The aim of the working meeting was to present the working methods of the partners' institutions hence providing the adult learners with a possibility to share their life experience, personal and professional stories.
The meeting started with welcoming words and introduction by Tuncay Özdemir, the project coordinator from the hosting organization Cappadocia Training Academy CAPADEMY. After the opening speech, all the participants had a chance to get to know each other through various icebreakers, name games and get to know each other activities. These fun and warming-up activities provided the participants with an opportunity to 'get-to-know-each-other,' and to begin feeling more comfortable with each another. They released the tension and uncertainty and prepared the participants for a team-building task in groups.
The learners were put into international teams and given the task of making the tallest tower that would stand by itself. A tower should have also had a story. They had only 30 minutes and had limited resources to do so: a plastic cup, paper, a few pens and a piece of tape. Participants were encouraged to communicate with each other using available means and skills of communication, to think creatively and to show resourcefulness in order to complete the task.
After lunch we were taken to Göreme Town & Göreme Open Air Museum, one of Turkey's Unesco World Heritage Sites, known for its thousand-year-old churches with beautiful frescoes. After Göreme Open-Air Museum we went to the natural rock citadel Uçhisar, the tallest point in Cappadocia. There we climbed the tall rock outcrop via tunnels and enjoyed the spectacular panoramic view of Cappadocia.
Second working day started with a moment of connection. The whole group, leaded by Paola Conti from Sintagmi s.r.l., formed a circle, facing inward and holding hands of each other. Our task was to recieve and pass further an energy sygnal sent by one of the participants. It created a moment of connection and wholeness in a group and we passed on to the workshop lead by the Italian partner. The workshop was built on autobiographical story-telling. At first everyone had to pick up a picture that would represent their main „ingredient“, an essence of their life or individuality. Then in small groups the participants shared their stories, showed the pictures they had chosen and explained why. Then we collected all the “ingredients” that represented participants and their values into one “cauldron” in order to create the unifying blend (“soup”) of the group.
After reflecting on “where we begin” we passed on to the part “where we are now”. For this workshop we used mandala-method. After a short introduction to the concept of mandala, the participants in small international groups created group mandalas, consisting of personal pieces (worlds) and a central unifying element, all together encompassed in a protective circle.
After the lunch we separated – while the staff members were discussing the project issues and supportive course content, the learners participated in the Paper Relief Art Workshop. Participants learned how to construct a three-dimensional picture using the elements and principles of art and paper construction techniques.
Third working day started with the workshope "Flower of life" lead by Andre Caeiro from Casa Seis. The workshop was focused on self-reflection about where we are in 8 different areas of our life. It also helped the participants pinpoint those areas they need to focus on to create a whole and balanced life. This tool is good to do an evaluation and is something tangible that a person can keep and look. Participants draw a scheme consisted of 8 section representing their current life balance. The life area they wanted to reflect on were chosen by each participant individually. Then they had to rank their level of satisfaction with each life area by drawing a line to create an outer edge of the “flower”. It was done in color to make it more pictorial. When the “flower” was ready each participant had to choose one area of his/her life that need attention and think of the way he/she could change it to the better.
After thorough reflection each participant wrote a letter to himself/herself sending a positive message and planning the changes he/she would make in the chosen life area until Christmas 2014. Later the letters were taken by the coordinators and had to be sent to the participant just before Christmas so they could see if they made the changes they planned.
After that we went to Avanos town which is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak, the Red River, which gets its name from the clay that it deposits. This clay has provided Avanos with pottery for centuries and the town is still dominated by this industry. The main street has numerous shops and workshops selling plain and decorated pots and plates. In one pottery workshop we could watch the potters at work using kick wheels, the design of which has remained unchanged for generations. Some of the participants dared to try it themselves and succeeded to make a beautiful piece of pottery!
Certificate ceremony was incredibly warm and heartfelt, accompanied by a beautiful music and dances.