Training course: On the Frontiers of Intercultural Clash and Dialogue

Location: Armenia

Dates: 24 November – 4 December 2016

Number of participants: 33

Participating countries: United Kingdom, Norway, Italy, Greece, Spain, Macedonia, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova

Organizer: ICIRLD and Abroadship.org

Apply here: application form

Deadline to apply: 28 October 2016, but it is best to apply immediately, since we select participants immediately, if there is a match with the profile

Date of Selection: 30 October 2016

Inquiries about this training course: Justinas at hello@abroadship.org

Costs: Traveling expenses to Armenia, accommodation, food and programme are all FREE, since this project is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme, Abroadship.org and ICIRLD. The travel costs are covered up to the following limits:
Spain – 820€
UK, Norway – 530€
Italy – 360€
Greece, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Macedonia – 275€
Georgia – 180€
Armenia – 0€

On the Frontiers of Intercultural Clash and Dialogue

Frontiers of Intercultural Clash and Dialogue – Armenia – training course – abroadship.org

Download the PDF file .

Over the last 46 years the World’s population doubled from 3.7 billion to 7.4 billion. Development of economies and technologies lead to unimaginable growth of traveling, migration, intermarriage, trade and essentially all human interactions. Migration flows make our societies increasingly multicultural, which can happen on harmonic ways of planned migration and immigration policies, and can take the extremely chaotic form, as it happened during the last humanitarian catastrophe in Middle East.

People are exposed to various cultural and faith traditions that once were hidden behind several curtains. For a searching mind the whole World Cultural Heritage is open to be explored and exploited, but this outstanding opportunity sometimes is causing more confusion than clarity in minds and hearts of the people.

Intercultural challenges appear on individual and organizational level. It is evident that societies face the extensive internationalization of businesses. Not a very long time ago it was quite possible to operate your local small scale business activities without caring too much about the international frameworks, trends and challenges, and now the effects of those schemes are changing even local business landscapes in very short runs.

There is a lot of work done on developing intercultural communication skills of the people, there are several legislative and program frameworks which are aimed at raising the efficiency of integration and communication processes, but in reality it is clear that it is not enough. Youth was, is and will be always on the frontiers of all the processes. On one hand it is one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable parts of the society (which is especially relevant for several aging societies), but on the other hand due to its natural flexibility, youth energy and huge potential can be also one of the major forces for transforming the potential Clashes to fruitful Dialogues. To do so it needs a certain degree of awareness and concrete competences to operate in this global village that we live now in.

We feel it is important for youth leaders to understand the characteristics of mono-ethnic versus poly-ethnic culture. We want to address identity change issues in relation to the mix of cultures and migration. However, we want to abstract from the migration process as such and focus on what happens and how to deal with the post migration effect. Cultures can be assimilated or integrated. History teach us the dramatic effects of ghettoization. We want also to touch historical parallels of what happened to Babylonian culture and compare to nowadays Syrian culture.

This Training Course is aimed at developing efficient strategies and methodological approaches to address the aforementioned issues through our day to day work within our communities. We do hope that networks of like-minded youth NGOs and groups can change a lot in this field of Intercultural contacts and create possibilities to pass from Clashes to more Harmonic ways of living through this processes.

Methodology

The methodological framework used will be based on the approaches and values of non-formal education. The course is participants-based and entirely participant-oriented. Experiences and contributions from participants constitute an inherent part of the Training Course.

Promoters jointly discuss the topics of this Training Course, will share their experiences in the field of youth activities, develop new ways, methods and tools addressing this topics and design new projects, and ensure the multiplication of this project while exploiting the results and educational concept of this Training Course.

Objectives

  • To provide an opportunity for participants from youth work sector for reflection on one the nowadays challenges of our societies in the spheres of inter-cultural and inter-civilizational dialogues;
  • To raise the awareness of youth workers on the influence and importance of intercultural communication, learning and dialogue on individual, business and global levels;
  • To equip participants with innovative tools and methods, which can be used in their communities in work with young people to support them in increasing the efficiency of their participation in various dialogue processes;
  • To reflect on the topics of World Cultural Heritage, needs of its protection and ways to increase the awareness and access of young people to it in order to widen their world-views as well as finding solutions for their today’s challenges in it;
  • To empower participants to deal with issues related to poly-cultural society development, identity change as a result of migration, ghettoization problems.
  • To increase the intercultural communication competences of the participants and to equip them with multiplying skills to further this work in their local communities;
  • To give participants the chance to commonly develop strategies to extend their activities by developing multi-stakeholder cooperation in the sphere of Intercultural Dialogue;
  • To develop follow-up projects for international cooperation to further elaborate the topics of current Training Course and involving more participants in the study and social transformation processes.

