YiA4SDGs International Training Course | Codlea, România 3-9th of July | ENG

  • picked up from youthact.net and written by Silvia Tursi (staff of A.C.T.O.R. from Italy) 


3.07.2016  – First Day

Sightseeing and Welcoming – The Training Course started with a sightseeing of the village, Codlea, led by Mihai Barbu and Ioana Francisco. They explained the way from the Exotic Hotel till the working place, Magura. In the while, they showed some historical landmarks.

In order to know each other and “break the ice”, Stefanita Barbu proposed some icebreaking games. The first ones were about names. They played these games to learn each other names, for example they played “Fruit Salad”, but also some other funny games in order to know better each other.

Team Building –  Stefanita Barbu led these sessions. He proposed some indoor games, like the “Mirror Game”, but also some outdoor games. The Mirror Game created connections and focus within the playing group of 2-3 people, it consisted in following the movement of the leading person’s hands.

The outdoor activities were some games like “Tres Amigos”, “Cat and mouse”, “Bomb and shield”, all games in which participants had to create a rhythm and understanding within the group, escaping from something and finding protection in someone else.

The last game was a trust game. First participants were divided in pairs and one of them was the leading person of the other, who was momentarily “blind”. The game ended with all participants had closed eyes and had to follow Stefanita’s voice and sounds. They developed trust in him and in their selves, not using the sight, but all the other senses.

International Evening –  The first International Evening took place in the Dining Room of the Hotel. Participants had the possibility to watch some videos, playing some games, taste some food and find out more about Thailand,France and Italy. It was an interesting and funny night for them, full of sharing knowledge and traditions.



4.07.2016 – Second Day

Introduction to YiA4SDG and Training Course – Vu Thai started introducing the Training Course and its goals. YiA4SDG is a training course organized by 9 partner organizations, some of them are European, and others are Asian.

The Training Course is just the third step inside a bigger project called Youth in Action for Sustainable Development Goals. It is an innovating project that aims to address and give solution to the issues that are mentioned in 17 SDGs by involving youth initiative through a complete cycle of raising awareness of SDGs, training course and project piloting and evaluating. The project mainly targets at youth, NGOs and the community, where youths are living and struggling with problems in term of environment, human rights, poverty, etc. With the implementation between two continents Europe and Asia in order to have the variety of innovation ideas to deal with problems that occur in daily lives.

By using non-formal education methodology and youth-approach techniques, YiA4SDGs will encourage and inspire youth to contribute in achieving SDGs in their own community particularly, and their country in general.

The two main objectives are described as:

1) Contribute to the achievement of SDGs in the sphere of youth involvement;

2) Strengthen and empower the Europe-Asia cooperation.

 YiA4SDGs encourages youth initiatives and youth inclusion by supporting, promoting democratic life in aligned of SDGs theme. The project provides the complete cycle to increase youth competencies and therefore foster professional development of staff and youth worker in ICT methodologies.

Vu explained that all human actions have an impact on the society and on the world; the impact is not always positive that’s why there was the need to define some SDGs in order to give solutions to some problems caused by human actions.

The goals of the Project are:

  • Exchange ideas from different countries and apply them to specific problems;
  • Involve youth to be active, inspired and been able to take the risk to run a project, this is called initiative;
  • Teach young people what SDGs are and make them able to take action and implement their ideas;
  • Teach youth how to communicate and create a strategy in order to promote a project;
  • Increase the cooperation between Europe and Asia, exchanging ideas and traditions;
  • Emphasize youth power and encourage young people.

Creation of the proposal presentation – Youth participants, with the help of the Youth Workers, created a poster to present their projects according to some main points, but also taking into accounts “Issues” and “Possible Solutions”.

Initiative Exchange Fair: Proposal Presentation and Rating Proposals – All Youth participants presented their projects to the whole group of participants explaining their posters. In the end every one rated the project proposals taking in consideration 3 criteria:

  1. Planning and Management;
  2. Innovation;
  3. Sustainability;

All participants had 3 badges with these criteria, which were the result of the design made by Antonio Lionetti. He was inspired to design these 3 badges by some drawings made by the same participants.

Knowing Yourself, and Learning Badges –  Silvia Tursi led the first part of the session. She proposed a tool, some cards with some skills on each of them. This tool should be useful for them to think about their competences, analyze and know themselves and start to think about what they could write on the Youthpass.

