From the 1st to the 4th of April, OBESSU organised a Training of Trainers on Education for Democratic Citizenship in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, within the framework of the Tools in Schools – Students Get Organised! one-year-long project funded in 2016 by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

Members of the OBESSU Pool of Trainers and members of ASUBiH (OBESSU Member Organisation from Bosnia and Herzegovina) spent four days together in Sarajevo to learn about Education for Democratic Citizenship, improve their competences as trainers and facilitators, and start developing educational materials that will be later included in an online platform containing activity sessions and tips on how to promote youth participation.

The first day was dedicated to getting to know each other, building the group, understanding the process of the Tools in Schools project, as well as starting to imagine the online platform, which will also include the renewed Manual for School Students. The discussions were very interesting and many questions were raised: how can we ensure this online platform is a useful tool and resource for school students at the grassroots level? What are the materials school students need to organise workshops and activities with their peers?

On the second day, we focused more on the topic Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) and training competences. Starting from the meaning of EDC and youth participation, we moved to a self-reflection on our own competences as trainers and facilitators, gaining new tools and strategies on how to overcome different challenges when implementing non formal education activities. It was an extremely fruitful day and participants had the chance to reflect and learn more about themselves.

The third day, we shifted from the training of trainers into developing educational materials for the online platform. Participants had already explored how to shape an educational/learning process and they were then ready to start developing and preparing the content that need to be included in the online platform. Participants analysed the former Share your Skills, as well as previous OBESSU educational materials and decided what would be relevant to use, update and adapt for the new online platform. In parallel, they brainstormed on which should be the focus of this new online platform to be a virtual companion of the Manual for School Students.

Taking advantage of the fact that, for the first time, a big number of members of the OBESSU Pool of Trainers (PoT) were at the same activity, the evening session was used to carry out an evaluation of the entire work of the PoT so far, its role within OBESSU, the relation with Member, Candidate and Affiliate Organisations, and to think about its future developments. Very useful feedback came out from the discussions and a deep reflection on the structure of the PoT and its involvement in OBESSU events, will need to be done! (And remember, you can always contact the OBESSU Pool of Trainers at pot@obessu.org if you need experienced trainers and facilitators in your events!)

During the final day of the Training of Trainers, participants tested one of the developed activities: a very interesting and easy-to-implement activity to discuss about decision-making processes, inclusion and power-relations within groups (soon available for all of you to try!). The final part of the day was the moment for evaluation of the activity and planning the follow up of the entire project.

We are now looking forward to the next activity in the Tools in Schools Students Get Organised!, the upcoming Summer School – Democracy and Active Participation that will take place in Germany from the 2nd to the 8th July 2016!

Keep an eye on it #‎ToolsinSchools‬!