‘Knowledge had become experience.’ ~ Anna Michael

EVS Realm: Masters of the Learning Path – June 2018

My first participation at a European Program was a phone call away from the organizer. He called to ask if I’m interested in participating at a training about mentorship that would take 5 days at a remote village in Paphos. Without even thinking about it I said yes. A few days later, my path lead me to the village Lysos. A traditional stone-built village in Paphos, where residents still know each other. They meet early in the morning at traditional cafes before going to work and offer free coffee to their guests.

There I was, at 8am at the square of the village surrounded by people from all over Europe. Before I even realize what is happening I would find myself discussing why I would be the magician in an imaginary kingdom.

With the support of 3 experienced trainers and many talented and amazing volunteers from the European voluntary service, I begun to feel inspired within a very short period of time, to learn and to plan my next steps. I found myself playing like a child as well as discussing important terminologies such as ‘Youth mobility’, ‘solidarity’ and our ‘role as mentors’. In addition, using non-formal educational methodologies, tools and the energy of everyone there, we recreated knowledge and we were equipped with tools for life.

I met wonderful people with whom we shared similar vision about how we wanted to support youth. Our conversations were unique and deep.  We naturally talked and shared experiences about youth unemployment and how we, as mentors, can support them as well as what has worked up to now.  Meanwhile, another connection came to fruition, the one with the residents of the village Lysos. Besides the friendships that hold up to this day, I felt as if I had a new home; a shelter which I knew that whenever I want, I can go and visit Mrs. Maria and Mr. Christakis and share more beautiful moments with them.

Knowledge had become experience.

As I design my own trainings now, I often look back and ask how can I develop knowledge through the experience of people and to make them feel inspired and connected to one another? They say that knowledge occurs when the behavior or thought has changed. Well, after this experience I certainly didn’t stay the same. The training, the people and Lysos village have now a special place in my heart as they have carved my path and who I am today.

Anna Michael

Career Counsellor