Informal Discussions for Breaking International Barriers

To “break the walls” people first need to understand each other and to see perspective from other people eyes. Communication is essential for anything in life and so for cooperation and living.

Aim of this training is to connect people from different backgrounds, different cultures, countries and even continents and to show them how there always is a way to manage relations. Participants will be “forced” to work together in different games, role plays and simulations to finish their tasks. They will need to use all kinds of communications, verbal, oral, listening, written and non – verbal.


Goal is to achieve synergy in workshops that will also last after lectures in the evening, to motivate them to make their own informal games and plays and also for them to continue with contacts and networking even after training course and to seed their knowledge gained on this training course.

If we only talk then we repeat what we already know but if we look and listen other people then we learn something new and useful for future.


The Curse of Babel

– Interactive Method for Overcoming Barriers –

Tower of Babel


Background of story
When people from different nationalities were building the Tower of Babel they reached amazing levels of cooperation because they all spoke same language, then God introduced them to other languages and since they failed to communicate and did not understood each other they failed to finish construction of famous Tower of Babel.
More information about story:

Brief description of this method    
People are devided in multinational groups, one person from each country with one moderator on a side that “controls” their actions. They must do some simple task, for example make a parachute from knick-knacks for egg to land safely from two meter high altitude but they can not use English language, they can only speak in their own native language. It will also help them to use non-verbal communication tools, pantomime, different diction even if other people do not understand their language. It is good not to put people from different countries that have similar language like Italians and Romanians, or Spanish and Portuguese, or South Slavic countries. They can use straws, paper, tape, or anything useful.

Aim and objectives of this tool for learning
Aim is to show people how it is when you are not included, when people do not understand you and how much harder it is for you to do something when you must try extra hard to be on the same level as others. It can also symbolically show how it is to people with dissabilities, minorities, refugees and other vulnerable groups. It can be with moderator or without moderator, time is also not fixed, from one hour up to two, or three, it all depends from groups but it is always good to have time frame fixed in beginning so groups can focus more on work.

Outcome of that group work is not what is important but the way how they get to result and process of action and their synergy. All partricipants will try to work their best so that their egg can survive. It is good method to use in beginning of Training Course when people do not know each other that much and for people to break the ice. After game main moderator can talk with them to see how people felt during work, how was their way of communication and in the end, self – reflection for participants, do they feel that something could have been different or better.
Invented by: Aleksandar Petković

Living library with contemporaries of Cold war era

– How simple things of live were different then –

Living library concept is about one on one or one on more people talking about different subjects, its good for getting to know someone and as a ice breaking game but it can also be used as a method to learn more about specific subject or ideas. This idea is for participants to talk about contemporaries of Cold war era but not about big, political topics, but a day to day things, how they lived, how some simple things today were not so easy then, for example traveling, food rations, clothes, making movies or music, getting a job, interacting with people and etc. With that younger people can see how it was for regular people to live and work in eastern block and to appreciate more freedom of movement and freedom of choice that they have today but also to see how there were some nice things in that period and that it was not only bad things then.
More information about this concept you can find on this link


Other methods that will be used

Besides this, other methods that can be used are workshops, role plays, fishbowl, simulations, interactive presentations (world caffee) about their similarities and differences, discussions and also some future project development that can be done with similar subject.

Dissemination of results

Semination can be done by standard means of communication, making a youtube video about training course, writing a blog, making a future event, organizing next training that will raise awareness in fields connected to this, interviews on local televisions or radios where locals will be informed about what happened in that training course and more about Erasmus+ programme.



As European citizens, we are aware of the fact that one of the main objectives of the European Union is promoting human rights, domestically and globally, and we also hold with the idea that human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights are the intrinsic values of the Union. Yet, very few of us choose to become actively involved in defending and promoting these rights.

As there was always a wall between communist countries and noncommunist countries or between Christians and Muslims or between black and white people and so on, it is our duty to break down the walls and promote the real values of life.  The COLD WAR was declared finished but The Iron Curtain seems to be part of our existence. People are still divided not only in their way of thinking but also in the way the act. All the conflicts generated by the Cold War in the 20th century shows their effects now. One of the main problems of the contemporary society seems to be those of the refugees.  By birth, people are equal and only those qualities which nature has endowed us with make a difference, one that often leads to the impossibility of communication, collaboration, or all people peacefully living together. Nevertheless, man has the power to make changes, to adopt a different outlook on life, or even dream up an ideal world in which there is enough room for everyone, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, the continent or the country they live in. We, the students and teachers of “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” National College Galati, decided to take a stand and wanted to set an example in which dream becomes reality, youngsters are educated to become actively involved in the problems of the contemporary society, by not limiting ourselves to the complacency of a reserved attitude, but by being able to make decisions and find solutions to them. We decided to become committed to the cause of helping those in need!


