« Young leadership » training course in Örnsköldsvik, Suedia by Alice Iamandi

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Iubesc oamenii care te fac sa te simţi ca şi cum ai face parte dintr-o a doua familie in schimburile interculturale. « Young leadership ».. un nume promitator de proiect ce avea sa ma uimeasca si sa imi depaseasca orice asteptare. Sa fiu sincera, ma asteptam la trei zile pline de predare teoretica, ca la scoala, despre «  cum sa fii leader. Dar nu am fost dezamagita.

Am plecat la drum, ziua de 2 septembrie prinzandu-ne in aeroport. Alaturi de Ruxandra, Horia, Razvan si Tina, super-lidera noastra de grup, aveam sa ma distrez si sa petrec un timp grozav acolo, in Örnsköldsvik, Suedia. Urmau, de aici, inca patru zile de frig. 

Cea mai buna parte a proiectului a fost faptul ca eram putini. Un numar de cinci persoane din fiecare tara a fost ideal pentru acest gen de proiect, avand in vedere ca nu tineam spectacole sau ateliere ce implicau multe persoane. Prima zi a fost un amuzament total, in principal datorita faptului ca doar Romania si Estonia erau acolo devreme. Italia, Danemarca si Letonia erau pe drum iar Suedia venea incet-incet. Estonienii au devenit prietenii nostri din prima zi, intalnindu-i in aeroport si analizandu-ne unii pe altii, intrebandu-ne daca nu cumva mergem in aceeasi directie. 

Am fost gazduiti intr-un mod foarte calduros in « Casa Vantului », in suedeza Vindarnas Hus, iar apoi ni s-a prezentat locatia in care aveam sa facem desfasurarile de forte ! Sliperiet e locul la care visez de cand eram mica, spatiul perfect pentru oameni ca noi. E « o mica » cladire la dispozitia tinerilor, cu pereti acoperiti de graffitti si sali pentru diferite activitati. O sala de dans, cu oglinzi si cu o scena, cea de pictura, si altele. Tot acolo serveam masa de trei ori pe zi. Dar locatia a fost doar un bonus la tot ce s-a intamplat acolo. 

In fiecare dimineata luam micul dejun la ora 8, iar de la 9 faceam cercul de dimineata. In prima zi am avut exercitii de ice-breaking, pentru a ne cunoaste cu totii intre noi. Am facut o plimbare prin oras, am luat pranzul, iar apoi am mers intr-o aventura. Din prima zi ne-am mobilizat si am facut padurea sa se teama de spiritul nostru inflacarat. Aici ne-am « incalzit », ne-am impartit in grupe cu care am trecut prin exercitii de incredere, ne-am pus la bataie imaginatia,  am trecut peste lava, am supravietuit impreuna unei gigantice panze de paianjen si alte activitati periculoase! Am avut si o seara interculturala, unde am adus mancaruri specifice fiecarei tari, informatii picante si muzica specifica, trecand astfel prin toate tarile respective intr-o singura seara. 

A doua zi a fost mai profunda, iar prin exercitii am reusit sa ne analizam si pe noi insine si apropiindu-ne de ceilalti. Ne-am facut singuri grupurile noastre, fara cuvinte, doar prin sunete – super idee, daca ma intrebi pe mine. Ne-am ascultat povestile fiecaruia si am inteles ca fiecare om are ceva de spus, si ca mai multe individualitati alcatuiesc un colectiv. 

Iar a treia zi si ultima alaturi de restul a fost despre noi. Intregul proiect a fost despre noi, dar la momentul respectiv a fost vorba de noi ca lideri, de oameni care iau decizii. Am creat in doar cateva ore cate un atelier, fiecare grup, am cazut de acord cum si in ce fel. Iar fiecare participa la restul atelierelor. A fost superb sa vedem cat de creativi suntem, cat de multe idei si cat de diferit am gandit cu totii. Aici a fost vorba de noi. 

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Ce trebuia sa invatam am invatat independent, individual, de pe urma activitatilor. Nu ne-au fost date informatii, scheme sau vreun ghid despre cum sa fii lider. Am invatat ca e nevoie sa oferi incredere celor care depind de tine, dar si sa ai tu, la randul tau, incredere. Si niciuna nu e mai presus ca alta. E o egalitate intre cele doua, si e o egalitate si intre tine si grupul pe care il conduci, si care te sprijina. Iar acest lucru nu ne-a fost predat, ci l-am aprofundat de pe urma jocurilor din padure. 

Am mai invatat ca suntem egali, ca nu suntem nici mai presus, nici mai prejos decat altii, ca fiecare om are o poveste si ceva de spus, la fel ca tine. Si nu esti un leader adevarat daca te crezi mai presus de oamenii tai. Pentru ca si tu esti omul lor. Totul e reciproc, oricat de diferiti am fi, asemanarile sunt, si ne unesc. Si asta am observat la activitatile de ice-breaking si pe tot restul relatiilor pe care le-am sustinut de-alungul schimbului. 

