Erasmus+ project “M3” in Norway

“M3” is a 7-day residential training course that took place in Hornsjoe, Norway, in which 33 youth workers from 15 countries took part. The aim of the training course was to provide managers and highly involved co-workers of small to middle-sized NGOs in youth work with skills, tools, knowledge and competences in the area of management and marketing.

Erasmus project in Norway

The Purpose of the Project

The overall aspiration of the project was to ensure quality, stability, sustainability and visibility in the projects, programs and general work of these NGOs, and especially in ERASMUS+ activities, and thus strengthen the quality and impact of youth work.

Complementing the classic project management, a big focus was put on the embedding of activities in a long term strategic plan, the creation and review (management cycle) of necessary conditions to allow for such a process, as well as the embedding in a marketing and PR strategy. The portfolio of managerial considerations and tools was rounded up by aspects of organisational and human resources management and selected aspects of financial management. 

Approaches stemming from the private economy and big professional associations were adapted and tailor-made to the specific conditions and realities of these NGOs. This should be a help to ensure constant and homogenous quality, yield stability, provide embedding in a long term strategy, and allow for sustainability and visibility of the projects and activities of these NGOs, and thus of ERASMUS+ activities.

Transversal aspects of the training were ERASMUS+ youth strand and the fostering of new partnerships and projects. All issues were dealt with examples from, a reference to and relevance for ERASMUS+ projects and international youth work. Transversal aspects of the training course were the ERASMUS+ programme, professional and organisational development, and the fostering of new partnerships and projects.

Methods and Activities

The training course was based on the specific needs of the participants and partner organisations and was highly participatory. Diversity, e.g. in the group of participants, was considered as a resource for the exchange and transfer of competences, as well as special attention was paid to the intercultural dimension of the project. There were only a few frontal lectures, the main part of the training course was delivered in the form of practical sessions implemented by the participants in a learning-by-doing fashion.

erasmus M3 project

Using the full toolbox of non-formal education and experiential learning (eg energizers and physical activities, group work and discussions, simulation exercises and role-plays, the use of the creative expression, competitions and quizzes, games, reflection and evaluation, debriefing and feedback, digital tools etc).

The trainers took care of creating a supportive and safe learning environment, where participants are encouraged and coached while mastering challenges that contribute to their personal, professional and organisational development. The learning took place both on the individual level as well as in synergetic group processes.

Erasmus M3 project

Action/experience, reflection and feedback were important elements that are kept in balance, as well a range of diverse methods was applied to meet the different learning preferences of the participants.

Special attention was paid to making the learning points of the training course relevant, sustainable and transferable, eg by producing exhaustive documentation and by providing templates for tailor-made development and action plans. The training course was furthermore embedded in a blended online learning and resource environment.

Erasmus M3 project

What Did “I” Gained Out This Project

“I have gained new skills of pitching/ public speaking, learned about new methodologies used for projects management and we use it in our organisation (like Gantt chart or milestones, etc..), learned new reflection methods (like the daily hat thing), got inspired to use more adapted board games in youth work activities. And also, I kinda think that I can almost understand financial balance sheets now :-)”

“The great impact for me was the type of personality according to the type of decisions I do. That helps me with effective decisions making not just in the project, but personally in my life. Another huge point was Guerilla marketing.”

Erasmus M3 project

“It helped me to apply and transfer my previous work experience from the private sector to non-profit organizational level”

“M3 was a great asset to our goal which is to be able to raise awareness of people from different backgrounds to social issues as we have always been engaged with social transformations attempts.”

“Insights on different approaches so we can continue leaving visible footprints in our neighborhood too”

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BTP period – 3 months

Returning to school with heads and hands full of new knowledge and energy for Bringing it to the Public. Meeting with the team, showing, telling, exchanging experiences and making it common knowledge.

Producing articles, pamphlets, videos, presentations, exhibitions, speeches for debate forums, books and more. Studying further the curriculum in Fighting with The Poor, bringing the truth to the public. 

Going to different schools around Europe to spread the new knowledge in various creative ways – speeches, newspaper articles, lectures at universities and colleges, debates and other public events, exhibitions – leading to a better understanding and inspiring to take an action.

Passing the final exams in Fighting with The Poor. Using the last months together to conclude our future perspectives and possible ways of improving The Poor’s quality in life with humble ways of sharing knowledge.

Volunteer period – 6 months

The Project Work in Africa or India in cooperation with Humana People to People. In this period, you can work at:

  • Teacher training colleges
  • Educating teachers for rural areas
  • Vocational schools for young people
  • Schools for street children.Preschools
  • Sanitation and hygiene in rural areas
  • Tree planting campaigns
  • Raising funds for social projects by forming partnerships and selling second hand clothes and shoes
  • Stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS (following the program TCE/Total Control of the Epidemic)

Arriving at the project in Africa or India, having left behind a courageous journey where fundamental human capabilities have been turned around, refreshed and energised by knowing that things such as travelling can be done in a totally different way than the mainstream tourist travelling.

Ready for doing the work needed at the project, bringing plans and materials from the previous periods. Getting to know the people at the project, the vision and idea of the project and the many concrete tasks to be carried out.

Carrying out the tasks as defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor: building preschools, starting Garden Farming, doing literacy campaigns, eradicating malaria, teaching about big issues of our time while working as a teacher at DNS, starting income-generating activities, working as a TCE Special Force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – as a few examples.

Studying and working with your Specialisation in Fighting with The Poor, finalising with a People’s Exam and a written thesis at the end of the period. Acquiring skills in information work: making interviews, taking notes and pictures, writing summaries and reports, recording videos.

Living together with the people at the project, being a good example of living a humble life while improving things with small means to make daily life better.

Travel period – 3 months

Living on the road, being on the move, finding means of transport and places to sleep, talking to people on the road, being curious to understand and know about the countries you are traveling through.

Making investigations, meeting people, visiting their workplaces, staying in their homes, understanding their problems, meeting their culture and values and sharing thoughts with them about the world and the future.

Telling people about your venture to a third world country, trying out bringing it to the public what you have so far experienced and learned. Putting up investigations on a higher level, asking tough questions to self and to the group, getting hold of more answers and putting up new questions.

Taking notes and pictures, writing reports and discussing the seen and the experienced.
Finding good ways of sticking together in the Trios and in the group as such during the travel period.

Study Period – 6 months

At this school, you will find that learning is not first and foremost about listening to the teacher.

The school’s Program consists of a range of intense and spirited activities, theoretical studies and experiences that constitute the sum of learning and life processes carried through by a group of people who for a considerable period of time share a Program with each other that demands cooperation and efforts, and which at the same time is sprinkled with elements that are inspiring and also quite out of the ordinary.

Thus, learning will also take place through communication, deliberations, through working out your plan for learning and sticking to it, and putting to use what you learned, the methods you used, the ideas you got from it and the results you harvested from the training.

You will train yourself in being adventurers and survivors, living and traveling under very humble conditions, not using much money and always finding a way out by ingenuity, being smart and sticking together with your teammates.