In order to tell a worthy story, one has to single out information because everyone has limited time and space for expression - explains Giuliana Provenzale from the Italian Euro-net association. Italian instructors taught seniors and educators from Elbląg (Poland) some methods of storytelling. The workshops were held from 26th to 29th of November 2019 at the Centre of European Meetings “Światowid” as a part of an Erasmus+ project entitled “Elbląg’s educators for the seniors”.
The first three days of the workshops were directed to people working for the benefit of the seniors - educators, animators, authors and project coordinators. The classes began with a seemingly, simple task. The participants were asked to tell about themselves with the help of a collage. As they admitted later, they spent forty minutes on that task with pleasure. When the time came though to walk around the room and get to know the stories of the other participants, it turned out that it had taken them only ten minutes.
- This task was to enlighten you on how much we still have to be taught in the field of hearing out other people - said Raffaele Messina of the Italian Euro-net association. - Our task is to find the balance between the time we devote to ourselves and the time we decide to give to other people.
Euro-net is an institution that organizes and develops cultural centers, deals with the organization of trainings and courses aimed at promoting and improving the quality of artistic, cultural and sporting activities, taking into account intergenerational integration and joint activities of representatives of various social groups. It seeks to equalize the level of skills in handling digital technologies for adults and seniors, especially from small societies. Organizes courses and workshops for seniors, people with disabilities and struggling with long-term health problems. He also conducts workshops on online tools for adults and seniors.
In the following days the participants of the workshops learnt some methods and techniques of storytelling, also using modern tools such as a smartphone.
As the educators explained, the storytelling ability is an inborn one, but on the other hand, there are plenty of techniques one can learn. - The participants left these classes inspired with heads full of ideas for their own workshops - said Aleksandra Bednarczuk, the coordinator of the “Elbląg’s educators for the seniors” project.
The fourth day of this Italian-Polish meeting was addressed to the seniors. The seniors participating in the demonstration workshops turned out to be very opened to the methods proposed by the Italian instructors.
- Seniors are a bit like children - admitted Raffaele Messina. – They have reached the age, in which the child-like curiosity comes back, enabling them to learn new things. Seniors learn by watching, so experiencing as well. When we work with seniors, we have to, above all else, listen closely to what they say, to their needs.
The workshops with the Italian instructors were a part of the “Elbląg’s educators for the seniors” project, which is about exchanging of experiences with organizations from three countries: Spain, Germany and Italy. In September representatives of the Spanish organization AIFED talked about their ways of motivating elderly people and engaging them in voluntary work. In October lecturers from the International Exchanges Berlin shared methods of effective learning. The November’s classes with the Italian animators were the last training meeting held in Poland as a part of this project.
The leader of the “Elbląg’s educators for the seniors” project is the Centre of European Meetings “Światowid” in Elbląg. The "Światowid" is a cultural, educational, media and information self-government cultural institution. The main goal of the Center is to implement voivodship tasks in the field of creativity and its dissemination, cultural education, information (including media activities), promotion of the region, education through art, sport and tourism.
Partners: Asociación de Innovación, Formación y Empleo para el Desarrollo sostenible, Spain – EURO-NET, Italy– International Exchanges Berlin Molinari & Benedetti GbR, Germany.
The “Elbląg’s educators for the seniors” project is implemented with support of the European Union’s program Erasmus+.
Author: Karolina Śluz