Since we have repeatedly declared the participants of the ”Contact 2 Action” project being on an equal footing with its organisers, it is only logical to include them in the creation of this blog as well. For start, we are bringing you the impressions of Staša Benko, a participant representing the organisation Zavod Voluntariat from Slovenia. Staša made a short overview of the first activities that took place in Laguépie. Stay tuned for more contributions from our participants – because cooperation represents a 2-sided process!
Once upon a time
Once upon a time, in cold December of 2014, a group of about twenty-five curious and hard-working people gathered in a small French hamlet. In a middle of nowhere, one could say. They had no other choice but to get to know each other better. After all, they were there with this very purpose, as the title of the seminar they attended was “Contact Making”. More precisely, Contact Making to Youth Participation. So, one Tuesday morning, after the breakfast, they started making contact. After having spent quite a lot of time looking for someone who would know how to imitate Donald the Duck’s voice, or for people who can touch their nose with their tongue (yes, try to imagine!), it was time to do some gardening. The seeds of expectations are now sprouting and they are all impatient to see what will come out of it at the end of the seminar. Then, they walked along a timeline, illustrating the IVS history, starting with the admirable monsieur Pierre Ceresole and ending with the latest developments of the organization. The CCIVS also presented their work. Later in the day, six other organizations were presented by their members. Eager for debate, the participants also carried out a ‘moving debate’. Tripping from ‘agree’ to ‘disagree’ and back again while having a heated debate about what active participation and social exclusions are and are not, they managed to come to a conclusion each and every time. Their arguments were good and they were proud of themselves in the end. Impatiently waiting for a coffee, they were also introduced the White Paper, which they will surely get in touch with again while working on these subjects. The day was drawing to an end while their heads were still full of ideas and projects. Therefore, they decided to put them on paper. Mapping, designing, describing, presenting… main target groups and the objectives, all this was of highest importance; for their future work to develop, for their seeds to sprout, for the ideas to grow; and for the participants themselves to meet each other. It seems they are all to be here, in Laguépie.