+non-formal education talk
So I finally decided to get my lazy ass to start writing again. I don’t know if it was because I was super busy or just felt like I needed an actual break from it to let myself get my thoughts in order, but I came back with yet another article. So as you probably read in the title I started volunteering at Save The Children Romania.
For those of you who don’t know what “Save the Children” is, it is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) that contributes to protecting children’s rights and education. They also promote a non-formal education that helps you build a critical way of thinking and also your public speaking and many others!
It was one of my first interviews, and it was the most chill of all of them! I was actually a bit nervous presenting myself, yet the feeling sorta disappeared since the interviewer made everything so interactive and tried her best for us to be comfortable. I quickly joined the conversations and some debates (along with my friend, Rebeca who is also an active volunteer).
So after the interview I took my first volunteering responsibility and applied for the Mobile Kids (Moki) program, and fortunately I got accepted. So along with my friend we got to our first training session (even though it wasn’t the first since we are learning FAN (first aid notions) at Red Cross).
The training was so amazing I didn’t even want it to end. They showed us some stuff I didn’t even know about and it was an amazing exchange of knowledge. We started off with an introduction and a “get to know ourselves better game” which helped us remember some facts about the people we’ll be working along with (Even though we quickly befriended eachother trough the training itself and we’re still talking, they are amazing people so shout out to them 😉 )
Trough this training besides the stuff I had to learn in order to teach the kids, I also found out more about non-formal education.
What is non-formal education?
Non-formal is the education where both sides have something to learn from eachother! We encourage ourselves to develop a critical thinking, challenge ourselves and find other answers trough our imagination. I personally support this amazing technique and really hope I’d see it more often in schools. Children have to be supported instead of discouraged.
So when I walked out of the session, the girl responsible with us, asked: “How did it feel talking in front of us?”, “What are your fears about this project?”, etc. It made us open up and feel even more comfortable in this ‘safe-space’.
Why is non-formal education important in my opinion?
This type of education encourages children to speak up freely without the fear of being wrong and laughed at. When they get something wrong many are yelled at or immediately discourage. They ask themselves if they are good enough and quit answering in the fear of getting something wrong again. Fear? That shouldn’t be in a child’s vocabulary under any circumstances. So instead of telling our children “YOU are wrong.” why don’t we say “THE ANSWER is wrong.” or “That’s not it, but let’s find another way.”. Nobody was born full of knowledge in everything, we all made mistakes, but the thing is that we shouldn’t let them stop us. We should keep going, keep guessing and keep finding new improved ways to answer until we get it RIGHT.
It is sad that so many young children have their hands raised all the time, yet when we get in highschool: nobody. Why? Because we are scared of people telling us that we are wrong or them threatening us with bad grades.
Yes, I encourage non-formal education.
Totally recommend volunteering in general. Save the Children is indeed a new experience yet it’s really thrilling and fun. It helps me be the best version of myself and not just that: Making a change isn’t simple, it’s an actual journey we take individually and each decision we take to help others gets us closer to our goal. Volunteering isn’t about you or me in particular but more about us as a community mostly because us people gotta stick together and help eachother when we’re in need.
So as a conclusion, I gotta admit this was a great experience and I can’t wait to do my first presentation!
I’ll see you next week with another article!