  • Involving students of “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” National College Galati in volunteering activities meant helping and comforting people accommodated in The Centre of Accommodation and Procedures for Asylum Seekers, Galati, and also involving the local community in helping this category of disadvantaged people.

1. Promoting tolerance among young people;
2. Performing cultural exchanges with beneficial effects for both the disadvantaged people accommodated in the centre, as well as our students;
3. Educating young people according to the EU principles of respect for human rights, regardless of race, religion or social origin;
4. Promoting the principle of equal opportunities in order to contribute to the integration of refugees into the structures of the Romanian society;
5. Turning to traditions and other elements of the Romanian culture and civilization;
6. Raising public awareness of the projects created by students;
7. Promoting our school and our partner institution’s image;
8. Instilling the civic spirit in our students;
9. Developing positive attitudes towards themselves and other people as well.

  1. Breaking down the stereotypes related to people coming from different regions of the world

●People accommodated in The Centre of Accommodation and Procedures for Asylum Seekers, Galati
●Teacher Maria-Isabela Miron, Ph.D., The “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” National College, Galati, Romania.
The project will consist of several stages, according to the partnership agreement between “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” National College, Galati and the Centre of Accommodation and Procedures for Asylum Seekers, Galati, as it follows:

Preparatory stage – April 2016 – consists of realizing a survey to know the opinion of people from Galati related to refugees’ problem, organizing debates with students from the college on the same theme.

First stage – May to September 2016 – consists of involving 20 students of “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” National College in volunteering activities

Second stage – September 2016 – August 2017 consists of involving a number of 30 college students (the 10th graders who are already participants in the project and other students from different classes).


  1. Organizing debates about refugees rights and European citizenship
  2. Teaching courses of Romanian language learning to the refugees in the centre;
  3. Teaching courses of English language learning to the refugees in the centre;
    Teaching courses of German language learning to the refugees in the centre;
  4. Involving refugees in instructive and recreational activities (games, sports activities, creative workshops);
  5. Involving refugees in culture-oriented activities (culinary activities, music and traditional dances);
  6. Charitable activities;
  7. Promoting volunteering activities directly (through activities organised in partnership with other schools) and indirectly (through articles published in the local and national press) meant to raise Romanian people’s awareness and sensitize them to the problematic issue of refugees.


Architecture in Bucharest: a mixture of times

Topic & Content:

Bucharest is not a uniformed city. From blocs to old mansions, we can observe the various historical ‘stratum’ and the ideology behind each building. The idea would be to reflect on the marks of History in Bucharest’s architecture and urbanism: how the city is dealing with its past? are the building from communist era erased? what about the old houses that were nationalised during communist times and are now uninhabited and threatened to degradation?

Pedagogical goal and methodology:

The pedagogical goal of this action is -for foreigners- to discover a post-communist city and see how this period marked the city. Architecture reflects the ideology of a specific period of time. With this research, participants can also understand better what was a communist regim in Romania and how people deal with these buildings today.

There will be two different steps :

– First, the idea is to walk through the city and ask them to take pictures every time they see a building that seems to be from the communist era/ Or any other building that they seem to be interesting to talk about.

– Visits: the plan would be to visit the House of the People and/or Ceausescu’s Villa. We will try to answer to some questions: how are they used today? would they use them in another way? What Romanian people think about it?

Target group:

The target group is a group of foreigners coming from foreign countries (Poland, Portugal, France)


Discussions on pictures taken, open discussion.

Timetable and milestones:

May- the participants will come in Bucharest in order to make a short documentary about a old house used as artists’ residency and architecture in Bucharest. Besides, I would like to make this project in order to go further into the subject.

Inclusion and Exclusion of minorities in Cold War Romania

Textile Factory Tricodava, Bucharest (1976). The factory, like other factories in Bucharest, employed a significant amount of roma women, as the regime’s policy of forced proletarianization went into effect. Photo courtesy of Urban_Roma.

Topic & Content:

The situation of minority groups, in particular Roma integration and exclusion, and social attitudes during the Communist regime. During such a workshop, we can shed some light on the policies of the Communist regime involving the minority groups of Romania, and examine the narratives of the regime and the outcomes that can be felt today.

Pedagogical goal and methodology:

The pedagogical goal of this action is to deconstruct the historical narrative of the former regime, which was one of “proletarian unity”, and show the failures of integration and exclusion of minorities during the Communist regime which still have grave repercussions today and can be found standing as the bedrock of hate and discrimination.

