Created by: Service Civil International (SCI)
“FLOW – Facilitating, Learning, Organising and Welcoming! A critical Training of Trainers” was a Training of Trainers with a special focus on peace education and inclusion. It consisted of three elements: an online preparation period; an online training course that took place twice: once in March and once in April; and a follow-up period. The 26 organisations were involved in the two training sessions from across Europe. 50+ participants attended. Participants consisted of volunteers, staff and activists of volunteering and youth organisations across Europe.
Shortly description of the practice:
We organized two rounds of the FLOW Training of Trainer with two different participant groups: 1 Training over 3 weeks in March and another Training with a new group during 3 weeks in April 2021. We adapted the whole planned physical project into an online project with very similar content as planned before and more content focused specifically on online training and facilitation. Topics were group dynamics, role of a trainer, Anti-Discrimination in NFE Projects, climate Just NFE projects, online NFE projects, a open space and a project lab to plan new follow up projects. A Padlet resource hub was created with different materials and interactive spaces for the two different participant groups which will remain available to participants for at least a year after the end of the training and used to support the online training. As we had many (around 200) applications we luckily had the chance to organise two rounds. In the end we had 52 participants in total.
General purpose and aims:
Youth and peace education are core elements of the peace movement and of European youth work. Through seminars, training activities, youth exchanges and other educational projects, the current challenges of Europe in a globalised world are discussed in an international youth environment. Challenges such as the climate crisis; promotion of tolerance; respect for human rights; transcultural exchange and religious dialogue; global power structures; migration; remembrance work,and many more. There was and is a need for well qualified trainers who are sensitive to many of these issues, who intersect them in their work, who think critically and who can ensure and provide a high quality of youth projects in Europe.
Educational work gets more and more important for the peace and voluntary movement. Many training activities, seminars and exchanges help to nurture the values of SCI and its partners, such as human rights, social justice, activism, climate justice, global justice, etc. There are many activists within the peace movement who want to become active as trainers and organisers of educational projects that contribute to promote a culture of peace among volunteers and young people in general. This is why SCI organized this Training of Trainers, with a special focus on peace education.
The objectives of the project were:
– to empower people to give trainings in peace education
– to provide (future) youth workers with skills, methods, inspirations and new perspectives for peace education to get in a good flow while initiating, organising and managing educational projects
– to provide (future) youth workers with skills to moderate group dynamics in its different stages as well as to create safer spaces in trainings, seminars and youth exchanges
– to provide (future) youth workers with skills to involve youth with fewer opportunities in their activities and to design non formal education for youth with fewer opportunities
– to share approaches and institutional structures for developing and organising new peace education projects based on the needs of its youth participants (including Project Management and EU fundings)
– to increase the understanding of intersectional perspectives when facilitating and organising youth projects (global justice, gender, class, race, inclusion, climate justice)
– to reflect on how power structures can be reproduced in the organisation of projects and how we could integrate the values of the peace movement on all levels of organising educational projects
– to sensibilise for inclusive, diverse and less discriminating projects regarding human rights and other fundamental and common values of our society
– to improve the quality of NFE instruments that can be used in future events, projects, training courses, seminars and general meetings
– to build on experiences on topics and target groups that the partners work with
– to create more and stronger alliances and solidarity in the peace and volunteering movement, especially between the organisations involved in the project.
– to come up with new international peace-education projects
– to establish networks for future cooperation and projects
– to strengthen European identity and upgrade cultural and intercultural awareness and expression
The objectives of our project were also in line with the Erasmus+ programme to provide youth organisations and youth workers with training and cooperation opportunities as well as to develop their professionalism. The European dimension of youth work will also lead to implementing NFE activities of better quality on the local level, thus enhancing the competences of youth as well as their active citizenship. The training itself will focus on European values and provide skills and information for participants on how to integrate these values and perspectives in their future projects.
Description of the activity:
Due to the COVID Pandemic we decided to shift the whole project to an online training project. It was impossible to organise a safe international physical event at this time, but we were of the opinion that also in times of pandemic it’s important to do our work and to find new ways to do peace education and empower people to organise their own projects. So we developed a plan on how our planned activity can be transformed to an online project. After we sent out a call for applications we received many applications and realized that there seemed to be a huge need for a project like this at that time, so we also decided to do it twice for two different groups.
The first training round took place from 06 – 27.March, with sessions on Saturday, 6 March 10:00-16:30 CET, Sunday, 7 March 13:00-16:30 CET, Tuesday, 9 March 18:00-20:00 CET, Thursday, 11 March 18:00-20:00 CET, Tuesday, 16 March 18:00-20:00 CET, Thursday, 18 March 18:00-20:00 CET, Tuesday, 23 March 18:00-20:00 CET, Thursday, 25 March 18:00-20:00 CET, Saturday, 27 March 10:00-16:30 CET. Additionally between each session the participants had individual tasks to do alone or in smaller groups.