Mint ! Cea mai tare parte a proiectului a fost ferma de elani. Cum sa uit de ea?! Ei bine, ca un sfarsit si un ramas-bun glorios, am facut o mica escapada la ferma de elani din Bjurholm, unde ne-am hranit cu putina istorie si unde frumoasele animale asteptau sa fie mangaiate si sa primeasca atentia noastra. Tot in cea de-a treia zi ne-am primit si diplomele.. Cand ma uit la diploma mea imi dau seama cate am facut in doar trei zile. Trei zile pline de activitati si infrumusetate (mai mult decat erau deja) de niste oameni superbi, cu care m-am simtit extraordinar. Cum am mai spus, mai mult sau mai putin, oamenii fac proiectele acestea minunate. Locatia, activitatile, lucrurile pe care le inveti si cele pe care le vezi sunt doar niste bonusuri imense. Si, din nou, parasesti proiectul cu regretul ca s-a terminat, dar cu satisfactia aceea ca a meritat din plin. As da orice sa o repet..

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 I simply love the facts that, in these youth exchanges people form a new family – a wonderful, spontaneous, amusing one. “Young leadership”.. a promising name for a project that was going to overtake all of my expectations. To be honest, I was expecting three days of theoretical teaching, about how to be a leader, but I wasn’t disappointed at all, because it turned out to be an amazing experience.

 We left on September 2nd, the airport being filled up with our joy and excitement. Next to Ruxandra, Horia, Razvan and Tina (our super-groupleader), I was going to have a lot of fun and spend a great time there, in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The best part of the project consisted in the fact that we were only a few. A number of 5 persons for each country were ideal for this kind of project, considering we were not having shows or workshops that involved a lot of people.

 The first day was very amusing and comfortable, mainly because Romanians and Estonians got there first. Italy, Denmark and Latvia were on their way and the Swedish people were coming one-by-one. Estonians became our friends from the very first day, just by meeting them in the airport, analyzing each other and wondering if we’re taking the same plane to Örnsköldsvik. We have been hosted and treated with warmth in the House of Winds, in Swedish Vindarnas Hus, and then we were “introduced” to the location where we were going to practice and to unfold our energy. Sliperiet is the place I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid. It’s a building fated to the youth interested in art, where you can dance, paint, make music and whatever you want in peace. They have graffiti on the walls and rooms for different types of art. I have to tell, the location was interesting too, but it was nothing compared to what was happening inside those walls.

 Every morning we had our breakfast at 8, and at 9 we started a morning-circle. In the first day we had some ice-breaking games, to get to know each other. We took a walk down the streets, enjoying the beauty of the city, we took our lunch and then we went in a some kind of adventure. Since the first day we explored the woods and made them be afraid of our eager spirits! Here we warmed up, we split into groups and made some trust exercises. We used our imagination, and together we flew through lava, we survived a giant spider web and other dangerous business! We also had the intercultural evening, where we brought specific food from our countries, spicy information and some music. So we travelled to each country in only one night.

 The second day was more intense, and through the exercises we managed to analyze ourselves and to get closer to the others, too. We made our groups by ourselves, with no words but sounds – very interesting idea, if you ask me. We listened to each other’s stories and we understood that everybody has something to say and, of course the fact that more individuals compose a community in conclusion a united group.

 The last two days were a story, written completely by us and our desires. The whole exchange was about us, but at that moment it was about us as leaders, as people who take responsibilities and decisions. We created, in only 1-2 hours a workshop, every group having its own. We decided how we want this to work, what we want and how we want it to be done. Everybody was a part of this and everyone attended the other workshops. It was gorgeous to see how creative we are, how many ideas and how different we all think. We all felt like this is and it will always going to be about us.

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 What we were supposed to learn we learned on our own, individually, looking back to the activities we attended. We were not given information, schemes or a guide on how to be a leader. We learned that we have to provide the others, the ones who depend on every each of us – trust. But we also, at some point, have to trust the ones who are there to support us, no matter what.

 There is always a balance between these rules of communication and, obviously, leadership. It’s equality between these two actions, but also between you and the group you’re leading, those who let themselves be guided by your instinct. This thing was not given to us word-by-word, but we saw it by analyzing the activities before. We also learned that we are equal, we are not higher and neither inferior to others. Everyone has its own story to tell. You are not a true leader if you think you are above “your” people, you’d nothing without them. Everything is mutual; no matter how different we are from each other, because similarity, resemblance exists. We understood all of these things thanks to the ice-breaking and to the rest of commitments and beautiful relationships we started or experienced during this exchange.euflagprogryiaro-01logo_home

 

 

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