CHANGE MANAGEMENT – What I would change if I were the president of a Youth Organization

From 1 December to 6 December 2015, two members of the Institute of Ukrainian Studies participated in the training course “Change Management in the Youth NGOs”, that was organized by YEU-International (Youth for Exchange and Understanding). Youth Exchange took place within the framework of the Erasmus + programme.

Those six extremely productive days in Dilbeek (next to Brussels, Belgium) resulted in the enormous enrichment of knowledge, development of skills and competences. Fourteen participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Italy, Macedonia, Morocco, the Netherlands and Ukraine contributed to an amazingly effective work. Trainers and organizers from the UK, Macedonia, Italy and Serbia made the course very informative and practice-oriented and the atmosphere incredibly warm and friendly. The objectives of the project were to explore the existing situation regarding low youth participation and understand the concept of change management and its elements as a way to foster youth participation. Each day was full of useful information and gave new portion of inspiration. The first one was dedicated to ice-breaking and team-building games, but included an important theoretical input into the issue of needs and aspirations as well. Even during the games we gained very important experience in team-working and communication. It was the first signal that in order to manage a change within the organization you have to be a good listener of your team-members, pay enough attention to their opinions and be responsible to make everyone motivated to participate and to be able to do it. During the second day, we discovered one of the models of youth participation and positive practices that helped us to understand that participation is something more than just voting. During the next days we were totally involved in change management issues and worked on specific strategies of change management in our organizations. Moreover, we had a great chance to challenge ourselves and see how good writers, designers and film-makers we can be. That’s because the results of all theoretical inputs and practical outcomes were transformed in a publication with tips and techniques related to change management as well as in short films promoting it. The publication is unique and easy-to-read because it includes participants’ comments. We also hope that a funny form of its presentation will make it popular among young people. It’s amazing what a great experience and competences we gained during only six days and what an enormous portion of motivation we received. Very skilled trainers and organizers were “in charge of this success” as well as all participants with their energy, creativity and dedication to youth organizations development. The emotions are unforgettable. It is also considered that the more difficult it is for you to say “good bye” the better the training course is. In the case of “Change Management in the Youth Organizations” TC this moment was incredibly sentimental and hard. Thank You.

By Natalia Dziadyk and Olha Popelyshyn

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