The second training round took place from 10. April – 02.Mai, with sessions on Saturday, 10 April 10:00-16:30 CET, Sunday, 11 April 13:00-16:30 CET, Tuesday, 13 April 17:00 – 19:00 CET, Thursday, 15 April 17:00 – 19:00 CET, Tuesday, 20 April 17:00 – 19:00 CET, Thursday, 22 April 17:00 – 19:00 CET, Tuesday, 27 April 17:00 – 19:00 CET, Thursday, 29 April 17:00 – 19:00 CET, Sunday, 02 Mai 10:00-16:30 CET. Additionally between each session the participants had individual tasks to do alone or in smaller groups.
The two training sessions were organised by a coordinating team consisting of the two trainers and one person from SCI. This team met regularly online to discuss all matters concerning the preparation of the activities and met in advance before each session to finalize the details of the training session facilities. They also had several online meetings in between to evaluate and report and accompany the follow up period .
They have been using a variety of online tools to store and manage all documents concerning the seminar, such as the data protected tool CryptDrive, Padlet, Mails, Zoom, etc. and ensure a smooth implementation. The team used emails and zoom calls to talk to project partners about their feedback, ideas, expectations and contributions to the activities.
The following methods were used during the training:
As we shifted the whole project from offline to online we changed or adapted also several methods for the sessions.
Who can be included in it:
Participants belonged to one or more of the following categories:
The selection was led by the consortium’s common goal of creating a diverse group.
Participants with fewer opportunities were explicitly encouraged to apply. We explicitly encouraged participants of all genders and sexual orientations, of migration background and participants of color to apply.
Diversity also referred to their involvement:
Such a diverse group created an intensive and fruitful exchange of approaches and ideas.
Special needs tackled:
Technical support was given through separate support session to see if further internet support was necessary or if their hardware could be organised different to make sure their participation was to the best quality possible.
Needs for specific tools / hardware / supports:
A combination of Padlet, Trello, Zoom (the same link to make connecting simpler) and private messaging apps were used.
More documentation is available here.
How is this activity inclusive?
Please check the section “who can be included in it” for participant information and how we tried to make it inclusive and diverse
The first day of the activity the participants were informed about the “house rules” of Zoom (e.g. mute when you’re not speaking, keep video on if possible, use chat function). In the second session of Day 1, participants and the facilitators worked together on a common group agreement. In this activity, all participants were able to voice what they needed from each other and the project team in order to be able to learn together in a positive and constructive manner. The agreement was meant to set common rules regarding the following aspects:
This agreement was fixed in a prominent place on Trello and could be referred to at any time.
Evaluation was a constant and ongoing process during the project and the trainings, both for the participant’s self-reflection and for the coordination team to adjust the training to the needs of the participants at any point. We wanted to make sure to reach our objectives and, if we didn’t do so, we changed the content of the seminar accordingly.
Participants finished each day (which we met online as a group) with a session of reflection of the day. In these sessions, the participants were led through a reflection of their day using a different non-formal education method or artistic method (Newspaper Headline,, 5 Finger Method, Writing a postcard to the facilitators, etc), in which they expressed and then shared with the others what they had enjoyed about the session(s), what they thought should have been changed, what their main learning points were and how they were feeling. The facilitators used this information to adapt their work and any logistical issues to the needs of the group.
During the virtual activity, the participants were supported through the following ways to make sure their participation was inclusive:
– Infosheet with information on how to handle and register at Zoom, Padlet and Telegram
– Technical meetup before the start of the training (30 min before) to test microphone, camera etc. (We had also offered to contact us by email before in case someone felt insecure about this and wanted to try it out before)
– Check-in in the beginning of each session to see how participants are starting into the session, how they are feeling, if they need to communicate anything
– Technical support anytime during the training
– Offer to support financially with the budget from the Erasmus+ grant for better internet connection
Furthermore, some of the sessions were participant driven, so participants would in small groups to talk about other topics on facilitation or specific topics (like discrimination and gender), facilitated a workshop for other participants and were then given feedback on their facilitation style. This provided direct experience in a low-risk setting. Participants were also given a different tasks each week in groups for there to be collective ownership of the learning experience (tasks such as heart keepers to check in on the other participants or share notes in case someone missed a session, or creative interventions/energizers to keep energy levels high.
Finally, pronouns were added to participant zoom names and in general throughout the project the organisers and participants tried to keep a high level of awareness of different background, needs and experiences, agreeing on a word to ask for help or in case something had to be addressed to make sure the training was as inclusive as possible.
How do you think it could be further developed / improved in terms of inclusion?
Some of the topics could be explored in more depth in order to be able to discuss further or allow the participants to formulate their opinions more. A lot of background reading and information was shared and the participants discovered it during the individual homework sessions, to then after discuss it with the other participants in the group sessions. However, by going more into depth on some topics and spending more time, further and even deeper discussion could have taken place. This is a possible project for the future for us. Finally, the project was offered only in English and translation in order languages would make it more inclusive, but also more challenging to organise. The team had committed to sign-language interpretation in case any of the participants required it, but not language translation. This could be explored in the future, or possibly offering the training in order languages.
For more information please contact
Chantal Doran, International Coordinator, email@example.com