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🇧🇬 "Pro Facilitators" - 11-20.12.2023 - Bansko, Bulgaria

Last December 2023, Be The Change took part in the "Pro Facilitators" Training Course in Bansko, Bulgaria. It was a hands-on, intensive learning experience aimed at beefing up our facilitation skills. Hosted by WalkTogether Bulgaria from December 11th to 20th, 2023, the course was a deep dive into what it means to be a facilitator in today's diverse and digital world.

The heart of our training was led by Tihomira Naneva, or "Tiscia" in Italian version. Her expertise and approachable style brought the course to life. Tiscia's sessions were packed with insights, drawing from her vast experience in facilitating complex group dynamics. Under her guidance, we explored the nuts and bolts of facilitation, from managing group dynamics to solving problems.

Bansko proved to be an amazing setting for our training course. Surrounded by the mountains, it offered us more than just a backdrop for learning; it provided a chance to connect with nature and explore the rich Bulgarian culture of the area. The beautiful landscapes and the "serene" environment contributed significantly to our experience, blending the beauty of nature with the depth of our learning activities. Between sessions, we had the opportunity to wander through its charming streets, taste local cuisine, and immerse ourselves in the history and traditions of this famous town.

Our days were filled with learning crucial skills like intercultural communication and active listening, which are vital for managing diverse groups. We didn't just talk about theories; we got our hands dirty using digital tools, practising different methods, and even dabbling in project management basics. Knowledge wasn't just handed to us by Tiscia, our trainer; we built it through experiences, discussions, and sometimes, through facing real challenges.

We also tackled the theories that underpin great facilitation, like experiential learning and constructivism, and how these theories can shape our approach to teaching and learning. Innovation and creativity weren't just written on the whiteboard; they were practices we actively explored, challenging us to think outside the box and find new ways to engage and educate.

It wasn't all smooth sailing. The course pushed us into the deep end, presenting real challenges facilitators face. Crafting and leading our workshops was a highlight moment, putting theory into practice and testing our skills in real time. These sessions were a mirror reflecting the complexities of facilitation, from handling unexpected issues to adapting on the fly. This hands-on experience was invaluable, giving us a comprehensive understanding of a facilitator's role and the tangible impact of our work. The peer-to-peer feedback was "very insightful" in understanding areas of improvement or simply realising how different human minds can work 🦉

Workshop Time (Created by us!) 📖

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Yes, the course was fun, filled with engaging activities, and cultural exchanges that enriched our experience, snow fights and nightlife. But beyond the fun, there was a serious commitment to learning and growth, especially embracing Healthy Lifestyle practices. The cultural night, for example, was more than a celebration; it was a lesson in diversity and inclusion, key components of effective facilitation.

Reflecting on our time in Bansko, it's clear that the "Pro Facilitators" Training Course was a significant milestone for us at Be The Change. Led by the exceptional Tiscia, we not only enhanced our facilitation toolkit but also gained a deeper appreciation for the challenges and joys of this role.

We owe a big thank you to the entire WalkTogether team - Vili, Lora, Ida, Gabi, and Ivaylo - for their incredible work behind the scenes of the "Pro Facilitators" Training Course. Their commitment, teamwork, and positive vibes were essential in making this experience engaging and successful. A special mention goes to Kostas for his excellent videos that captured our moments of learning and fun, preserving them for us to look back on. The effort and energy of everyone involved truly made this training memorable and effective. Thanks to each one of you for your invaluable contributions and for creating an environment where everyone felt welcomed and inspired.

Trust Movie 🎥📼

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