To develop empathy and understanding of others

I M E

60 min

Participants should to describe an ordinary day in chronological order and include as many details as possible., including fears, happiness, concerns, hobbies… When finished, ask them to rewrite their ordinary day, but as someone else. Offer them the chance to change their sex, age or occupation. Ask participants how did the descriptions change and what was it like to become someone else? It is difficult to perceive the world around us from different perspectives? What would make it easier? Why is important to see the world from different perspectives and what can we learn from other peoples’ viewpoints? 17


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Workshop n°10: : Creative wriring as tool for activate local community A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

To recognize stereotypes and to break them

90 min

Divide participants in three groups. All people are pointing at him that he Give the one case for each group. becomes bad boy. Everyone beliefs that Pablo has started to fight, to take Case 1: joined, to be part of the knife crime. Three girls from the small village in the Everyone in the neighborhood is telling country, are working hard to be suc- to Pablos’ parents that he had become cessful in their carriers. gangster. One of the girls, Marija, is 25 years old and she is working in the most po- Discuss on the following questions: pular TV channel doing onzZe of the 1. Do in the case of Pablo, have most watched TV shows. She is always stereotype? hanging out with VIP persons from the 2. On what is based stereotype? country and the region. To achieve her 3. Which creative writing tool would success, she has been studying with you use to fight this stereotype? How? excellence scholarship in the state university. People are always gossiping her, that Case 3: she is famous because she is gold-dig- John is 30 years old fan of football ger. People in the village belief that all team. He is really loyal fan going on woman that are famous public faces is each match of his team. He has publidue to the men that are paying money shed all of the matches on his fb proto have sex with them. file. There is one company where John has applied for a job. After conducted Discuss on the following questions: the job interview, he is not accepted. 1. Do in the case of Marija, have The explanation for his refusal is that stereotype? he is fan of the football team. In the 2. On what is based stereotype? company the Human Recourses mana3. Which creative writing tool would gement beliefs that all fans are aggresyou use to fight this stereotype? How? sive, hang overring and not respecting the differences. Case 2: Pablo is really nice and calm youngster. He is studying in one of the best schools. He is hard working and passionate about his education. At the last period he is hanging out with group of youth from the district of the city.

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T I M E

Discuss on the following questions: 1. Do in the case of Pablo, have stereotype? 2. On what is based stereotype? 3. Which creative writing tool would you use to fight this stereotype? How?


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Workshop n° 11: : Creative writing as tool to fight discrimination A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

To foster the reflection of the participants on the issue of belonging

T I M E

90 min

Ask participants to answer the ques- tions defined by Taiye Selasi in the talk tion: Where are you from? should follow. Then let them watch the TED Talk of Taiye Selasi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYCKzpXEW6E After the speech ask the participants to write a text that would answer to the question: Where are you local? The participants can decide about the form. Texts are shared with a larger group and discussion on issues such as self-awareness, identity in connection with rituals, relationships and restric-

For the reflection, ask participants: Where are you from and where are you local? Which question would you ask when you meet someone new? Do you feel a sense of belonging to the place where you live and the people around you? What helps us to develop sense of belonging to a place or group of people? Do you think that people can belong to more than one place? What do you most connect with? Why? How do you know you have connected with another person or group of people?

Workshop n°12: : Project workshop - ERASMUS+ project ideas A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

T To brainstorm and generate new project ideas that potentially actually will be I applied for (TCs, Youth exchanges etc.) M E First, the group was brainstorming about topics, that are important and where there are problems to tackle in their countries/societies (topic examples: environmental pollution and recycling, media literacy and fake news/ trust etc...). Afterwards the participants got together In groups of two to five people to work on one of the topic that they chose. In these groups, the participants had brainstorming sessions on what kind of project to implement according to their topic and started to gather ideas and frameworks for a potential ERASMUS+ project. In the end, every group presented their project(-idea) to the rest to discuss the outcomes and give/receive feedback from the other participants and trainers.

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Workshop n°13: : Creative writing as tool to fight prejudice Cultural proverbs A I M

To reflect about all-day life language and its stereotypical dimension (aiming at the 'own' group as well as aiming at 'the others') and also to find differences and similarities through popular proverbs from different countries/cultures. TIME

I N S T R U C T I O N S

The participants group together in their national groups and brainstorm about proverbs from their language that have a 'cultural' dimension and incorporate stereotypes/prejudice about either their own community (e.g. German proverbs about Germans "being punctual, diligent and hard-working" (stereotype about themselves)) as well as about 'other groups' (e.g. French proverbs about Englishmen "having only bad food" (stereotype about another culture/nation)). Afterwards the proverbs are being collected on a flip chart, explained and compared to each other. The session closed with a reflection about the findings.

