Leadership, empowerment and facilitation for the future (LEAFFF)

It’s the first week of November, a Monday, and after rushing from one train to another, we finally arrived in Zaježová. The way to the Educational centre is just the beginning of a memorable experience that would define the entire LEAFFF training.

For a week, 26 people from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, and Ukraine, even from Belarus and Argentina, had the incredible opportunity of getting to know each other, as well as being there for each other with some games to support us, such as the “find your buddy”, a person with who you would do regular personal check-ins during the training. Bearing in mind that we were surrounded by the beautiful landscape of Slovakia’s countryside and hosted in the comfy Vzdelávacie centrum Zaježová. We were welcomed to discover the venue in a tour, in which its manager shared with the group insights about the functioning of such a centre and its history; we were delighted every day with delicious vegetarian and vegan meals, made with pure love by locals.

During the six training days, we gained new knowledge about leadership, empowerment and facilitation for our future. Incomparable trainers, like Steffi, Simone and Eponine, guided and supported us throughout the adventure. They complemented each other. We got input about the structure behind eco-villages, their system’s components (social, culture, economy and ecology), their networks (Global ecovillage network, Yes To Sustainability); information about facilitating and the role of a facilitator, in contrast to other roles, we received tools for sensing a group’s state and its dynamics (e.g. the four spaces of facilitation). Furthermore, we were presented with backgrounds on being a leader and leadership as a role, of privileges and social ranks (psychological, contextual rank…) and how to handle them properly (embracing and well using instead of denying and “wasting”) in favour of a better society.

All the activities we had the privilege to embark upon were remarkable, though, the one that personally impacted me the most was the one I had the honour to facilitate with Tina, my co-facilitator from Greece. In the LEAFFF’s training, we had the chance to apply the knowledge we received, which enriched the experience on a high level. 

I am extremely grateful. Thank you to ‘Yes to sustainability’ and your unique team.


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