ERGO Network’s Learning Academy

ERGO Network’s Learning Academy

From 8-12 September, the partners in the project “New solutions to old problems – exchange of new type of approaches in the field of Roma integration” came together in Varna (Bulgaria) for a “Learning Academy” to exchange and learn new skills and knowledge on topics that were identified by the participants for improving their work at local level.

After the participants got to know each other and were introduced to the Academy programme,  Zuzana Havirova from the Roma Advocacy and Research Centre (RARC) in Slovakia delivered a workshop on “how to manage and become a good manager at work”. on the group then had the chance to learn more about fundraising from our external expert Biljana Lalic, Funds Development Manager of the European Green Party.  The main objectives of both workshops were to build organizational knowledge and management capacity of ERGO Network members, as well as to learn to better diversify sources of income for their respective organizations, and ultimately grow their financial resilience.

The second day was opened by ERGO Director Gabriela Hrabanova with a „Leaders´ vision “workshop, reflecting on how to be a charismatic leader in order attract and gain the trust of the staff and community.

The second part of the day was dedicated to “community organizing”  through a workshop delivered by Marina Tota from the European Community Organizing Network, with the aim to develop participants’ capacity to engage communities in campaigning for the implementation of Roma inclusion policies at local level. At the end of the workshop the participants were able to plan and organize a campaign at local level, to identify and connect  leaders andi to organize and to apply community organizing in their local projects.

Our last day started with a workshop on“Visual facilitation “, where  the team of 500 markers taught  participants how to use graphic cues when facilitating meetings. The participants learned how to use drawings and words to make visual presentations and to take visual notes that will help them to make their advocacy target group remember their proposals.

As of the exercises of the visual facilitation workshop  the participants visualised their understanding of discrimination and social exclusion, which will enable them to better present the concept of antigypsyism to the public.

The Learning Academy was a great opportunity to bring for the first time the partners from the project “New Solutions to Old Problems” together face to face together after 18 months of online meetings, and to elevate the spirit in the network to implement the next steps in the projects and really find new solutions for old problems.

The Academy is funded by the European Commission through the EaSI programme of DG EMPL and is part of the project New Solutions To Old Problems – exchange of new type of approaches in the field of Roma integration”, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.