Testimony ''My Grundtvig Assistanship''

What is a Grundtvig Assistanship?

Grundtvig is part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) and aims to strengthen the European dimension in adult education. Grundtvig Assistantships are designed for staff involved in adult education to work in another participating country, to learn about different practices in the field with the aim of enhancing their professional development. Assistantships must last between 12 and 45 weeks.

The type of activities an Assistant might undertake includes:
- assisting in facilitating learning, or with some aspect of managing adult education;
- providing support for adults with special educational needs;
- providing information on the UK and assisting in the teaching of English;
- introducing or reinforcing the European dimension in the host organisation;
- initiating, developing and assisting in the implementation of projects.

Assistants should be fully integrated in life at the host organisation. As Grundtvig Assistantships are open to all adult education staff, the level of experience and seniority of participants varies.

(extract from the ''2011 Guide for Applicants'' realised by ECORYS UK and the Lifelong Learning Programme)

To read more about the Grundtvig Assistanship, please:
- read the PDF ''2011 Guide for applicants'': click here.
- visit the ECORYS website: click here.
- visit the french website of the National french Agency Europe Education Formation 2e2f: click here.

by Raphael
It is always difficult to write a testimony about a year especially when this has been very rich and busy. My Name is Raphael and I participated in a Grundtvig Assistanship in Everything is Possible (Leeds, United Kingdom) between the 1st September 2010 and the 3rd July 2011. This project has been supported by the Lifelong Learning Programme from the European Commission and the French National Agency ''Europe Education Formation ''. During this year I had the chance to learn through Everything is Possible and it's partners the work of trainers and participate in different international events.

The Training course ''Into the Spotlight'' in Santander (Spain): learning about training methods.
In September, Everything is Possible offered me to participate to a training course in Santander (Spain) around media. My participation was interesting for 3 reasons: First to learn more about the method of other organisations about how to run a seminar (their tools, activities). Secondly, to prepare the futur Grundtvig Learner Workshop of Everything is Possible in Mars 2011, which was about media and the Final seminar in Uruguay in October 2010 around photography. Thirdly, to learn about best practices around communication and visibility. The event took place from the 12th to the 18th October 2010.

This international Training Course ‘’Into the Spotlight’’ organised by Ser Joven (Santander, SPAIN) and funded by the Youth in Action Programme had for aims to develop skills and competences to improve project planning, image, design, spreading project results, promotion,  tools in order to make our projects known  by the public. The objectives were also to clarify, compare and contrast the concepts of visibility, dissemination of results, exploitation of results, sustainability of results, multiplying and mainstreaming in Youth in Action projects.

Me on the right with participants and trainers of the
training course ''Into the Spotlight''.
During the week we had different workshops:
- Documentary making workshop;
- ''Local Impact…Media…it’s not so complicated…'';
- Project Image practice;
- and many others workshops and discussions.
The  training answered to its aims. The activities were more based on the video shooting and editing with at the end the creation of a documentary about the seminar, but also about graphic design (back to the beginning of the creation process)

Not all the workshops were useful for me, regarding my previous skills, but it was very interesting to meet partners working in the same area than Everything is Possible, to see their promotion tools and to meet other professionals in video editing and graphic design.

As well, it has been very interesting for me regarding my Grundtvig Assistanship. It gave me the chance to study their methods to train adults. I have been very impressed by the methods used. It was original, always different and suprising. For example, in order to create different groups, trainers ran some short activities using the 5 senses: hearing (everyone shake a mini box given to him and try to join people which have a box doing the same sound), sens of smell, view. It has been very usefull as it gave me many ideas for futur trainings.
All these skills and experiences have been very usefull during the Seminar ''Black Butterfly'' in Uruguay where I was assistant of the trainers.

The video ''Into The Spotlight'' created during the training course is only accessible on facebook. To access the video you need to be on facebook and join the group Into the Spotlight: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sfrm=1#!/group.php?gid=163289767019270.

You can also watch this other video created by other participants:

The Seminar ''Black Butterfly'' in Montevideo (Uruguay): first role as assistant trainer.
At the end of the training course ''Into the Spotlight'', I went directly to Montevideo (Uruguay) for an international seminar.

