On 20thNovember 2018 we hosted our local activity with the purpose to promote Erasmus+ project P.L.A.Y. but mostly to encourage youngsters to get involved in international projects, to participate as volunteers at the P.L.A.Y. activities and overall act humanly and in a way to accept foreign youngsters that may be found in their local environment. The students in local high school, Gimnazija Novo mesto, welcomed us well, and told us through activities their stories as well.
Because it was snowing that day we could not do the activity outside, we stayed in the library and firstly played the game where everyone considers his role and he or she moves forward depending on how many or few rights he or she (the role) has. We found out that most of foreigners stayed behind locals and citizens who obtain much more rights than the others.
After the game we discussed the differences, and the observations youngsters have regarding their and other people’s behavior towards migrants and other foreigners. We encouraged them to help young migrants, to help include them in their local communities and later in society.
They agreed with our idea that sport is one of the best ways to make friends and to connect and welcome people. Furthermore, we have acknowledged that sport helps people to feel equal, and that your national background or beliefs do not define you while playing sport. Hence, we encouraged them to get involved in the P.L.A.Y. project as participants where they can practice and express themselves.
Finnish PLAY volunteers presented their experiences from project in a workshop on November 6th targeted at educational institutions and sport organisations. In the workshop, presentations where also heard to promote awareness on EU guidelines on Physical Activity Guidelines volunteering in sport and education and training, to disseminate information about the PLAY method and to encourage cooperation.
YAG volunteers had diverse reasons why they joined the project. Some wanted to learn more skills to work with children, some wanted to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Others where simply asked to join from their sport clubs and got curious and most were also interested in the possibility to travel to Italy and meet volunteers form other countries.
All of the volunteers were happy with the training they had got and felt that they had acquired plenty of new skills and experience as trainer, as well as psychological insight and patience to work with children.
They also appreciated the more systematical approach to planning the sport sessions presented by the project and responsibility based method as a valuable tool in this.
Notably, a few volunteers felt that the personal skills thy had acquired in the project counted most. The told that they had gained courage to be express their views more readily and even to be more social with their peers.
The presentations by the volunteers and trainer were well received by the participating representatives of sport clubs and educational institutions. Consequently FIMU received requests for possible collaboration in the future e.g. from other multicultural actors in sport as well as the Education Division of Helsinki.