We work with a method known as "learning by doing", mostly used in non-formal (or informal, as many use to say) education.
Learning by doing is quite self-explanatory: participants learn something, acquire knowledge, by taking actions, thus, actions of any kind, will lead to results, always, and these may be negative or positive results. Anything achieved by an action is a result. In our projects we try to lead youngsters in achieving positive results, but in the meantime we also tell them that making mistakes is also very good, since it is from mistakes that people also learn.
Our projects give participants the freedom of trial, therefore there is no right or wrong answer; participants are led through assignments, for which they are quite pushed towards taking initiative. Our aim with this methodology is to develop the sense of taking initiative, in every situation of their lives (private, social or professional). Sitting and waiting for things to happen, complaining, blaming, and actions of that kind don't really help in achieving much. Unfortunate events can happen, such as wonderful ones, and many times (mostly youngsters) don't know how to deal with powerful emotions, and it can happen that their first reaction is to freeze. What we want to show them through our projects is that no matter how good or bad an event in their lives might be, it is always up to them to take the next step.
Our program is designed with a mix of practical activities, mostly in groups, assignments and a little bit of theory background. The activities can vary from project to project since we are always sicking for new inputs as well.
Why mostly in groups? Because human beings are social beings...at work, at home, we, humans, are in constant contact with others, some more or less than others, but somehow we are all in contact with other persons. We find fundamental that youngsters have the possibility to develop their social skills, and learn that they can make us of each other in order to achieve a goal, and that is ok to ask for help. By working in groups they also see behaviours which they might like (or not) in others, and react upon it. Eventually, they will find out that it is always important to see how an individual's actions can reflect on a whole group.
Have a look at the video below which captures very nicely the impacty of our work on youngsters, This video documentary was created during our Back to Basics project in August, 2017 in The Netherlands.