Becoming Mentors and E-mentors: Rescue Training at Castellamare di Stabia

Our 10 – days project in Castellamare it was filled with hard work and pleasant time, and it gave us a whole set of new skills which we will now use to renovate abandoned spaces in our country for our community.

What are those skills? And how can they help them improve the area of their local community?

– During the project I have learned about the profile of a mentor, I have learned how to create a business   plan to re – built an abandoned place and to design a plan for a new project. Moreover, I learned about   all the participants’ diverse cultures and I have improved my English. 

 ~ Marion, French team
Let’s take it from the beginning…

The project began on the 21st and finish on the 31st of January and the participant countries were France (Compagnie 3.42), Greece (Solidarity Tracks), Italy (Acarbio), and Romania (Asociatia de Tineri din Ardeal). The aim of the project was to rehabilitate abandoned public areas by involving local community in different actions: taking ownership of the area and creating social links through innovative methods of non-formal education.

How the week began?

As always with game – like activities which focused on getting to know each other and team building activities.We played games such as 2 truths and a lie, a human knot, name – ball games, a laughter seminar and many more. Like in every Erasmus project the first day is dedicated to the participants to feel more comfortable and become close with one another.      

Becoming mentors and e – mentors…

What happened during the training?

In the days which follow the activities were more related to the training and they prepared the participants to become mentors and e-mentors.

We learned about organizing activities, using the ADDIE model. A model which stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation and it helps us to create our own training courses in an effective way. We also talk about social entrepreneurship and ways to create a business model for social projects. This was an interesting day as we had a role – play activity, some of us got the role of a mentor while others where creating a business plan about an abandoned place they wanted to renovate.

Most of the activities they were like this, practical and simulative, and it gave the opportunity to  participants to deal with real – life examples. Another activity which was really fun and I enjoyed, was to create an architectual desing to renovate a common yard of a school and a museum in Lefkas island. The activity was hosted by professional Greek architects Niki Kareli and Patty Kalou.

We were given all the information needed about the place, how it looks, what it is used for and what the local people need it to be. Then in teams, we had to create our own architectural design based on the information given.

We also met architect and former council member of the Castellammare Municipality, Noemi Verdoliva, artist Nello Petrucci, artist and art-therapist Marco De Rosa and photographer Nello Maresca , all of them locals from Castellamare di Stabia. Our group discuss with them about their experience and learn more about the process of a project, from the idea until the implementation of a plan.

All of them where part of the Stabia street art project, where they renovated the historical city center of Castellamare. They have created beautiful murals all over the centre, making in it scenic and pleasant for the people who pass through, but mostly for the local community.

The artists had useful insights for us as they had gone through the entire process of renovating an abandoned space. They realise the potential the centre of Castellamare can have, they design and idea which they present to the local authorities, and then with the help of the municipality have implemented the idea. They gave us valuable information and advice on how to prepare an idea and deal with local authorities, to convince them to approve our project as well as for help and resources.

Tasting alcohol and typical delights from all the countries:

Apart from all the activities, we also have some relaxing time. On the evening of the second night we had our intercultural night. Every team brought some traditional food and drinks to present to the group. As the Italians from the Costiera, we brought them some limocello, caciocavallo, pane biscotto and salami soppresata, and we got to try some typical French cheese, some hungarian palinka, Greek tsipouro and many more typical delights from each country. We also learned some typical dances and we taught tammurriata and tarantella.

– During the project I have learned a lot, I made new friends and during days here I had so much fun.

~Maelle, French team~

The week had past very quickly, and it was already Saturday when we had evaluation and closing ceremony of the project.

   – As one of the organizers, the planning and implementing of this training was a bit challenging, however the whole project I think it went well. The coordinators of this training, the Italians, their team’s attitude was perfect and this help a lot. This training gave a clear vision of what follows once we go home.

~Réka, Coordinator of Romanian team~

When the time to say goodbye came, it was a bit hard. The entire week we spent together was so much fun and we learn a lot from each other. But the project is not over yet, as it falls under the umbrella of a 2 year long project called “RESCUE: Renewed spaces – U Educate”. Now the participants have returned home with all the new knowledge they gain, and they can use in the next steps of the project. To continue planning and implementing ideas to renovate their abandoned spaces in their countries. For us, the Italian team of ACARBIO is to continue the work we do with the Rifugio  and The Path Of Eleonora D’aragona.