Regional Youth Cooperation Project: Adapting the World of Our Projects to New Normal
As we all are aware – the “new now” has brought a lot of changes in our lives, and has surely shaken up all the activities and projects – personal and professional ones. The project that we started and carry through with OKC Arašević from Bosnia and Rruga me pisha foundation from Albania was not an exception.
We had a lot of thinking and adjusting to do – which we did and thanks to the great support from Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), we were able to gather the participants (mentees and mentors) for an official new start, after a long break we had to make.
Now that we are sure to continue the project, we needed to make sure as well that participants feel at ease with continuing their work and communications online, both within their teams and with their mentors. Knowing that online meetings and platforms can be exhausting or even dehumanizing, the first official workshop for the remaining part of the project focused on communication and cooperation using different tools helping participants to overcome these challenges.
On the 5th of September, the participants met with Dasha Spasojević, alumni mentee, who assisted them in the process of rethinking and utilizing the experience from past months in the frame of their projects.
This official “new start” was a unique occasion for participants to renew contact with each other and their dedicated mentors and to come up with ideas on how to use the experience of the global pandemic and the effect it had on them, to realize their projects.
Dasha led the participants through getting to know each other more, assuring reliability, and making the contact that will be now exclusively online, a lot more human. Using different tools, they had a chance to think about and understand their strong sides, what affects them the most in the present situation and what are the “elephants” in the room they should tackle. By digging deeper into the “world of their projects”, the participants found a way to express their concerns about the projects they are working on and how they can adapt them to the new context.
This also eased visualizing their current position and the potential they have as individuals and teams. Encouraged to explore this world and address each other and the challenges that the “world of their projects” is facing, they were inspired to exchange, cooperate, and overcome things together. The “project world” is also a safe space to express themselves and connect with others – a space to share the deepest thoughts and questions, to listen and understand each other, break walls by seeing people with different views as valuable, not as troublemakers, and be comfortable to be outside their comfort zone. Then, the openness and honesty will naturally lead to understanding their potential and the resources they have that may help them develop and finalize their projects.
This new start ensured a good foundation to continue work not only because it was relying on overcoming physical distance and lack of exchange of energy present in live workshops, but because it inspired investigating and rethinking of ourselves, our relations with others (team members and mentors) and our potentials. Sharing this experience makes it more likely to set a common and fertile ground to develop fruitful projects.
We still have until the end of November to see the results of all the shared work, and until then, we still have more workshops, discoveries, and exchanges ahead of us.