Workshop n° 14: : Creative writing as tool to increase sense of initiative ERASMUS+ project ideas II - Project workshop A I M

To continue with the designing of potential future projects and cooperation.

TIME I N S T R U C T I O N S

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Based on the outcomes of the first project idea sessions, the participants gather again in their topic-centered groups of two to five people, to work more about their project ideas. But before - in the first step - the participants got to know about the basics of how to write an ERASMUS+ application: where to find the documents, what does the application form look like, which kind of questions are being asked, how to fill it, when are the deadlines etc... In the end, the groups again presented their progress and "took their ideas home" for potential future use.


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Workshop n° 15: : Creative writing as tool to fight discrimination The privilege walk A I M

T participants have To develop empathy for other (vulnerable) social groups. The I to be creative in a sense of putting themselves in someone else's shoes and try M to think about certain all-day life situations from the perspective of a role, they E have been given. The participants, first of all, draw a small role-card randomly from a box (example: "A famous comedian, who is homosexual", "A under aged refugee from Afghanistan living in an orphanage in a rural area in Germany" or "The brother of your country's president/prime minister"). The roles represent different social groups with varying opportunities for societal participation/exclusion. The participants keep their roles secret.

I N S T R U C T I O N S

After a short reflection about their roles, the participants line up in a straight line and get 15 statements read out loud one after another (example for statements: "I have access to public health care", "I can afford to go out (to a pub, cinema etc.) at least two times per month" , "I don't have to worry in the streets of my city when I go home alone at night" or "I can easily travel to another country"). Every time, a participant - according to his/her role - agrees on a statement that was made, he/she takes one step

forward; if the participants disagrees with a statement, he/she stays on their spot. In the end, some participants end up in the very front of the group, some hardly even have moved forward. It is a good way, to visualize the different opportunities that people have because of features/attributes that they often cannot chose or change. The exercise is being closed with an open reflection session - in which also the roles can be revealed to the others - and the participants discuss the different roles and their perspectives on them. The same role-card would usually end up in different stages of progress at the end of the game, when drawn by two different participants. In that way, it fosters a deeper reflection on how one sees a certain (social) role, which kinds of expectations or stereotypes we connect with these roles and how we judge them in means of all-day life experiences.

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Workshop n° 16: : Final evaluation - My story in a picture A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

T To conclude and reflect about the learning successes and outcomes as well as I the emotions and feelings during the TC as a whole and to foster M deeper self-reflection after the project as well. E

In the second step, the participants were asked to use the backside of the photo to write a short message, memory, diary-entry, poem (or whatever they liked) to sum up and reflect the whole TC. Also this session ended with an open discussion/reflection round and feedback (which, which by the way, was very positive). The photographs with the short stories were taken home Every participant was asked to pick one as a small gift/memory for the participicture that describes his/her feelings pants. and opinions about the Training best. The final evaluation was done in a rather open way. We printed 18 (more or less artistic) photographs (two of each picture, so there would be enough for every participant) - for example a palm tree on a sunny beach, a dark forest in autumn or two people's shapes on a bridge looking/pointing at the sky etc.

Workshop n° : A I M

I N S T R U C T I O N S

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T I M E


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This training course of the project ‘BOOKLET OF GOOD PRACTICES - CREATIVE WRITING AS A TOOL FOR COMMUNITY CHANGE’ is organized and hosted by PUNTLAND EUROPEAN ASSOCIATIONS NETWORK RY from Finland, in partnership and collaboration with ASSOCIATION FOR VOLUNTEERISM VOLONTERSKI CENTAR SKOPJE from Macedonia, as well as in partnership with: Sahan TV from Denmark, HORUSOCOD from Norway, MINE VAGANTI NGO from Italy, XERACION VALENCIA from Spain, UDUG ASSOCIATION from Ireland, FAYO Foundation LTD from United Kingdom, PUNTLAND DIASPORA FORUM from Sweden, and ASOCIATIA HAIR REDIVIVUS BUZAU from Romania.

CONTACT VOLUNTEERS CENTRE SKOPJE

PUNTLAND DIASPORA ASSOCIATIONS NETWORK RY

OFFICE & POST ADDRESS: Emil Zola st. 3/3-1 1000 Skopje Republic of Macedonia

OFFICE & POST ADDRESS: Kivensilmänkuja 2, 00920 - PL 443 , 00101 Helsinki, Finland

TEL: +389 22772095

TEL: +358 442827275

E-mail: vcs_contact@yahoo.com

E-mail: info@pedan.eu

Web: www.vcs.org.mk

Web: www.pedan.eu


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