The main aim of the project, in which six volunteer organisations from various parts of Europe were engaged, was to improve the capabilities and quality of activists involved in non-governmental volunteer organisations, with a specific focus on local action.
The idea for the project came from the realisation that often volunteers involved put a lot of effort and energy during their work, but that often they lack professional skills (in fact, often the skills possessed do not in fact coincide with those required to successfully progress the workings of the organisation – the problem relating to a „skills mismatch”).
To effectively reach the aim of the project, the coordinator and the partners planned to arrange six international meetings and training seminars. Each of them was related the the following areas, particularly central to activists acting on a local level:
- effective use of networked tools and social networks for strategic communication
- people management and motivation of volunteers
- financial management and fundraising
- organisation of local cultural events
- collaboration with local government and education providers
- personal management (stress and time management)
Partner organisations of Elloke-Tutmonden are:
- Białystok Esperanto Society
- Scottish Esperanto Association
- EUROKKA Esperanto Rock Association
- Vercellese Esperanto Group “Mario Sola”
- Trieste Esperanto Association
- Visagino Tarptautinės Esperanto Kalbos Klubas Espero
1. The first training seminar in Trieste (25-31 Oct 2013).
Trieste Esperanto Association (Italy) arranged and hosted this event. It consisted of the following two phases:
1) Discussion of the project, its management and planning of the following phases: the initial meeting started with a summary and analysis of the project, some discussion of deliverables and decided on the following stages of the project:
– France: Toulouse and Auzeville (February 2014)
– UK (Scotland) Pitlochry (June 2014), tied with and parallel to the first Pan-Celtic and Scottish Esperanto Congress.
– Lithuania: Visaginas (August 2014), tied with and parallel to the cultural festival Viva Vento 2014
��� Poland: Białystok (December 2014), tied with and parallel to the 15th Zamenhof-Tagoj
– Italy: Vercelli and province (April 2015), tied with and parallel to kaj the International Youth Festival (Internacia Junulara Festivalo) 2015
2) A training seminar on the effective use of the Internet and social networking for non-governmentsal volunteer organisations: teaching and practice on several networked tools. Several practical sessions were included in this programme, aimed at immediate application of the ideas learned, which helped to both increase the effectiveness of the general functioning of the partnership from several points of view and to attain a stronger and more stable international dimension of collaboration.
There followed a training seminar Aŭtunaj Karstaj Tagoj (Autumn Karst Days) 2013, an event in which the participants of the training seminar were involved. In total 30 people took part in this event; this disseminated the value of the project also beyond its direct participants.
2. The second training seminar, arranged and hosted by EUROKKA Esperanto Rok-Asocio (Esperanto Rock Assiciation, France), took place in Auzeville and Toulouse (20-24 February 2014).
During the meeting in France the training of the activists involved took place as follows:
1) A training session on the main area, namely people management, and management of volunteer teams: guided by a professional trainer (Cyrille Hurstel), the training treated several themes. The areas covered allowed the participants to learn: definitions relating to management and leadership by target-setting; several tools for project management; tools to deal with conflict at an individual and group level.
2) A training session on a separate area was event management within the context of international cultural events: this part of the training, led by Floréal Martorell (EUROKKA) and the musician Mélaine Desnos with the active contribution and support of the Lithuanian music group Asorti (Visaginas Esperanto-Club „Espero”) – made it possible for the participants to acquire the basic knowledge and methods of event planning. A practical demonstation in the venue allowed discover of the basic necessary equipment to arrange a concert and actively take part in sound checks for the evening concert of JoMo (Jean-Marie Leclerq) and Sepa&Asorti, Esperanto-artists.
3) General evaluation of the project progress to date, the aims achieved and the following steps in its development.
3. The third training seminar, hosted by the Scottish Esperanto Association (UK, Scotland) took place in Pitlochry (7-12 June 2014)
A considerable part of the meeting was dedicated to communal discussion and preparation of the required interim report. That implied a detailed evaluation phase of the project’s successes, planning for the coming steps of the project’s continued development and more detailed plans on the realisation and promotion of the final deliverables foreseen by the partnership. The partners discussed the possibility of making available the materials developed during the training seminars planned in the project’s calendar on the project’s web site; that possibility gave visibility on a global scale and free access to the main products of the training seminars planned in the project.
