Between 1-11 October 2015, Cluj Napoca- European Youth capital 2015 was the host of the training course Empowering Youth-Strengthening communities , organized by YMCA Romania together with YMCA Gabrovo Bulgaria, YMCA Tirana Albania, YMCA Serbia, YMCA Ukraine, YMCA Poland, YMCA Italy, YMCA Netherlands, YMCA Spain, YMCA Portugal, YMCA England. This project is funded by European Union through Erasmus Plus program. EU flag-Erasmus+_vect_POS

The aim of this project is to empower youth workers and young leaders to direct and control their own lives and to actively participate in the life on the organization and community. Furthermore, through empowerment to actively deliver programs for young people and to participate in the governance and decision making of their organization.

In 10 weeks after the training the participants are creating in the partner organizations workshops, events, programs that they already designed in the training and the team of trainers will coach/support them in order to achieve the goals they set. After the implementation they will report back about it (pictures, online promotion, partner organization`s feedback), creating in this way a synergy of ideas&actions which lead to transformation and impact.

Check out the testimonial of Joao Moura, manager of Youth center in YMCA Setubal Portugal, participant in this training.

22297561164_6f01e0024b_zMy name is João Moura. Im from YMCA Setúbal – Portugal.I have been working in YMCA since the end of 2004 with young people from a very famous (in a social prejudice way) neighborhood, called Bela Vista (“good view” in English), because it gives us the best panoramic view of the city of Setúbal.

I’m psychologist and youth coordinator in our headquarters, working with young people from 14 to 26 years old. I’ve been in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in the Youth European Capital 2015 during the Youth Training Camp “Empowering Youth – Strengthening Communities” led by the YMCA Romania and Erasmus + from 1 – 11 October, with 29 young people from 11 different European countries and YMCA organizations.It was my second professional experience abroad and I can say that this time was totally different from what I expected. This training provided me an “out of the box” experience in a very energetic, insightful and strongly emotional way.

Both in schools and universities the traditional educational methods are widely spread. After this huge important, I definitely can say that there’s so much more we can do, new ways of learning, knowing and creating non-formal methods of self-learning like we had in Cluj.

It was the first time I felt part of the YMCA Movement, maybe because here in the Iberian Peninsula we are somehow isolated of the west Europe. However the most reasonable explanation is that I had the chance to live during 10 days with persons from all different parts of Europe, including the participation of the YMCA European Executive Committee in our sessions.

It was also a great opportunity to know more about how other YMCA’s organizations are working, empowering youth and inspiring people. This opportunity gave me a lot of ideas, left me “on fire”, in a very inspirational way and committed to make things happen in many different ways. I expect to use all this at my YMCA.

Currently, we are organizing a youth training camp to happen this month, (December) during school holidays. It will take place at YMCA Camp Alambre, (our training camp) on the 28th, 29th and 30th December and we are going to use some of the exercises we learn in Romania. Our goals are about inspiration and youth empowerment. We are going to show to all participants their abilities and qualities, making them think and realize about themselves, working in team building and prepare them to international programs.

Finally, I want to share three very valuable thoughts that I always keep in mind:
– “Always smile, our smile inspire the others.”
– “You are what you create yourself.”
– “Sharing is caring.”

We are the future! Thank you very much for provide me such a strong experience! Special thanks to Alexandra Canta, Dan Carpov, Marius Pop, Alina Pop and all friends from all Europe.

I invite you to watch the movie i did after training to thank everyone and show how I grateful I am.

People inspire people from Johny Moura on Vimeo.

Thank you, Joao!!!