Capacity Building and Quality Improvement of Youth Work” Seminar Reflection │ 4 – 12 March

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“Capacity Building and Quality Improvement of Youth Work” seminar hosted by the Smokinya Foundation in Plovdiv from March 4th to March 12th, 2024, we had the opportunity to engage in a transformative learning experience. Throughout the seven days of the seminar, each session was thoughtfully curated to provide valuable insights, foster collaborative discussions, and inspire meaningful action within the realm of youth work and NGO management.

Day 1:
The seminar commenced with a welcoming atmosphere where participants shared personal insights, setting a foundation for open communication and mutual respect. The discussion on the Theory of Change provided a theoretical framework that was enriched by real-life examples from diverse participants, making the concept more tangible and applicable. The presentation by the Ashoka representative offered invaluable perspectives on navigating challenges within the NGO sector, broadening our understanding of effective organizational dynamics.

Day 2:
Building upon the foundation laid on the first day, discussions on essential aspects of our work allowed us to identify challenges and craft solutions to enhance organizational impact. Revisiting the Theory of Change and aligning it with our specific contexts enabled us to brainstorm innovative strategies tailored to our respective organizations. Emphasizing the importance of core values and relationship-building underscored the collaborative nature of our endeavors and reinforced the significance of collective action.

Day 3:
The focus shifted towards defining collective goals and optimizing internal organizational structures, reflecting a commitment to strategic planning and operational efficiency. By clarifying our mission and vision, we set a clear direction for our work and reaffirmed our dedication to effecting positive change. Streamlining operational processes aimed to maximize resource utilization and better serve the needs of our communities, demonstrating a proactive approach to organizational development.

Day 4:
Welcoming participants from the “NGO Retreat Project” enriched our discussions on inclusion, highlighting the importance of diversity and equity in our work. As we reached the midpoint of the seminar, we took stock of our progress and renewed our commitment to our shared mission. Addressing challenges with resilience and creativity, we laid the groundwork for continued collaboration and impact.

Day 5:
Venturing beyond the city limits provided a refreshing opportunity to engage with local communities and envision the future impact of our work. Exploring nearby villages and connecting with residents emphasized the grassroots nature of our efforts and strengthened our sense of community. Visiting the future site of the Smokinya Foundation venue symbolized a tangible manifestation of our collective vision, inspiring us to redouble our efforts upon our return.

Day 6:
The dynamic exchange of ideas on branding and human resources management underscored our commitment to organizational effectiveness and innovation. Sharing best practices and strategizing outcomes reinforced our collective pursuit of excellence, setting the stage for future achievements and growth.

Day 7:
As the seminar drew to a close, we reflected on the power of partnerships and the principles of trust that underpin our collaborative endeavors. The dedication and contributions of both individuals and groups were acknowledged, fostering a sense of unity and purpose. Departing with newfound knowledge, skills, and a strengthened network, we carry forward the spirit of collaboration and collective action in our respective organizations and communities.

In conclusion, the “Capacity Building and Quality Improvement of Youth Work” seminar provided a holistic learning experience that empowered participants to effect positive change within the NGO sector. The thoughtful curation of sessions, interactive discussions, and practical insights offered valuable tools for personal and organizational development.

This program is co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an
endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be
held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. //
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Capacity Building and Quality Improvement of Youth Work” Seminar Reflection │ 4 – 12 March