Between 6-7 of June,  three resourceful young people – Gabi, Alpár and Máté – embarked on an adventure to the charming city of Pristina, Kosovo, to participate in a training course for teachers and youthworkers as part of the Youth INC project. This training also served as a meeting for 21 participants from the six countries involved in the project: Hungary, Albania, Kosovo, Romania, Germany and Israel.

„After an adventurous journey, we arrived at our pleasant accommodation in the late afternoon, where we took a quick rest before heading out to explore the city. After a short walk we quickly discovered that Pristina feels quite similar to the cities we are used to, making us feel at home, almost as if our favorite Transylvanian cities had been combined. Moreover, the local people were very friendly and helpful, surprisingly almost everyone spoke in English. The food also showed similarities to our cuisine, with the flavors reminding us of home. But enough about the city; let’s delve into the training content.

The two days were incredibly packed, but every moment contained the most valuable information. It is important to mention that the training in Kosovo was just a small part of the Youth INC project, whose main goal is to find at least three people in each partner country who tries to build and develop their community through everyday actions as an everyday hero, and to highlight these individuals from the invisibility of everyday life.

During the training, we learned about three methodologies:

Interfaith Encounter

– The Way of Council

– Philosophy for Children/Communities.

The trainers throughout these methodologies aimed to prepare us for future work with young people and to gather enough experience to be able to pass on the knowledge acquired in Pristina to at least 10 colleagues and fellow teachers.

After an icebreaker and a fun introductory game we attended a content-rich and very useful lecture where we were introduced to the concept of Youthpass and how to articulate the learned and developed competencies through self-reflection.

The first introduced methodology of the day was Interfaith Encounter, which focuses on getting to know each other better and sharing our relationships with our own cultures and traditions.

The second methodology, The Way of Council, consisted of two parts: a theoretical and a practical part. The theoretical part interestingly became interactive enough, involving meditation exercises to determine the best methods for everyone for clearing one’s mind. After a short break, the second part of the methodology was even more exciting and sometimes very touching. Each participant brought a personal item that means a lot to them, such as a book, a stuffed animal, a picture of their child, or the key to their home. The first question was to tell a story about why the item was important to you. It was particularly surprising how openly everyone shared their personal stories, even though we had only known each other for couple of hours, and the sincere thoughts expressed during the exercise brought tears to our eyes. The second question was related to exclusion and inclusion, with participants sharing stories of when they felt excluded or included based on their social, geographic, cultural, personal, political, educational or racial identity in a community. Both parts were simultaneously uplifting and thought-provoking.

As a worthy end to the first day, after a short sightseeing tour we had dinner at a local restaurant, where we could taste fantastic authentic dishes.

On the second day, after another quick fun energizer, we got to know the third and final methodology, Philosophy for Children or you can call Philosophy for Communities as well. This practice was also divided into two parts. In the morning, we created the rules for the session, and then we moved on to the practical part. All tasks aimed to promote and develop creative thinking, teamwork, and critical thinking.

One of the most exciting tasks was when we received a fact-based text and by dividing into teams we had to share our initial thoughts on the content, and then formulate a general philosophical question based on the story. It was fascinating to see the different questions that arose from the same text. Then, wach person received three sticks to vote on which question to debate within an organised framework. The ideas were basically focused on the issue of freedom, but it was still difficult to choose. The winner was: “Where is the boarder for free speech?”

To conclude the day, we went to a local pizzeria where we once again enjoyed delicious meals. After dinner, we took a stroll through the city before returning to our accommodation, as everyone faced a long journey home on the next day.