Participant’s profile

  • The Training Course is open to youth workers and leaders from various countries, who are interested in challenging their own perceptions and are ready to deeply reflect on the topics related to the objectives of the Training Course.
  • Have experience in delivering training modules in the field of intercultural learning to young people.
  • The Training Course is open for staff members or active volunteers in the NGOs dealing with projects in the thematic field of the training.
  • Participants should be committed to take part in the full duration of the project and have a mandate from their sending organizations for the initiation, development and implementation of follow-up projects for young people of their communities in the thematic fields of the Training Course.
  • As the working language of the Training will be English, participants should be able to communicate fluently in English.

Venue

The event will be held in one of the most popular hotels in Aghveran (50 km away from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia), in the mountainous forest – the Aghveran Park Resort hotel (http://parkresort.am/about-us/?lang=en). It has proven to be able to host international youth activities on a high quality level. The nature is very nice in the surroundings of the Hotel with lots of forests.

The weather in autumn-winter in Armenia is relatively cold so please make sure you take warm clothes with you. Please also keep in mind that the project venue is in the mountains and there might be some sudden weather changes, so you would also need a rainproof jacket.
The rest house is fully equipped to host international projects with appropriate equipment, working spaces and leisure time activities. You will be sharing a double or triple room with another person/s of the same sex, each room has one bathroom. There are towels and bed linen in the hotel. Internet is available in/around the training hall and in most of the rooms.

The chef of the hotel (as well as other representatives) will be informed about the special needs of participants regarding the nutrition (such as vegetarian/vegan food, allergic issues, etc.) beforehand.

Note: The hosting organizations can support you in arranging accommodation for participants who arrive earlier to Armenia or need to stay longer

Traveling Costs

Travel costs for participants will be reimbursed up to the following maximum amounts:

Spain – 820€
UK, Norway – 530€
Italy – 360€
Greece, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Macedonia – 275€
Georgia – 180€

The amounts are set by the European Commission based on the distance to the venue. Please remember that the lump sum will have to cover your transportation from Yerevan to Aghveran and back (20 EUR in total). You will receive a separate document on travel arrangements with a step-by-step instructions.

Participants, who will have considerable difficulties for pre-paying their flight tickets, will have opportunity to collaborate (with mediation of organizers) with a local travel agency in Armenia, who will arrange the travel ticket for them.

Traveling to the venue

As a participant you are obliged to arrive no later than 24th of November to Yerevan and leave not earlier than 4th of December. You are allowed to arrive 3 days earlier or leave 3 days later, but the total number of days off the project must be not higher than 3 days. For instance, you can arrive on 21th November (you will be compensated for traveling expenses), explore Yerevan for few days on your own expense (accommodation and food are not compensated) and then from 24th join the programme and leave no later than 24th November (in this case you are not allowed to leave later, because 3 days are already used). In other scenario, you can arrive on 24th November and leave 7th December, your traveling expenses will be compensated, but your other expenses (accommodation and food) will not be covered for 3 days after the project.

There are two options to arrive to Armenia. First, take a flight to Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport from all the countries except Georgia; from Georgia you can either take a train or a minibus. Second, and usually cheaper option, is to arrive to Tbilisi International airport (Georgia) or Kutaisi airport (Georgia) and travel to Yerevan from there.

All participants will be picked up from the Airport, Train or Bus Station and we will arrange your transportation to the Airport, Train or Bus Station after the project. You will receive more detailed information regarding picking you up and transportation to the project venue once we receive your travel information. Please look at the Airport, Train/Bus Station for the volunteer with a paper with the name of our project. In emergency cases contact our project coordinators.

You will receive step-by-step instructions and additional information on travel arrangements in a separate document.

Visa

None of the participating countries need visa to enter Armenia. In case you have a different nationality then your country of residency please inform us immediately to check if additional procedures need to be done.

Preparation

NGO Fair: As one of the assumption of the activity is to give participants a chance to establish a network of like-minded organizations active in the field of working with youth, we reserved a session for you to present your sending organizations and make some professional connections for the future project development. For this, please bring some informational materials, pictures, reports from the previous projects and anything else you will find useful during your presentations. As we have many participating organizations, the session will be organized as an NGO Fair, which means you will be given some time to prepare a good old analogue poster and which also means that there will be no space for individual Power Point presentations.

International Sweet Box: During the coffee breaks at the hotel where the project is organized only tea and coffee will be provided. That is why we would like to ask you to bring some sweets (candies, cookies etc) from your country and contribute to the international sweet box that will be additionally served during the breaks.

