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The CRITICAL REFLECTION ACADEMY in Balestrand NORWAY - ONE Selected participant

Selection Results

We are proud to announce the participation of Elena Kavvathatas a Senior Youth Worker, that will participate in a very interesting Erasmus+ KA151 Training Course in Balestrand of Norway.

The selection process was a kind of hard; the coordinators have set quite of high standards making the selection process environment, very competitive. Even if we suggested two participants, there has been selected just one, which is considered as a significant and valuable distinction. Our representative will be Elena Kavvatha..!

Here is her special article that we asked her to write for us, after her selection achievement:

"I am an internationalist, a political scientist and I work mainly abroad between the Arctic and the indigenous Sami and Brussels where I collaborate with UCLouvain university researching the European Union's environmental and energy resource management policies and how they affect indigenous peoples and isolated communities of the European Arctic. In Greece I am an active adult member of the Hellenic Scout Corps, responsible for a group of 12 to 15 volunteers aged 18 to 25 and also responsible for supervising and coordinating a group of 15 to 17 year olds. I carry out my duties by creating their weekly schedule of activities, organizing and running their summer and winter hiking trips, as well as being the lead coordinator for the national scout youth arts and culture festival they participate in every year. I have also worked with volunteers within the NGO Ecocity and was responsible for recruiting, training and generally facilitating their engagement with the NGO's campaigns. I consider that the main challenge I encounter in my work both inside and outside of Greece is to convince young people to be more involved, to overcome stereotypes and prejudices, including those stemming from racial, sexual and cultural discrimination. I work with many children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds, including refugees and young people from abusive families or living in extreme poverty, as well as young people from privileged households. Therefore, I often try to create mutual respect and avoid conflict within my teams. Lately in the communities where I work we have been struggling with the rise of extremism and violence among young people. I often try to create conditions where they will have the opportunity to work outside the usual framework of "who is who" and learn something new together, overcome tension and build mutual respect for each other's abilities, regardless of national and social their background. That is why I am really happy that I managed to stand out among other candidates and was chosen to represent Greece through the Cultural Organization of Macedonia-Thrace "Esaei en Roi" at the Critical Reflection Academy in Balestrand, Norway in June 2024. It is mainly the techniques conflict resolution at the team level that drew me to this program. Sometimes I feel that a conflict in the communities I work in is resolved mainly because of the love and respect young people have for me and not because they understand why it needs to be resolved. They stop arguing to make me happy not because they understand why they shouldn't argue. I also hope to receive tools to better communicate with parents and caregivers in families. And I also feel like I could benefit in terms of how I express myself to others. Personally, I hope to gain a better understanding of how to create an environment that includes less stereotypes but also recognize if I have my own biases that interfere with my work. I'm also interested in getting feedback on how I've chosen to operate and handle conflict, and even gain insights on how to improve further. I am also interested to see how others handle and overcome difficult situations and if my experiences in Greek reality are similar to those of others abroad.

The specific course, with code number2023-1-NOo2-KA151-YOU-000146640. The TC will take place in Balestrand, NORWAY, between 3-12.06.2024.


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