In my fifteen years of schooling, I have come to realize that non-formal education is probably the best way to learn and achieve something new. Some of you might ask why? Well, being in a stress-free environment with new people of different cultural backgrounds, the newly taught skills and experiences can be easily gained through fun, challenging, yet effective workshops and activities.
The journey to the training course “Who wants to be an entrepreneur?” started on St. Patrick’s Day 2015. That day, instead of hanging out with friends in local pubs, I was preparing for a job interview that could have possibly made my summers more enjoyable; in other words, not working as a waitress. In the midst of everything, I received an email from Mr. Darko Mitevski of NaturKultur.ev in Germany, explaining how I had been chosen to participate in the training course to be held in Cyprus the following month. During the upcoming days, I searched for other participants and once the Maltese group was confirmed, the whole group met to discuss the inputs and expectations from the training course and more importantly, the Maltese National Night – an activity which highlights each participating country in Erasmus Plus projects.
In a couple of weeks the Maltese Group was packed and ready to leave to Cyprus.
Upon arrival to Limassol, we found the trainers and the hotel staff waiting eagerly to greet us and get us settled in our rooms. Indeed, getting to know the other participants of the training course was no issue at all thanks to the ice-breaking activities organized by the trainers.
The best part about this project was that there was never a dull moment. Be it workshops, discussions, energizers, and cultural nights, the trainers and participants themselves always found a way to make the day just perfect.
Elon Musk once said, “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” Indeed, during this training course, all trainers – Darko, Goce and Jim – explained how all of us should go beyond and explore our imagination and make our dreams happen, no matter what it takes. As a matter of fact, the project “Who wants to be an entrepreneur?” was not created to make entrepreneurs but to give us an insight and very helpful directions of how to develop projects and achieve one’s goals.
I personally enjoyed the “Entrepreneurs Café” workshop the most, which was held in the final days of the project. For this unbelievably great eye-opening session, the trainers managed to get well-known entrepreneurs such as Harvard’s very own Dr. Theodore Panayotou to Cyprus to give us a talk and discuss any queries afterwards.
Coming back to our beautiful island, the Maltese Group immediately started working to implement the skills and ideas learned during the training course. The participants from Youth for the Environment, myself included, came back with such enthusiasm to create new projects both locally and internationally through the Erasmus Plus Programme.
Throughout this training course, the seeds of knowledge produced fruitful results. In fact, determination, motivation, strategic vision, and teamwork proved to be the main ingredients to create any project. This experience will be one for the books and on behalf of the Maltese participants, I would like to thank Darko, Goce, and Jim for their great input and enthusiasm during the project, and Giorgos and the rest of the Cypriot Youth Council for taking care of the logistics etc. All things learned during the wonderful week in Limassol will surely never be forgotten.
“From the first day of the project, it was already clear that a fun program was scheduled for the week, which included sessions and activities to improve individual development. Through the assignment of smaller groups during the sessions, we all found out the importance of participation and teamwork. The cultural nights were brilliant, since there were so many things I didn’t know about the other five participant countries. The Entrepreneurship Café was very interesting, as we got to meet successful entrepreneurs who came all the way to Cyprus to share their experience and knowledge with us. It was so easy making friends; by the end of the training course it felt like I was leaving behind people I had known for ages. Once back in my organisation, the Gozo University Group, knowledge gained from the course was shared with my fellow students, and even got to practise public speaking. It was such a well-programmed schedule, a big thanks goes to the organisers.” – Lauriann Azzopardi, GUG