The training course about social entrepreneurship was financed by the European Union’s educational framework Erasmus+, was held in Pilsen, the European Capital of Culture 2015, in the Czech Republic, 16–24 September 2015. It collected 24 youth workers from the following countries: Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Spain and Turkey. The trainers were Dushko Radevski from NGO Sfera Macedonia, and Natasha Chavdarovska from FORUM16, Bitola, Macedonia.
The groups have arrived to Pilsen on the 16th September. The first night was cosy, we were happy to meet each other in an informal way. The real work started on the next day.
In the morning we started the day with some ice-breaking and name learning games. We set some basic rules for the time spent together. The first day was spending with teambuilding activities for developing our creativity such as competitions. One of the activities was to decide which 10 people should travel to another planet in case of apocalypse. The other task was to build as high tower as we could using spaghetti, tape and rope. Then we formed 3 reflection groups in order to facilitate the evaluation of each day’s activities, learning outcomes, personal needs as well as practical issues.
On the second day we got acquainted with the topic by presenting the notion of social entrepreneurship and social innovation through fotonovela or fotoromanzo. We assessed our existing knowledge through quizzes. We had a really interesting debate about the basic statements within social enterprise, the participants had to agree or disagree with those. At the end of the day we had a very nice closing ceremony by taking part in the intercultural evening where Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Spain were host countries. We had the chance to get to know the dances as well as get to know the tastes of those cultures.
On the third day we started with discussing about social enterprises, legal framework, examples, problems and challenges in each participating country. We have learnt a lot through personal experiences. The game that followed this session was highly useful to show our skills through creativity. Since our trainer’s major was business, he presented us about the steps of business research. At night we had the chance to get familiar with Balkan culture by dancing and tasting various food and national drinks of Macedonia, Croatia and Turkey.
On the following day we were introduced to the basic of interviewing. After the morning session we were asked to visit the city centre in order to ask about local people’s opinion and assess their awareness about social entrepreneurship, social problems as well as challenges. As we have expected, the vast majority of people did not have too deep knowledge about our chosen topic. After the evaluation of our questionnaire our schedule included free afternoon and free evening thus we could explore the city’s cultural, historical as well as gastronomical sights.
The next day started with watching a couple of short videos about entrepreneurial spirit, and Ashoka, a non-profit organisation dedicated to finding and fostering social entrepreneurs worldwide. Then we hosted representatives from Czech InLtd. Prague, which provides the possibility for young language teachers to work as lecturers in their organisation. We enjoyed their interactive presentation about the organisation and eventually we also tried to find suggestions for further development. The NGO fair took place the same day. We were curious about each other’s sending organizations, for the future cooperation. As a nice end of the day, we watched a documentary movie in the closest pub about the hard life of gold diggers at the other side of the world, in San Salvador. The other scene took place in Indonesia, where a professional photographer was living together with a local tribe.
On Tuesday we collected photos, videos, information about project and write the final report.
On Wednesday we got Youthpasses.
Whole week were in Pilsen lot of performances and also NGO fair, with lot of actions.