Intercultural Night: We will have an evening for country presentations. You will have a chance to present your country with drinks and food, however, we ask to bring only home-made or made by small local shops (not factories) drinks and food to celebrate variety. We ask to bring something really special and authentic, best of all what you individually love. Perhaps something made by yourself (using grandmothers recipe?) or father (mother, sister?). We would also love to see how your country celebrates diversity and multiculturality. We would love to see presentations done in a non-formal / informal / interactive way, involving participants, addressing multiple senses (dance, game, quiz, story, song).

Before arrival to Training Course: Prepare a short video, movie, presentation, take pictures, write a creative text (or anything that comes to your mind) on the intercultural dialogue situation or issues in your country and post it in the Facebook group so that other participants would get to know the realities of other European countries. You are welcome to do it in national groups or individually – your choice.

Money

National currency in Armenia is DRAM (AMD) and its value in euro is about 530-540 drams for 1 euro but it would be good for you to check the exact rate before you depart on the website of Central Bank of Armenia. Payments everywhere in Armenia (except the Airport) are accepted only in national currency. The best currencies for exchanging in Armenia are EUR, USD, RUB, GEL. You will have the chance to exchange money in Yerevan or Tbilisi on the day of your arrival. At the venue it will be possible to exchange money through the service of the hotel with one-day waiting time. There will be no ATM at the hotel, but there is one in the nearby city.

Special Needs and Insurance

In case of having special needs, whatever kind they are of, please feel free to communicate these needs to us (allergies, disability, vegetarian, vegan etc.). We will do our best to find appropriate solution for you.

Health insurance is not provided by the organizers. All participants are required to purchase health insurance individually. In general, it is very important to have health insurance cards (travel insurance), and we strongly advise to acquire for the dates to be spent in Armenia (in case unforeseen incidents occur).

Partners

ASSOCIAZIONE SOS EUROPA (Italy)
Nordisk Institutt for Trening og Internasjonalt Nettverk (Norway)
Hellas for Us (Greece)
New Faces (Belarus)
Helping Hand (Georgia)
My_UA (Ukraine)
Artena (Moldova)
Intercambia (Spain)
PEL Skopje (Macedonia)
ICIRLD (Armenia)
Abroadship (UK)

About organisers

“ICIRLD” (Armenia) is a non-governmental organization, which has a mission to build a world where Cultural Diversity is RESPECTED and VALORISED, where the “Culture of War” is replaced by a CULTURE OF PEACE, and where people from different cultural backgrounds work hand in hand for the solution of global problems and for sustainable development.

Aims of the organization: Promotion of intercultural, inter-religious and inter-civilization dialogue; Conflict resolution and establishment of a Culture of Peace in the world; Consolidation of the potential of representatives of different cultures for the solution of global challenges

Our Objectives: Research of cultural peculiarities of different ethnic and cultural groups as well as comparative inter-cultural research and presentation of results to a wider audience; Research and training courses on intercultural learning on national, regional and international level; Development of a database on cultures of the world; Organization of various international youth projects in the framework of the programs of Council of Europe and European Commission

Abroadship.org (UK) is a centre of learning through mobility. Abroadship focuses on youth and particularly British youth to enhance their opportunities abroad. Abroadship is a non-profit and non-government initiative, officially registered under a Subtiluship community interest company (see the details below) in London, UK.

Our desire and mission is to encourage you to become world’s citizen with tolerance, sympathy and empathy towards different cultures, with understanding and appreciation of environment, with knowledge of interdependence, connection and benefits of collaboration.

We strive to create tools, provide information, organize events, training courses, exchange programs and in all ways possible enhance benefiting from being abroad. We want you to be more abroad-intelligent by: traveling abroad, exchanging abroad, studying abroad, working abroad, training abroad, living abroad, finding friends abroad, collaborating abroad.

Project Team

Justinas Brikys, a director and founder of Abroadship.org (Subtiluship C.I.C.), will be a project manager and trainer for this training course. Justinas will share cultural insights from the places he lived, studied and worked: Lithuania, Denmark, USA, China, Brasil and UK.

Areg Tadevosyan will be a trainer for this project. He is a youth worker since 2005. He is experienced professional involved in organizing non-formal learning process for young people and young workers/leaders (also one of the promoters of non-formal education in Armenia). He is experienced trainer and project manager, who has organized and run various international training courses, seminars and youth exchanges with non-formal learning methods.

Suren Mkhitaryan is the project manager of a long-term project funded by EU, aiming at developing deprived urban and rural areas through establishing social enterprises. He had long-term experience in educational sphere (also holding degree of international project on education management), as well as was fostering the non-formal educational development in higher and vocational educational sphere in Armenia, also was responsible in a national body for internationalization of higher education sphere, and development of intercultural competencies in students.