“Connecting Experiences” Training Course

Connecting Experiences

Training Course 22 -28 of June 2023

Ourondo, Catelo Branco, Portugal

At the 7-day Erasmus+ youth project training in Portugal, we delved into the art of writing successful projects. This immersive experience allowed us to share best practices, establish new partnerships, and strenghten existing ones. We brainstormed exciting project ideas while enjoying the serene natural surroundings and sustainable living in Ananda Kalyani community.

Our diverse group, comprising 11 participants from 9 organizations across Europe, had a common thread of Ananda Marga service projects. Strengthening cooperation among these projects was one of our underlying objectives, which we achieved.

The training took place in the scenic Ananda Kalyani community, nestled in the Serra da Estrela mountains. We made the most of the beautiful river running through the community, offering us picturesque swimming spots, campgrounds, and serene locations for workshops, yoga, and meditation. A tour introduced us to the extensive garden, meditation yurts, children’s play areas, and more. It was an enlightening experience observing the well-organized community’s activities, from cooking to planning and coordinating.

Adjusting to the fluctuating weather proved a challenge, but we adapted and thrived. We embraced the natural surroundings, conducting morning circles amidst the trees, having indoor sessions during the heat of the day, and returning to the river for afternoon feedback sessions and evening meditations. Meals were served on a covered veranda overlooking the valley, making dining a pleasant experience.

The daily training routine exemplified best practices for Erasmus+ activities. We had ample time for various activities, from setting the training culture to content-focused sessions and team learning tasks. We appreciated the facilitators’ effective practices and their dedication to ensuring a smooth flow throughout the day.

Food was a highlight of our training, as the community adhered to a yogic vegetarian diet, focusing on nourishing both body and mind. Breakfast featured a delightful selection of fruits, nuts, and grains. Lunches and dinners offered delicious soups, salads, and various dishes. Participants took part in cleaning duties to ensure smooth program operations.

One valuable takeaway was the ‘awareness board’ practice, enabling us to address concerns and create a supportive atmosphere. It became a useful tool in our projects back in Denmark.

One of the primary goals of the training was to inspire us to create projects for the upcoming project deadline in October. We achieved this, developing three partnership projects, including one focused on healthy digital technology use and another empowering refugee women.

In conclusion, this training seamlessly integrated Erasmus+ content with practical examples, emphasizing effective organization and inspiring creativity. Our heartfelt thanks go to the Ananda Kalyani Community for providing a beautiful environment, delicious food, and warm hospitality, and to the facilitators for setting a great example in hosting the event.

And also a big thanks to the Erasmus+ for providing such opportunities!