From May 30th to June 4th, Hungary’s capital Budapest was home to a training titled Learning Playground in Volunteering, dedicated to Youth workers, Youth leaders, Youth project managers and Volunteering mentors. Organised by Tempus PublicFoundation - Hungarian National Agency for Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes and SALTO Training and Cooperation RC (SALTO Resource Centre), it focused on discovering spatial aspects of learning environments, experimenting with co-creating empowering learning spaces and exploring their potential in fostering learning. The content team consisted of Vanda Kovács, Snežana Bačlija Knoch, András Cseh and Eda Bakir.
Throughout the training, thanks to the diversity and richness of methods and activities and opportunities to leave the training room to see and experience different learning spaces in the city itself, the participants became more aware of the importance of the quality of learning spaces of a European Solidarity Corps volunteering project and got familiar with the physical/spatial aspects of learning environments. They are now able to reflect on previous experiences with learning environments and utilise them for co-creating learning environments in volunteering projects, to look more holistically and systemically at learning in European Solidarity Corps volunteering projects and needs of different learners, to reflect on possible ways to co-create learning environments and develop their competencies further and understand how learning environments foster the Youthpass learning process.
The playful and wandering spirit of the training didn’t only stay inside the walls of the training room, thanks to the guests that enriched the experience. András Cseh and Köninger Szilárd from CAN architects took the participants on the journey throughout the history, explaining how building learning spaces in schools and higher education institutions changed over the years and became more focused on the learners themselves, catering to different needs connected to spaces inside and outside of classrooms.
Chefs Paul Mizener and Bernadett Sokacz from Chefparade guided participants through a co-creation adventure in a kitchen, while at the same time teaching us about typical Hungarian dishes. Volunteers from Szatyor told us the story about a community garden in the heart of a busy, bustling city, while taking the participants behind the scenes of the volunteering projects and organisation’s store that sells products grown by the volunteers and their colleagues.
Written by: Zrinka Trusić (alumni member of ESN Croatia)