“During this week we are not going to come up with new tools, because YOU are the tools, with your bodies and souls, your emotions and your skills” said the Senior Trainer Marija Farmer during the kick-off session. This is how the YEU 39th Convention started: the first face-to-face convention after a one-year forced break caused by the pandemic. The city of Thessaloniki – Greece hosted our event, from the 20th to 27th of November, gathering an international and multicultural group of 30 participants from 15 different countries.
“Disconnections – take your power back” was the name of our Convention: a short-term project about mental health, psychological well-being and mindfulness. These are extremely important, urgent and largely debated topics, especially nowadays in Covid-19 times: and we did not want to stand still. The Convention gathered 30 participants, selected among youth workers, trainers, facilitators and educators to discuss the topic and find ways to empower and support young people to deal with mental health, by taking care of themselves and others.
Our great team of trainers, composed by Marija Farmer and the Junior Trainers Daniel Freudenberger (CGE – Erfurt), Irene Yerolemidou (YEU Cyprus) and Marija Krstevska (CID Kumanovo) led the participants through an intense agenda of practical exercises, workshops, activities and discussions. In fact, the main idea of the project was twofold: on the one hand, to support participants (youth workers/trainers/facilitators/organisers of international and local youth work activities) in maintaining and improving their overall wellbeing (self-care, prevention of burn-out and nurturing positive thinking attitude); on the other hand, to equip them with a wide range of attractive, interactive, dynamic mindful methods which are suitable for working with young people to empower them to love themselves and others.
Since 1981 the Convention has always been a milestone of our Network: we are extremely happy to have had the chance to celebrate our 39th edition and to keep the tradition running. We are already looking forward to celebrating the 40th Convention and meeting once again next year!