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Oasis Learning Village: Closing and Opening of learning cycle

30 October 2019
The exiting journey with OASIS Learning Village Erasmus + Project is coming to an end or to new cycle of Learning. After 18 months starting with prepartion with european partners and prepartion of participants, prepartion and building realionship with the community in Bad Gandersheim – to the training and action-learning journey based on the Oasis Game – closing with a follow up with particpant to deepen learnings, reflection and building a ongoing learning community and supporting the local community in the next steps of realzing dreams – a learning cycle is closing and is coming to new opening to put digested experience, reflections and learnings into new plans and actions. Through out the process have been many AHA-moments, moments of learning by doing, learning by try and error, learning by stepping out of the comfortzone, learning by courage to step into unknown and deep reflections which give new insides and perspectives. Some of the reflections and learnings that had been made during the Oasis Learning Village Training and the follow up process in the context of youth work and working in community around the themes of social entrepreneurial initatives in communities, integration of people with a refugee background and rural revitalisation I want to echo, share and summarize here : working with people with refuggee background -“Generally, i see in the Oasis game a strong potential of working on the diversity, especially with refugees. It create spaces where people can show them talents to peoples that they don’t know, it’s a very challenging step, but offer a possibility to appreciate diversity and to celebrate unicity of peoples. Dreaming together, let the people feel that everybody have a feeling of common good, also if we desire things differents, and at the same time make come out a sort of natural human hability: we enjoy and we feel good supporting common dreams, this make us stand up and get out of our prejudices and feel near others”. “In the action, working together, help to enhance the differences, to appreciate diversity as a richness. Change our point of view on people that we don’t know and with whom we never imagined doing something together; especially with refugees, with distance it can happen that we start to see them as objectives or problem and not more as peoples who have dreams and needs”. “And another strenght of the Oasis Game is that everybody can find his places in the process, especially in the action, everybody can contribute as he/she wants, even just by lending a tool, and this help people to feel safe and in the same time part of something big. This, for me, support diversity and integration, because create bonds of trust and gratitude.” “Attitude to be open to learn from the other is a key” “Creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere which offers a new experience, also there are perhaps tensions and prejudices is very important” “To experience in dialogues how gratefull people with a refugee background are for the help and support that they received in the town was deep touching for me and showed me a new perspective – the need to thanks and give back for the received help – also in order to step out of the role of need for help. I not consider this side before. The open invitation to dream together, co-create and work together of the oasis game I think can create a space to work on this process. People can bring all kinds of Talents and can help each other. ” -It´s important by thinking over inclusion and diversity to include rank and privilege. “The other side of the process Oasis Game, especially working with refugees, for me, its that in this energy of enthusiasm, following the dreams, especially if facilitators and the most of the peoples involved are mens, whites and occidentals, there is a risk in not seeing, marginalise and not take care about the rank and priviledge issues, the pain and the difficulty that people that arrived here, with their history and their trauma, their fear and their hopes. We are not in the same place, and if we don’t take care about it, we may develop anger, feelings of exclusions and feeling of not being seen and hear. I think that if we want to support a community to became more awareness about human relationship in order to build safe spaces where people can have a deep opening, we have to include in the process moments and places that may contain and take care about these topics. That’s why Godeep Game was created from organizations that work with Oasis Game and Processwork, to support the Oasis Game and integrate the process. But i think that also in the Oasis Game it’s possible to open spaces for that.” “Power of celebration: But above all, it is the new encounters that have taken place that make this afternoon so special. Everyone is celebrating here together: young kids, pupils, yougsters, retired seniors, teachers, refugees, life artists, social workers, residens form different groups. The evening ends with guitar music and a rich buffet.” social entrepreneurial initatives in communities / social entrepreneurial skills “Oasis is offering a space to practice and experience shared leadership and shared action – what is not always easy but full of learnings.” ” To operate together. Connect. Play. Work together. Share joy. This is one of the essential experiences that the Oasis invites people to, to step into a space where we try that again. It might not always be easy, but generally a generative experience. We learn how to give and take. We learn that others are perhaps better at something and learn to let go. ” “Learning to belief in the collective dream: In my opinion one of the biggest learnings of such projects is that we have to learn to believe again. This is the single biggest thing that withholds us from creating the life that we want, the life we believe in, the life that awaits us. Individually and collectively. ” ” The second biggest learning we passed through was the need to learn to cooperate. The fact that this disbelief was slowly replaced by belief was through a strong experience of cooperation. How can a terrain of 80 X 15 meters be mowed, cleaned up, replanted, levelled, painted, constructed and beautified in only two days?” “It is possible in spite of limits as language, culture, age, money to move something togeher and even more with a suprising good physical result in very short time!” “The Oasis showed me: There are other ways of learning, other possibilities to get valueable experience and other possibilites to get in contact with each other as usal that open new unexpected possiblities.” “It is possible to create something practical togehter without month of planning and planning everything to the last detail.” “Oasis is offering a space to practice and experience shared leadership and shared action – what is not always easy but full of learnings.” “Truly listening to the voices (dreams, suggestions, … ) of people that are otherwise not heard and realising how valuable it is to listen to these voices.” “The capacity of doing. it was not always easy to go for action, there was a lot of talking. But once we started acting, the miracle of collaboration came to happen ” “It was so strong for me to realize again that when people do things together, feed collective dreams, develop an atmosphere of ‘natural happiness’.” ” It can be so easy to make someone else feel comfortable enough to actually step out of his or her comfort zone and go for a real connection, to share something as precious and personal as a dream ” “The Oasis Learning Village had an impact on me. Besides the Oasis Game, we went through some pretty intense personal and group processes during the training. It has not always been easy to find the space for processing and self care. I also felt that, during these confrontations, I stepped into the learning zone, changing how I look at things and giving me new tools to use in my day to day life”.   Revitalisation of rural areas ” The playful and welcoming atmosphere, the short-term nature and the character of a challenge is especially inviting young people to participate in an oasis game. From the vibrancy and spontaneity of the weekend by working together I saw many surprised faces of young people from their small town. Which they described as sleepy at the beginning of the project. The experience showed what is possible with a social entrepreneurial attitude by just start doing and co-creating.” I think that for this kind of spaces it’s very powerful to play an Oasis Game, because people that live there are already a community, but most of the time they do not perceive themself as a community. A small village or town have possibility to create common space and meeting opportunities easier than a big cities. I have the feeling that peoples in the smalls villages needs more care of relationships, and proximity, that’s why this kind of process could be more durable and sustainable with the time. “What seemed impossible was done in a very short time and through that we collectively gained insights that are valuable for the multiple challenges we’re facing now. In and beyond villages.”