The prime objectives of the first SELVET meeting in Budapest were to:
- introduce and get to know each other
- participate in lectures12 and fields trips3 with organisations involved in the theory or practice of social skills training/mental health education in VET,
- to review and revise project activities, the work plan, distribution of tasks and decide on exact dates for the next partner meetings,
- to participate in cultural activities and finally, to
- evaluate the meeting.
Overall, the bringing together of a diverse group of knowledgeable people with differing backgrounds, skills and experiences left a very positive impression on all. The members of the participating organisations managed to create a very open and productive atmosphere by being willing to listen to, and encourage each other, and by being flexible and adaptable. The discussions were interesting and meaningful.
The most captivating event was surely the visit to the vocational school Bercsényi Dániel. As the comments below show, this was a revealing and somewhat troubling experience:
- “The clash between the stunning architecture and warmth of the central city and the bleakness of both the area and school itself on the outskirts”
- “the visit to the VET school (Bercsényi) - heartbreaking and inspiring”
- “The visit in the school. Middle of suburb-nowhere, walls unpainted for decades, a director struggling with lack of means necessary and lots and lots of young people heading into an uncertain future”
Others chose the realisation of the importance of the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), the range of the field and how relevant it is in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET). The visit to the Invisible Exhibition was seen as a metaphor for our journey – starting out in darkness, trying to find a way through life...
The whole kick-off meeting was a success and helped shaping things to come. The consensus was that the meeting objectives were met i.e.
- “to get to know each other, to think about what we would like to achieve by this project, to get an impression of VET and SEL programmes in Hungary”
We started to build trust and respect in the group and a level of comfort in working together. We highlighted and identified what each brings to the partnership, although more work is needed to clarify exactly how this will be used in the project implementation. We clarified the project vision and goals, and agreed on the objectives and an initial timetable of activities. The presentation and lectures helped us to understand the situation of VET in Hungary.
People went away feeling motivated, inspired and optimistic about the project.
See you again in The Hague... :)