Bijgewerkt: 18 jun 2019
From 22 September until 26 September Lifebook for Youth international conference was organized in Selce (Croatia), supported by the Erasmus+ foundation.
After the first conference in Bulgaria in 2015, the participants asked the Lifebook board to organize a second conference. Due to the enthusiasm and positive reactions we decided to organize another international conference in 2017. Our partners from Croatia have offered to help us with the organization. With their help the conference took place in Selce, a beautiful town on the coast of Croatia.
The following countries took part in the conference: Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and The Netherlands. Besides there were trainers from Lebanon, Switzerland and South Africa. All the youth care professionals from these countries were trained as Lifebook Coaches. After they were trained they got started on working with children with disadvantaged backgrounds, for instance children without parental care and young refugees, using the Lifebook for Youth method.
The conference opened with individual country presentations, in which each country showed the Lifebook results achieved so far. For example, it was great to hear how young refugees in The Netherlands and Serbia experienced working on the Lifebook. They had a lot of fun and also had the chance to re-connect in a positive way with their past. Another result that was achieved last year is the introduction of Lifebook in South Africa. It is impressive and inspiring to see how many children in the “Safe Parks” already worked on their own Lifebook!
All these beautiful presentations showed that Lifebook is a great tool for children in difficult circumstances to become more aware of their own strength, unique characteristics and qualities. It is so inspiring to see the joy and laughter of the children during Lifebook sessions in different countries.
During this conference there was a lot of time to exchange experiences, share new ideas, discuss about the future of Lifebook and practice new skills and methods. The program offered six workshops led by professionals. The workshop Unaccompanied minors showed the participants how it feels to be a refugee who has lost everything. In other workshops participants made their own Lifetree and worked with Lego, and other materials, as a tool to give children better insight in their social environment.The workshop River of Life showed a new tool to let children go through the positive events of their life.The workshop Energizers and games provided a lot of fun and also new inspiration for the Lifebook session breaks And last but not least: in the workshop Implementation all the participants had the chance, to share new ideas, discuss dilemma’s to make Lifebook better and more professional in the future.
On the third day, in the afternoon, there was a search trip for the children of the social centre, which was also our host location for the plenary sessions and workshops. In small groups ,children and Lifebook coaches discovered the surroundings and nature of this town. The children where proud showing their town to the adults and had a lots of fun.
We, the board of Lifebook, were overwhelmed by the participant’s enthusiasm. Everybody offered us their help to make Lifebook great in their country and in the overall organization We went home with a lot of new ideas, inspiration and motivation. Supported through the enthusiasm and experiences of the coaches and children, we feel that we are on the right way and at the same time realize that we have so much Lifebook goals for the future. Once again, we want to thank all participants for their input during these conference.