She put all cards on a table and she asked to the participants to go around, read the cards and think about themselves. After some minutes they had to write on a paper at least 3 skills that they had and other three that they wished to reach in the end of the training course.

Then, they had to create a Badge for just one competence they had, the more representative one. For this purpose, Antonio Lionetti explained what a badge is, how it looks like and how to do it, he also provided some examples.

Creative Thinking – Antonio Lionetti proposed some drawing exercises. The first one was about drawing a self-portrait for four times using imposing different limits: using the right hand, then left hand, drawing with close eyes and drawing without raise the pencil from the paper.  The aim of this exercise was to experiment different methods and/or see if they can work better.

The second exercise was to create a cooperate self-portrait exchanging the paper among participants in circle every few seconds, but every time trying to draw themselves. The aim was to teach them how to develop creative solutions in crisis moments, experiment different approaches and cooperate together for the same goal in a project. The main goal was also to make them aware that during the planning of a project or during the project process, some problems can come out and it’s always important to react in a creative way, which means experimenting all opportunities. Participants also understood that in those situations it’s important to delegate and cooperate and take some risks.

International Evening –  The second International Evening took place in the Dining Room of the Hotel. Participants had the possibility to watch some videos, playing some games, taste some food, dance some traditional dances and find out more about Vietnam, Nepal and Greece. It was an interesting and funny night for them, full of sharing knowledge and traditions.




5.07.2016 – Third Day

Project Management –  This session was a delicate one because it was the moment of the sharpening of the projects. Vu led the session explaining to the participants what was the task and since the importance and the complexity of this phase, youth workers worked assisting youth participants. All of them followed Vu instructions. The first step was to identify the issue of their project in just one sentence; consequently, they had to identify some possible solutions by putting bullet points in a clear and detailed way. The third step was to identify the target as much specific as possible, writing the name, the age and the gender. The target could be more than one, but for each target group they had to specify the location, the background and the characteristics. Vu explained that all these aspects should be supported by a proper scientific research. The fourth step to identify was the impact, which should be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound). It was possible to list more than one impact, but they had to list them using two words for each of them. The fifth step was to identify thesustainability (resources, in time, economically, socially, conflict free, and environmental). The following step was underline the possible risks with the possible solutions that should be creative in order to make the project innovative and interesting for the target group, taking in consideration that different perspectives can be useful for solutions, indeed the next step was innovation. The last step, but not the least was communication, it means which kind of tool they want to use to deliver the message according to the target group.

Introduction to SDGs –  Shabana Abbas led the last session of the third day. She used a power point as support and she told that in 2015, after two years of negotiations, the United Nations approved 17 SDGs with 169 targets, that should be effective until 2030, year in which they will discuss again the goals.

SDGs have some features: universality (they apply to every country and sector), integration (they are inter-connected), transformation (achieving these goals our life on the Earth can change).

The main elements of SDGs are: people, planet, prosperity, Peace and Partnership.

Then she listed all 17 SDGs, trying to analyze with the participants the meaning of each of them, making a distinction between goals and targets: a goal is more general and for each goal  there are many different targets more specific, but of course they can be inter-related addressing different goals.

The session ended with a quiz. Participants were divided in two teams. Each team had to choose one person to present a specific SDG using just gests and sign language while the other members of the team had to guess it in 1 minute. The team that got more points won. The quiz was a way to reinforce their knowledge about SDGs.

International Evening –  The third International Evening took place in the Forest. Participants had the possibility to dance some traditional dances, play some traditional games and find out more about Romania, Bulgaria andSlovenia. It was a really funny night for them.



06.07.2016 – Fourth Day 

Fund Raising – 

Eugenia Barbu led this session. She tried to use an interactive approach, starting from a question: ”What is fund raising?” All participants tried to give their definition in one word and they answered: resource, promotion, partnership, charity, recognition, collecting, help, asking, sponsoring, marketing, generosity, solidarity, profit, campaign, money, donation, strategy, development, sustainability, communication, bagging, patient, interaction, convincing investment, pitching, team, needs, innovation, creativity, fun, mission, goal + target, networking, trust…The second step was trying to create some connections among those words.

Not everybody knew that another method exists and it’s called crowd funding. It is the practice of funding a project by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people. The crowd-funding model is based on three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea and/or project to be funded; individuals or groups who support the idea; and a moderating organization that brings the parties together to launch the idea.

