From 14th until 22nd of March two members of the CGE team, Moritz Borchardt and Elina Miagkovaitė, participated in the Training Course „I. LAB – Intercultural Learning and Beyond“ in Tortona, Italy. Young activists from 16 countries came together to explore the different dimensions of intercultural learning (ICL) in order to develop a new innovative approach and to equip youth trainers, youth workers, organizers and volunteers with the necessary competences, knowledge and practical tools to foster a human and truly intercultural side in all the projects they deliver.
The I.LAB training course was organised by YEU, Youth for Exchange and Understanding, an international NGO from Brussels, Belgium, in cooperation with La Fenice, a youth organization in Tortona, Italy. In order to create innovative methodologies and tools for intercultural dialogue and learning, the training course took a rather unusual way of delivering the message. The first few days in Tortona were dedicated to getting to know each other through a variety of activities, which made the participants question the boundaries of their worldview. Using maps to do so is a good example, making the participants question standardized vantage points and realize the impact of Eurocentrism on map making. The activities also gave a better understanding of the issues which come along the path to intercultural learning. The second part of the week started with brainstorming about methods of ICL that later on were developed by smaller groups of the participants and implemented with local participants, refugees and school children in Tortona. After every completed test, the groups had an opportunity to revise and improve their activities and test them one more time. Some of the working groups had a chance to test their activity three times, which made the whole work even more valuable and applicable in other situations. What makes this project so unique is the outcome: Not only were the participants of the projects taking part in the activities, but also did they have a chance to develop something completely new and test it. All the good practises will find a place in the publication that the facilitators and some of the participants are working on, in order to share the fruits of the training course with a wider audience. Elina Miagkovaitė was quite excited about the new experience.
Similarly, Moritz Borchardt was impressed by the experience.