The session saw 30 participants, and it was dedicated to leadership, democratic governance and human rights-based approach, and it was co-funded by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.
The first part of the training touched on the different kinds of leadership, and on the specific characteristics needed in a NGO leader, emphasizing the need for inclusive and democratic leadership. The participants were invited to reflect upon effective leadership and to feel empowered to take upon the role of leaders in their movement.
The second part was dedicated to human rights and the human rights based approach. The aim of this module was to enhance awareness on human rights and the main instruments to protect them, (such as international charters and conventions, and institutions like the Council of Europe), and the human rights based approach, learning how to apply it to daily work in their NGOs. Through non-formal education instruments like role play, the participants were invited to understand the needs of vulnerable groups and to serve them in their YMCAs. This session was led by our Human Rights expert, Magdalena Gawronska, who brought our participants her knowledge through several practical exercises.
The final part of YLA's first session was dedicated to democratic governance, and in particular to the role of a young Board member in an NGO. The participants were invited to reflect on the structure needed by modern and democratic NGOs, to ensure sustainability and efficiency, but also adherence to a human rights-based approach. Our participants worked very hard to adapt their new knowledge to the needs of their YMCAs, and participated very actively throughout the session.
This first YLA session was also dedicated to meeting new friends and to build team spirit for the rest of the sessions: our participants built a great atmosphere, introducing each other to their different languages and cultures, through food, music and laughter. This first session also comprised a great visit to the enchanting town of Litomysl, where the YMCA Europe training center is situated, a "TED Talks" session where our participants brought their life experiences to the stage, and a Czech night dinner.
For YMCA Europe this was an incredible start of a new flagship programme, in particular for the Planning Team, composed of Olga Lukina (Belarus), Tina Larionova (Russia), Joao Moura (Portugal), Ilenia Ventroni (Italy), Annika Thomsson (Sweden), Magdalena Gawronska (Poland) and Martina Hudovcska (Slovakia). The hard work, curiosity and dedication of the participants was a great reward for the months of planning and preparation, and we are very excited to head over to our next session in June, dedicated to strategic planning, project management and social relevance. Keep following our work on YMCA Europe Facebook page and on our Twitter, and discover what's up next on our YLA Agenda.