05 October, 2017

Ready for an interesting placement in a fascinating country?

If you are looking for a valuable experience abroad, as part of your course programme in social work at our university of applied sciences, then have a look at the video below. One of our students put together this short clip to give you an idea of what she is experiencing on her placement with the organisation Ready4Life in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Although at this moment she has now been there for only 6 weeks, she already has a wealth of experiences behind her, as you will see if you watch the video. Thank you Simone for sharing your experiences with us in this way.

If the player doesn't show, here's the direct link.

For your information: the organisation Ready4Life is one of the international LearnWorkCommunities that are offered as a placement for year 3 students of the social work programme. They have a good network in the city of Port Elizabeth and try to arrange matches based on your interests and competences.
In the clip above you only get a quick impression of one of the organisations.

Curious to know more ? You can have a look at their website via this link: http://ready4life.org/south-africa/ . Updates will follow at a later stage, towards the end of the placement coming January / February 2018.

21 September, 2017

Interested in Social Entrepreneurship ? Here's a Training Manual

After two years of work the time has come to share the outputs of an interesting European project.
As part of the Erasmus+ project in Sustain Your Life through Social Entrepreneurship, three 5-day training courses were developed and delivered in three different countries, gathering 28 participants per venue.

Each of the three training courses that were delivered had its own theme, its own training objectives and activities as well as its own trainers. All this and more, you can find in the overall training course descriptions that were compiled in a training manual together with a good diversity of valuable internet resources for further reference.

The overall goal was to give a comprehensive introduction to social entrepreneurship, to equip participants with the tools and resources for setting up their own social start-ups, by providing them with the resources to gain more in-depth insights into this innovative approach to social change, to turn needs into action, to demonstrate different (business) models of social entrepreneurship, to show sustainable strategies for building momentum for social entrepreneurship activities, to learn from the tips and tricks in order to be an effective change maker in their field of interest, to elaborate on possible ideas (and passions) for starting a social enterprise or launching a venture, or adding a social entrepreneurship-oriented perspective to an existing entity. The ulterior drive behind all of the training activities has been to support young people realize their dreams of a better world.

The teaching materials and resources of the training courses are displayed here in the manual (as well as in the open learning portal on www.sustainyourlife.eu) in such a way that they provide experienced trainers with solid information as well as flexible educational tools and handouts, which may be utilised and adapted according to their specific needs. The specific training activities of each of the T C’s have been described in detail. They can be used in part, according to the needs of the trainers, work settings and the time available. In other words, feel free to pick and choose your own educational / training activities from the 50 + that are displayed here in the Training Manual below.

Feel free to download the manual free of charge.

We hope it will provide you with lots of inspiration for your training activities to have young people sustain their lives through social entrepreneurship.

Disclaimer: The EC support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

04 September, 2017

MedArt produces a methodological guide

As the end of the MedArt project is approaching, it's time to share the results and output.
The MedArt project was formulated to create a space where the different participating organisations could share and exchange their practices and learn from each other. The process consisted of a series of transnational meetings in partner countries and on top of that, a week long exchange of practice with staff in order to share their methodologies. Those methodologies included games, exercises and other non-formal learning approaches based on the current work of each organisation and their (target) groups.

These were the seven partners creating community theatre in different countries and in different contexts while working with people with a wide range of vulnerabilities:

  • acta Community Theatre, UK – working with vulnerable young people and adults 

  • Asociacon Acunagua, Canary Islands, Spain – working with women prisoners, young people   

  • CSC Danilo Dolci, Sicily, Italy – offering a range of opportunities and education to refugees, young people

  • Divadlo bez Domova, Slovakia - working with homeless people, disabled people, mentally challenged people, ex-prisoners and others in need.

  • Drustvo ProSoc, Slovenia – theater of different excluded and vulnerable groups

  • Magyar Vöröskereszt Budapest Fővárosi Szervezet  AHA Színpada (MVKBP), Budapest, Hungary – theatre with homeless, former homeless and vulnerable adults

  • Teatr Grodzki, Poland – theatre with disabled, deaf and disadvantaged people in Bielsko-Biala.

The eighth partner, Hogeschool Rotterdam, Netherlands, has been responsible for project evaluation and creating a framework for the methodological guide.

In the course of the two-year Erasmus+ funded project the partners learned that they share a number of common aims: first and foremost, the desire to make positive change in the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people, and secondly, a passionate belief in the power of theatre as an effective tool to enable these positive changes to take place. Moreover, all the partners share a belief in the importance of life-long learning.

However, the way in which each of the organisations worked towards these goals diverged. It was the richness of practice that was gradually discovered along the way, resulting in enhanced practices in the partner organisations. Exercises created to work in one context proved to be easily translatable to another as the language of theatre, and community theatre in particular, is universal. It is this richness and adaptability of the methodologies that the MedArt partnership is now sharing with anyone through the methodological guide that they de
veloped. Here you can find the publication:

(Alternatively, if this doesn't show up properly, here's the link to the guide.)
Hopefully, this guide will help you develop your own rich and effective methodologies that work in your context. Good luck with your journey !

Disclaimer: The EC support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

26 August, 2017

What is social entrepreneurship ?

This is the question that we put to the participants on the final day of a training course held in Rotterdam, autumn 2016. The Training Course was organised within the framework of a European project entitled Sustain Your Life through Social Entrepreneurship. The project was co-funded by the Erasmus + programme of the EU.

Here's what some of the participants said:

This video, as well as the following two, was edited by Jeroen Wouters, lecturer at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Here's another videoclip giving you a glimpse of what the participants to the T C saw during the course by way of field visits.

Finally, this is where you can hear some of the participants expressing what they learned during the training course on social and cultural entrepreneurship:

Curious to read and see more ? Here's a link to the open e-learning portal website that resulted from the project as one of the outputs.
If you click the button Training Programmes you get access to all of the activities that were provided to a total of nearly 80 participants during three organised training courses held in three different countries across the two years' run of the project.

Disclaimer: The EC support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

13 March, 2017

update on Sustain Your Life through Social Entrepreneurship

Within the framework of the Erasmus + project “Sustain your life through social entrepreneurship” a new group of 28 youth workers joined the experience of the third and last international pilot training course dedicated to theme of  “A Sense of Initiative and Entrepreneurship”.

The training course was organized by Freguesia de Cascais e Estoril, the Portuguese partner of the project, and took place in the beautiful city of Cascais (Portugal) from the 22nd to the 26th of January. This 5 days' training course approached social entrepreneurship and innovation from a very practical point of view. There was a strong focus on learning by doing, especially since the topic is very much linked to the transversion of ideas into actions.

The training course aimed to give a practical approach to social entrepreneurship. Planned in accordance with the principles of non formal education it had four main stages: “Chaos & Order” - from creativity to organization; “Balance” - work within a group; “Into the practice” - developing a project to put ideas into action (Tree of problems/Dragon Dreaming); and rounding off with “Opening towards the future”. Designing the course in this way was meant to provide insights and learning opportunities to all the participants.

A strong aspect was the opportunity that was offered to the participants at several moments during the week to wear a “meta-hat” and analyse the activities and process from a youth worker's point of view, establishing how they could use the exercises and approaches in their local contexts.

This experience was built on both individual and group learning, always respecting participants' needs. Every single day reflection groups were set up in order to enhance and reinforce what had been learned that day.

By the end of this March project partners will meet in Cascais to discuss project progress and agree on the most appropriate tools to share results with a wider audience of youth workers and stakeholders.

More updates on a regular basis can be found on the Facebook page of Sustain Your Life through Social Entrepreneurship.