In September 2019 Metamorfoos, an Estonian NGO, organised a training course called "Experience the LOVE - make a better future" funded by the Erasmus+ programme. The main tangible outcome was a toolkit on building connection among people which is free for you to use.
The main stimulus for carrying out the project was the current situation on the planet related to the widespread levels of anxiety and depression that are translated in the state of the degraded level of the environment we, as humans, inflict on the planet. The organisation wanted to contribute to the creation of a world where people would make decisions based on love, acceptance, understanding as opposed to hate, revenge, fear or greed. It also wanted to initiate a change in youth workers so that they could pass it on through their daily work and private life activities onto others – especially the youngsters who are the most 'formable'.
In order to achieve that purpose, the NGO aimed at increasing the deep feeling of love in the youth and their mentors. The mentality behind the project was that there is no point in building the capacities of young (or any) people who have the wrong motivation for doing things. The love motivation of an entrepreneur can lead to a community of harmony, while the wrong motivation of greed and power (for example) can cause social injustice and environmental problems. Motivation matters and we as a humanity have maybe only several generations left that could 'repair' humanity and the environment. The NGO believes that changing the motivation of youth – to come from the depth of connection and love – can increase the number of social entrepreneurs in the future whose number 1 aim would be not to make a profit but to bring a positive change for the planet and society.
The main objectives of the training course were, thus, to equip youth workers with 1) the attitude of love, 2) knowledge of experiential learning exercises that could be used as tools to increase love in youth as well as the capacities of the partnering organisations related to the previous 3) and increase skills for spreading the love in a trustworthy, authentic manner.
In a nutshell, the overall objective of the TC was to build the competence of youth workers to disseminate love through their activities. By 'love' we do not mean romantic love, but rather we see it as a fundamental European value which is the basis for human rights. Increasing love can do wonders to stop the European trend of radicalisation fueled by xenophobia. Such love works on the root level of people's consciousness and affects their thoughts, emotions and actions in every spectrum of their lives. Increasing love decreases hate and fear of the unknown that goes hand in hand with decreasing prejudice, discrimination, and racism as well as other forms of radicalisation. We tried to pass on tools to spread the value of love as the cornerstone of tolerance. Love is the fundamental feeling that is required to accept and embrace diversity and intercultural and inter-religious dialogues.
One of the tangible outputs of the TC was a toolkit containing 'Tools for building connection' and is available here for you to download and use on your youth exchanges and training courses.
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