The Black Butterfly Final Seminar was the occasion to evaluate this international project. It was organise in order to give the chance to two persons (especially young people) per organisation involved in the project to represent their team to other participants and share their experience about the photo workshop and the exhibition. This seminar was as well the occasion to give some final training course around photography to these persons who won the Black Butterfly competition: therfore they learned more technics with a professionnal photographer.

During this seminar I helped the organisers (Everything is Possible & AUDELE) and assisted the trainers. This seminar was a concrete moment to use the skills/tools/knowledge learned during the previous seminar ‘’Into the Spotlight’’ in Spain which was mostly about documentary, technique of shoot, etc. I took pictures and videos in order to create a video explaining the project. I also interviewed and met partners to understand the impacts (positive!) of this project which gave some concrete skills in photography to adult people (18-30 years old). It was as well very interesting to compare the methods of the trainers with the methods used during the video workshop in Santander: Sammie, a professionnal photographer, teached people photography using simple method as how to do a good picture with a simple phone.

Black Butterfly is an International project around photography and interculturality that took place in 2010 and involved 150 young people from Europe and Latin America.

Video of the Black Butterfly project (with at 5:05 the video of the Seminar in Uruguay)

Study of the EVS training:
Before the beginning of my Grundtvig Assistanship, Everything is Possible offered me to participate to different EVS trainings, in order to prepare my assistanship. I had the chance to see in different cities, some EVS trainings ran by trainers coming from England, Wales and Scotland. Unfortunatly I didn't have the chance to meet the partners from Northern Irland which finaly sent me some videos of its trainings. I also shoot some workshops, interviewed the trainers, the organisers and the EVS volunteers to understand the impacts of this trainings and what are the moments that they enjoyed the most. Therfeore I studies all the aspects of a training from the preparation/organisation to the workshops itself and the evaluation. From October to December I studied these videos, the interview but as well the materials used by the trainers. The result of this study is a short video showing the different trainings, trainers, methods and the impact on the volunteers.

Video of the Trainings realised by ITP:

As well I created a logo for the ''Intercultural Training partnership'' which didn't have any graphical identity before that. In 2011 the British Council renewed this national training contract with  Everything is Possible and its partners.
Logo created by Raphael for the Intercultural Training Partnership.

The Grundtvig Learner Workshop : organisation of a full training event.
After a successful workshop around the theme ''Routs to our Roots'' for which I helped as volunteer, Everything is Possible ran another Grundtvig Learner Workshop called ''Exchanging Dreams'' around media. I helped the organisation to target participant, organise the event and train adults during the Workshops.
During the Workshop I as well teach two persons how to use a camera: They did part of the shoots shown in the next video.

Video of the Grundtvig Learner Workshop:

I created as well a blog to keep participants informed about the Workshop:

Trainees and volunteers trainers and superviser.
In December, Everything is Possible decided to host an unemployed person from Re-New, a regeneration charity working with disadvantaged neighbourhoods and communities across Leeds ''and which with unemployed and under-employed people of all ages, including those who are furthest from the jobs market, to support and empower them to develop and maintain the confidence and skills to get into work''.

He has been employed under a special programe, as Youth Information Promoter. I have been his superviser. My task was to teach him the work of communication, giving him some skills which he will be able to use in the futur. Meanly, I teached him video editing.

Unfortunatly after one months, he gave up this experience for personal reason. But the result, of this trainning is a full video that he realised with my help and advices. It has been a lot of work to arrive to this result and I hope that he will be able to use this video during futur interview.
Video created by Ryan, that I trained during 1 month:

I trained as well an EVS volunteer around media, communication, visibility and marketing.

The French courses.

The French Course

Exercice during the French Course
From March to May 2011, I teached French to the Everything is Possible team and other volunteers, people interested to learn French. The courses took place almost every Tuesday at the end of the day to give the chance to come after work.

Sharing my experience at the ''Your Story'' conference:
Just before the end of my assistantship, I participated in an international conference with partners working through the Youth in Action and Lifelong Learning Programmes. It gave me the opportunity to share my experience especially during the workshops. Around 150 people were at this event.

Video of the event and Clair's speach (Everything is Possible founder) with at 4:35 a reference to the Grundtvig Assistanship:

EVS Training website: http://www.evs-training.org.uk/