After these explanations participants received a task. All of them were divided in two teams: the team of those who had to simulate a fundraising campaign and the team of the donors. The first team had the freedom to choose their strategy (a song, a dance, a performance, etc…but their limit was not using words and not using music). Their project could be successful with at least 3 fake Lei and they had 2 minutes to sell their project/idea and convince the donors to give fake money. In order to prepare their strategy, they receive some time of preparation. Meanwhile, the donors received each of them 5 fake Lei and they also had to decide their strategy. They had to create their own character, which could be involved in SDGs, or completely opposite to SDGs, a sort of company with clear values and goals; they also had time to think to some questions to ask in the end of the presentation. Everything had to be like in the reality.

After the presentation donors had some time to ask questions and give money to their favorite projects. In the end they declared that they chose according to the performance, their character and goals, and the convincing skills of the performers.

Eugenia in the end tried to let them understand some models of donators that they could face in their future experiences, for example some donors need clear information about the budget of the project, some indicators to let them understand that the project is reliable and economically sustainable, they need to read a good plan to be sure that they are using in a proper way their money. NGOs should appear serious and not a dreamer. Then, Eugenia showed an example of fund raising campaign. She spoke about a campaign that A.C.T.O.R. organizes every year for a lot years every, the Flower Campaign. She explained how and when this campaign was born as a practical example from which to learn how to organize a fundraising campaign. A.C.T.O.R. “sells” a story, which is donate a smile to children in hospitals with some volunteers going there and donating some gifts and food and playing with them.

Youth in Action and Youth Workers – Youth participants started to work with Mihai Barbu for the creation of a promotional and informative video for the visibility of their projects, starting from what they did during the Project Management Session and the Session of that morning.

Meanwhile, Youth workers went in another area of the location to start their discussion about the proper strategies to use in order to help the youth participants during their projects. Eugenia Barbu moderated this session.




07.07.2016 – Fifth Day

Cultural visit in Bran, Interaction with community in Brasov –  All participants received some pictures with the SDGs logos. Their task was going around the city centre of Brasov and trying to interact with people, first asking a selfie and then trying to explain the meaning of the picture, asking what they knew about SDGs and explaining about the Training Course and their project. To motivate them the facilitators announced a competition among them about the number of selfies, asking at least 20 selfies from each of them or from the team, according to their choice of being alone or in group.



08.07.2016 – Sixth Day

Visibility –  Another important key ingredient for a successful project is the visibility. That’s why it was planned a whole morning for it. Ioana Francisco and Silvia Tursi led this session.

The idea was to provide some hints about how to write something, first with some exercises, then writing a whole article and finally, inventing a poem to make the session funnier.

The facilitators explained the importance of the visibility concept for those who want to implement a project, taking notes of the activities and publishing some articles it’s really useful to shoe and spread news about the project.

The first writing exercise was writing a sentence on a flipchart paper about their impressions about Brasov and the interaction with the community and SDGs. Each participants did it, one by one, waiting their own turn with close eyes and without having the possibility to read the previous sentences. Every sentence was really nice and personal, but the impressions about the interaction with people and their knowledge about SDGs were more or less the same. They read all sentences and they put a part the flipchart for a while. The second task was to write an article picking the topic among some cards prepared by the facilitators.

Flashmob in Codlea – The flashmob took place in the main place in Codlea. The performed some rhythm with bottles filled in with some little stones (later recycled) and they did some circus exercises like the human pyramid. All participants had one among the SDGs logos on their T-shirts. There were few persons and some children, they mostly watched the show with suspicious and from distance. Some of them were invited to go closer and ask the participants what was it about, but most of them refused. Just a couple of persons asked and got answers from the participants.

After, participants were interviewed and was asked to them to explain their feelings after the flashmob. They were also invited to make a comparison between the two kinds of interaction with the communities. In general they said that even if the last flashmob was not a success they were happy because they had fun. They were some kind prepared because they expected that kind of reaction in Codlea because it’s a small village.



09.07.2016 – Seventh Day

Developing an Action Plan – Participants continued to work more on their project plan trying to develop their own Action Plan of their projects. They needed to identify the main problems and solutions, goals and tasks and putting them on a template provided by Vu. They could continue to work on this until the 17th July.  Youth workers met to continue the discussion started some days before, analyze the training course and establish how to continue to work and how to improve the partnerships in order to help the Youth participants.

Evaluation – Each participant had to think about the skills that they developed during the training and write them on a paper. This was useful for the following step, which was writing the Youthpass.


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