This is a four-month learning journey, comprising online collaboration, shared project creation and two residential courses at the ASHA Centre in the Forest of Dean, UK. It involves 2 participants from the YC Epirus team, among many other youth workers, community leaders, activists, educators and change makers from across Europe.
The ASHA Centre is a holistic education hub in the west of England working for interfaith and intercultural dialogue, the performing arts and sustainable development. This training course brought together a wide range of languages, cultures, nationalities and perspectives that looked at how young people can step into adulthood powerfully and positively. Searching across eras, cultures and participants' own experience were the core of the learning.
The first residential training course looked at understanding rites of passage, studying the language and history of ritual, ethnographic principles and worldwide examples. Together participants identified the key moments of initiation and transition in a young person’s life and looked at what is needed to support them for a future shaped by COVID-19, economic uncertainty and climate change. Learning tools such as discussions, artistic performances, experiencing of rituals, deep reflection, and others were used.
The second residental training course put participants' learning into practice, applying the methodology of ritual to their own designs and looking at how to lead with both empathy and integrity. They got practical about what is needed for ceremonial encounters that can frame young people’s experiences of initiation, and they practiced how to lead this work in the digital realm, ensuring the resilience of this work as a tool for in-person and online encounters. Together they designed dissemination projects that make the work a thriving reality in our communities.
This project was co-funded by European Union, the Erasmus+ Program