Target group:

The focus will be on minority groups, and in particular policies regarding Roma integration.


Open discussion could be a good way for addressing such a workshop, or maybe fishbowl discussion, any suggestions are welcomed.

Timetable and milestones:

April – May could be used as time for historical research, interviews and gathering of information from various sources.

July-August setting up the workshop in different venues and seeing feedback.

Tying Cold War and LGBT+ history

The Lavender Scare project

Topic & Content: I have chosen to carry out a project which is tied to LGBT+ history for two reasons. First of all, by volunteering at LGL (Lithuanian Gay League), I will be able to organize an event at LGL (an agreement with local partner) premises and naturally attract attention of those who are interested in LGBT+ rights/history. Secondly, I’m highly motivated to extend  my historical knowledge of the field in order to improve as an activist. It is also important to mention that the project is still in the „idea phase“ and any comments/ideas are more than welcomed.

Usually the Gay Liberation Movement and Stonewall Riots are acknowldeged as beginning of LGBT+ movement. For this reason, an important period which started in U.S in 50‘s is often forgotten. The Lavender Scare was the persecution of homosexuals in the 50‘s and 60‘s, basically it paralleled the anti-communist campaign and gay men and gay women were thought to be communist sympathizers. It mainly resulted as mass firings from the US government workforce.


Pedagogical goals, approach & method

  • To both evoke and offer further understanding of LGBT+ history through creative methods.
  • To question wether this particular period had or have influence in our country.

I‘m thinking of gathering some controversial (?) /thought evoking material from various sources and setting up a comics workshop. There are numerous books published on the topic as well as video material and hopefully I‘ll be able to get an access to that. After sorting out historical material, I‘d organize a workshop event at LGL in which I‘d be able to present the material. Even though The Lavender Scare mainly resulted with firings from government workforce, I believe this story to have relevance in present:

“There are still 29 states in the country in which it is perfectly legal to fire people simply because they are LGBT<…>  the story of The Lavender Scare will help educate people about the need for laws on both the state and national level to protect LGBT people from employment discrimination”

(Source: )

Also, I‘m thinking of including some examples from my own viewpoint in order to inspire/set an example for participants since I‘m a bit afraid they can show lack of interest.

For example, short fact :

in the 50‘s adversaries of the medium had turned their sights on Batman and Robin – opponents assumed that this crime-fighting duo were „homosexual lovers“, basically any mention of LGBT culture was forbidden until 1989.


Outcome: batman2

Overall outcome would depend on the shown interest from the community. Usually such workshops gathers quite the attention. Ideally, after the workshop, I‘d be able to make a zine as a final outcome. This can also be a motivational aspect for participants.

I also thought about starting a discussion on wether the covered period had any influence on our country. Yet the workshop itself would take up some time and I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to load even more activities on participants. Maybe suggesting to do a comic on the question would be a better idea and a great workshop startint point. (?)

Target groups. Even though events at LGL are open for everyone, I consider my target group to be other volunteers and local LGBT+ community.

Evaluation. I don‘t have a clear idea about the evaluation from participants yet. I liked the “suitcase, question mark, garbage bin” method from Antonia‘s project, maybe I could use this method, maybe I‘ll come up with something else later.

As for my own evaluation, if I‘ll be able to capture participants attention and inspire them to come up with enough material to put up a zine, I‘ll consider my work done well.

Timetable and milestones

May- June. Gathering and organising the information. Doing more comics work as an example.

End of July- beginning of August. I‘d like to carry out the workshop between 25of July – 10 of August. This way, I‘ll have plenty of time for preparing the information and choosing the best date available. A few weeks before the workshop, I‘ll make a public facebook event.

End of August. Putting up and printing out the final zines.


Serbia between East and West

Topic and Content:  Visit to Park of Friendship, the only memorial dedicated to Non-Aligned Movement and reflection on political position of the Socialistic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Cold War Era

Park of Friendship (Park prijateljstva) is situated in New Belgrade and spreads across 14 hectares that are leaning on banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers. Park was created in 1961 and it was dedicated to a newly organized Non-Aligned Movement. In central area lies Peace Alley with 26 plane trees planted by presidents of non-aligned countries and a sculpture of a flower made by sculptor Lidija Mišić.

During Tito’s rule, many presidents and official political leaders planted a tree as a sign of friendship. Among them were Indira Gandhi, Richard Nixon, Queen Elisabeth II and many others. Serbia continued this tradition until today. Members of the Rolling Stones were among the last one to plant a tree here in 2008 when they held concert in this park. In the midst of this park stands monument called Eternal Fire that was dedicated to victims of NATO bombing, erected in 1999.

