Ok, today was a little bit frustrating…. Because there were 24 contributions taking place, and each of us could only attend 4 of them. Do you share this frustration with us?

But it was also a super inspiring day, so let us forget about the frustration; we will get the notes from each session. If anything, not attending all the sessions can motivate us to explore the projects, initiatives, practices on our own, talk to the people while we still can, face to face, or contact them later on, through all the digital tools that exist in the world.  Or perhaps we could also write an actual letter to the person/organization, heh, no one thinks of that anymore, right? #digitalization

It is very curious, exploring all the different topics and fields which were presented today. It makes one think of youth work as a playground, to which we can bring so many things from the diverse fields and adapt them, so they truly address the needs of the young people. And it allows us to experiment with different approaches, to try things out together with young people. To fail in order to learn, to learn in order to succeed. Mediation in youth work, enhancing emotional intelligence with the support of essential oils (bringing nature in), educational escape rooms, mindfulness practices, reinventing role plays, using cards in various activities,… Interactive contributions left us reflecting and rethinking how we practice youth work. And it’s good. It´s awesome!

The importance of reflection was also emphasized in the last part, since our reflections will be part of a movement to change things for the better, so it is important to contribute, as Theo reminded us. There are trends which are existing in youth work; professionalism, standardization, the blurring of sectorial lines, transparency, and accountability. And there are other trends, and new trends emerging, which will in many ways also challenge the existing trends. The answer is probably in balance and often in simplicity. One of the participants reflected: Instead of being innovative, we just need to talk to each other and exchange. And wonderful things happen.  

We are richer by 36 different approaches, views on youth work. We are consumed by many reflections and conversations which happened in organized and non-formal spaces. And hopefully, we are also motivated to digest all this, to take the time, to balance these days full of head information with heart reflection and later on with hands on practice and transfer to our own environments. You know how they say, transformation is about the head, heart and hands, all working together. And the longest journey someone has to make in his/her life is usually from the head to the heart. We believe EAYW has presented us with some shortcuts to even more meaningful youth work. And the time for it is now and the power are we :-).

Checking out now, it’s time for the disco, and this part will not be part of the blog. Cheers!