The training seminar was tied to the first Pan-Celtic and 109th Scottish Esperanto Congress (6-11 June 2014), an international event which attracted around 70 participants from 14 countries; these special circumstances chosen for the training seminar gave added international value and made it possible to promote the Grundtvig Partnership on a local, national and international scale, thanks to the involvement on many levels of several of the participants from several volunteer organisations. The participants in the seminar had the opportunity for training, to enjoy the cultural programme of the event, to become acquainted with the local area, culture and traditions and generally to have a truly interesting intercultural experience: that was an important additional benefit for their personal and activist development.
4. Meeting in Visaginas, Lithuania (27-29 August, 2014)
In Visaginas the theme was „Local events, organisation and realisation”. Five partners along with several Lithuanians from several locations took part. The atmosphere was excellent, and the three days were spent very well, full of interesting items in a programme which on the surface did not seem linked, but which in fact presented several methods in the organisation, preparation and realisation of a local event.
An essential part of the meeting was getting to know the traditional lithuanian culture: the programme started with presentation of a musical intrument, the organ, described and demonstrated by an expert. On important occasions and religious events organ music and singers always have an important role, and it is good to plan and realise the musical breaks, their length and suitability to diverse circumstances. This was followed by a visit to a mill which still operated using traditional pre-industrial methods and provides locals with flour; after that participants learnt to bake traditional break and celebratory cakes using a wood fire.
In Visginas the partners visited the Cultural Centre, where a representative from the town centre presented the town, its inhabitants and its cultural activity. While there they were also introduced to a folk dance and song ensemble of Belorussian origin. In organising a local event, the participation of ethnic groups of the town is important to favour the integration of people from various languages and cultures. The participants also learnt to make traditional puppets.
The last important event on the programme included the organisation of a local event for spectators. Each year in Visaginas the local Esperanto group arranges, along with the local government, a large music event known as Viva Vento, celebrating the coming end of summer. The partners participated in several phases of the preparation, and were represented on the stage by music groups from Poland, France and Visaginas, who presented their music before an audience of several hundred. The
Local television reported about the festival and its participants from the Grundtvig meeting.
5. Seminar in Białystok and Białystok Zamenhof Days
In Poland, immediately before the Bia��ystok Zamenhof Days in December, more than twenty colleagues from Italy, France, Lithuania, Poland and Scotland were guests in Białystok for training. The theme of the meetig was the collaboration of Esperanto-speakers with local agencies and authorities, of which the town has a long and rich experience.
The first was a visit to the town hall, where a representative of the major gave a presentation on how Białystok supports local non-governmental organisations. There followed a debate on similar practices in the towns of other partners.
Particpants also visited the Ludvig Zamenhof Centre, whose representative Anna Talarczyk presented the function of the cultural centre and its multicultural activity and collaboration with local agencies and NROs. The guests visits the Esperanto Library there, whose history and activity outlined Elżbieta Karczewska. She also explained how, starting with nothing and thanks to effective collaboration, the very successful 94th World Congress of Esperanto in Białystok took place.
An important contribution to the meeting was a presentation by Bożena Bednarek, president of the Federation of Non-overnmental Organisations in Białystok, who clarified real obstacles appearing during volunteer work in Podlaskie. The visitors walked in winter Białystok according to an Esperanto-itinerary and for half a day visited Supraśl; a monastry there and a museum of orthodox icons gave a perspective on the unique atmosphere of the border region of Podlaskie.
6. Seminar in Vercelli, Italy.
The sixth and last meeting of all partners together took place in the italian town of Vercelli, from 28-31 March 2015. The host was the Vercelli Esperanto group „Mario Sola”. The subject chosen by the Vercelli group was management and motivation, this time not from a group leader, but from an individual’s point of view. It was delivered by a specialist, Dr Elisa Vola, perfect professional who succeeded in involving all partners in several techniques and methodologies to tackle the many problems which present themselves during the realisation of a project.
7. Two two-way meetings: a visit of two participants from Scotland to Visaginas and of Poles to Scotland
In June 2015 five representatives of the Byalistok Esperanto Society, who had not participated the partner meeting in Pitlochry, visited the Scottish Esperanto Association during its annual congress (5-7 June 2015); read a report on that meeting).
In the same month, two members of the Scottish organisation visited the Lithuanian town Visaginas. Read a report on that.
8. Meeting in Lille, France, on the occasion of the 100th World Congress of Esperanto
Outwith the planned series of meetings, the achievements of the entire two year project were presented by representatives of the project during the jubilee World Congress in Lille at the end of July 2015. Thanks to this, more than 2500 Esperanto-speaking visitors were able to find out about the results of Elloke-Tutmonden: the learning areas covered, the materials produced and the impressions of members of the participant organisations.