Park prijateljstva is occasionally used for various culture events including concerts and Beer Fest that is held every August.


Target group: Participants of different age, gender, educational and social background

Pedagogical goal and methodology: Research action method would help participants to gather information and reflections on politics of Yugoslav socialist society during the Cold War Era and later implications of this politics. Park dedicated to Non-aligned movement and aimed neutral political position of Tito’s Yugoslavia with later added monument to the victims of NATO bombing in 1999 provides an extraordinary framework for analyses of socio-political history and its impact on everyday life. Participation of people with different backgrounds and experiences would improve understanding of different perspectives in former Yugoslavia.

Evaluation: Not sure about methodology; any suggestions are welcome

Agreements with local partners: Contacting a group of friend (maybe my students, participants from other organization or other visitors of Park)

Timetables and milestones:

May – Contacticng participants/partners

– Arranging the visit

June -Visit and evaluation

          – Reporting on the project


„the East“ and „the West“ in a little Western German village…

Until now my project is nothing but a theoretical idea and maybe the implementation will be not that easy in the end. Here you can read my first ideas about it. Maybe I will also change the topic or focus during the working process (for example I could imagine a shift from focussing on the cold war era to East – West stereotypes or something totally different).

I’m glad for any kind of feedback and helpful ideas!

Topic and content

To deal with history and especially the history of Eastern and Western Germany (and the whole world that was shaped by the iron curtain) is probably an easy thing to do in Berlin. But what about a small village in the South West of Germany that is on the one hand not that old itself and on the other hand there are no visible signs of remembrance or even traces of a former separated world and society? This is the starting point for my little project.

Postkarten_4My mother and one of my brothers are living in a village called Friedrichstal (it’s close to Karlsruhe in Baden-Württemberg). This village has around 5000 inhabitants and was founded at the end of the 17th century by refugees that were driven out of France, Belgium and Switzerland because of religious reasons. Nowadays this village is a quite sleepy one: there is a school, a football and sports club (and probably some more clubs), a protestant and a catholic church, a stop for the tram to the next town, even a station for the regional train, a small industrial zone. So nothing really special. No lovely old village center – instead of this the biggest parts are single family houses starting from the ’60s including a growing larger settlement of family houses that are built within the last years. Most of the people are working outside of Friedrichstal.

So how it’s possible to implement a project about the time of the iron curtain and its consequences in such a surrounding? This is the challenge I would like to take up.

Target group

Together with a friend my brother is leading a children group. The kids are at the age of around ten up to twelve years and they are meeting each Friday. This offer is connected to the youth work of the local catholic parish but in reality they never really spend time on religious or spiritual contents, it’s more about playing group games and offering outside activities – so it can be seen more as a part of the local youth welfare work (at least in the group of my brother and his friend).

I decided to take this group of children as the target group of my little project because I can have quite easy access to this group of kids through my brother.

Pedagogical goals

* spreading awareness for a society that is shaped by socio-historical backgrounds

* offering information about the cold war era

* evoking interest in and curiosity for history

Pedagogical approach and methods

* action research → there are no “natural” places that are depicting symbols for the cold war era, but I will spread some material at several places (maybe five) in the village where the kids can get information or impressions (so it’s a bit more like a treasure hunt) and in the end they are sharing what they have seen/heard/read/thought

* contemporary witness (living library)→ if possible I would like to provide one station with a person that experienced the GDR (maybe my mother could do this) and that could tell some personal impressions and stories; if not possible I would use some audio material

I’m open for ideas/suggestions/hints for material that I could use for this kind of setting (what means: no actual places of remembrance, so that I have to


The evaluation I will separate in two parts: On the one hand I want the kids to give me a anonymous feedback. For this I’m planning to use the method “suitcase, question mark, garbage bin”. This means that in the end of the project the kids will have the possibility to write or draw on different coloured papers what they have learned todicons-feedbackkarten-gray (suitcase), which questions they still have in mind (question mark) and what they didn’t like or what was unnecessary in their opinion (garbage bin). If possible I will try to answer the written questions in the final circle.

On the other hand I want to do a reflection on my own acting and how the project was working. For this I don’t have yet a good idea for a useful method. Any suggestions?

Agreements with local partners

My local partner for this project is my brother and his friend who are leading this youth group together.

Timetable and milestones

* May → looking for useful material

* beginning of June → preparation of the single stations of the action research (incl the material, the questionnaires for the groups)

* one week before the project: introducing myself and informing the kids that there will be a special offer next week

* 17. or 24.06.: doing the project

* after the project: self-evaluation