TOTAL in a nutshell

TOTAL has been a vertebrate project, with 3 residential training activities designed for trainers and potential trainers of non formal education, youth workers, educators and teachers willing to enhance their professional development in the field of youth training, starting from basic skills, through development of training modules, training strategies, to improvement of youth work and training.

“From the first to the third activity of the project the knowledge and motivation of being a trainer went into a deeper analysis, reaching the point of creating new tools and methods.“

– Ritsa Mandraki from Greece, participated in all 3 activities

The objectives of the Training of Trainers and Active Leaders, that were well met :

  • To provide training opportunities to future trainers, trainers with limited experience and trainers with significant experience which will contribute to quality of training delivery;
  • To empower involved organisations to implement local and international non-formal education activities and ensure sustainable education of their staff and volunteers;
  • To contribute to quality of non-formal education projects in Europe, quality of trainers work, recognition of non-formal education and create new approaches in non-formal education;
  • To create network of training providers in Europe and ensure communication and cooperation for exchange of good practice and improvement of work;
  • To brace partnership among involved organisation and share example of cooperation with other organisations in Europe active in the field of youth.

A website of the project was created containing information and training materials of all the three activities, information and contacts of the project partner organisations and also a blog, which was updated daily by the participants all through the three training weeks. You can reach the aforementioned website in the following link: A Facebook page is also available containing photographic materials, videos and links to website updates.

In short description, the Training included the following three mobility activities:

TOTAL Basic, was the first activity of the project. It took place in Krzyzowa, Poland from 12th to 19th September 2016. The activity was focused in the development of basic training competences and was mainly aimed to participants who have just started or about to start working as youth trainers.

During the training week 30 new trainers were educated about learning process, non-formal education methodology, Youthpass and recognition of non-formal education, group dynamics, training tools, resource materials and preparation of trainers agenda.

In order to simulate training realities and prepare trainers for implementation of local activities related to active participation, human rights and intercultural dialogue, the participants were introduced to diverse educational styles and tools as Compass, Compassito, Coyote and Salto. These resources  where adapted to be used in the following workshops, that tested the participants training and feedback abilities.

The participants of TOTAL Basic were prepared for individual work as junior trainers and in groups prepared follow up activities. After the end of the mobility they had to implement local follow up activities together with their organisations and send reports within 30 days after they were completed.

Furthermore, project ideas were drafted among the youth workers of the partner organisations with the aim to be developed and implemented locally and internationally.

 TOTAL Advance, the second activity of the project, took place in Krzyzowa, Poland from 10th to 17th January 2017. The participants, medium experienced trainers from partner organizations, were educated about trainers’ portfolio, trainers’ development, competences, development of learning plan, and other skills and knowledge relevant for professional trainers work.

They were introduced to some of the frameworks used to organize and evaluate trainer competences, in particular to the European Training Strategy and its main structure, criteria and indicators, British Council Trainer Competence Framework and Council of Europe’s Portfolio for youth leaders and youth workers.

In order to put knowledge into action, the participants divided in groups were handed activities from Compass manual for human rights, which they had to adapt, adjust and deliver to the rest of the groups, taking into consideration the needs and experience of their audience.

Apart from discussing the structure and the possibilities of the Erasmus+ Programme, as an extra perk there was a detailed trainer lead introduction to the main elements of the application form, how to write a good project proposal and what is the selection criteria, so that a potential project application would stand high possibilities to be approved, followed by partnership meetings, in order to discuss in what way the partner organizations could cooperate in the future within the upcoming Erasmus+ deadlines.

 TOTAL Lab, the 3rd and final activity took place in Uzana, Bulgaria from 3rd to 10th Aprl 2017. The final mobility activity of the project was designed for experienced trainers in order to provide space for creating new training tools, innovative solutions and approaches in non-formal education, development of training strategies and new projects.

Indeed during the training week the participants were given the opportunity to come up with innovative training tools, share it, test it and prepare for use in the future.

Furthermore they were intrigued in methods of self determination and evaluation about personal skills and competences, self identification of the king of trainer they are and the kind they want to be, they explored Council of Europe’s Manual on the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life and additionally Conflict scenarios and detailed presentations of the different Pools of Trainers with emphasis on the Council of Europe’s pool of trainers role and structure, the criteria to join in it, quality standards to be fulfilled, the application procedures and contracts.

They were finally introduced to the possibility of entering TDM2000 Pool of Trainers, a pool of trainers that would have as initiation point the participation in 2 of the parts of TOTAL, with TOTAL Lab being prerequisite and after meeting certain standards and fulfilling the criteria requisite. The pool although giving priority in candidacy to the trainers completing the specific project TOTAL, will be in the future open for membership to also other candidates willing to go through the process of self evaluation according to specific standards and go through the procedure of candidacy.

To make a long story short TOTAL has been an interesting and at some points difficult experiential path for the most of us participating in it. But philosophically speaking, if you don’t take the hard path how else are you going to learn? Take it from someone who followed the complete journey and came out of it richer.

In the project were involved organizations from 15 different countries. Each organization was represented in each activity by 2 participants. The partner organizations were:
TDM2000 Polska – Poland; The ASHA Foundation – United Kingdom; Fingerprints – Malta; Network for European Citizenship and Identity – Cyprus; Asociace DICE – Development Initiatives for a Common Europe, z. s. – Czech Republic; Civilna, edukativna i transparentna platforma – Croatia; Mlada Sered – Slovakia; Associação Recreativa e Cultural Universitária do Minho – Portugal; Centar za mejdunarodna mladejka deinost – Bulgaria; Associazione TDM 2000 – Italy; Asociatia SUPER TINERI (ASIRYS) -Romania; IHNILATES TOU FOTOS – Greece; Zdrudzenie za opshtestvena grizha i vladeenje na pravoto “Urbano Opshtestvo” – Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; VsI Inovaciju biuras – Lithuania ; Asociación Intercultural Europea – Go Europe – Spain.

Credits: The article was prepared by Ritsa Mandraki, participant from Greece.