“Dealing with education means being willing to change, being a work in progress”.
The main goal of Agape’s educative model is to guarantee a lifelong, peer education, i.e. the acquisition and sharing of competences favoured by the asset of both practical and theoretical knowledge within the resources made available by our Centre. Saying that it is a lifelong education also implies the possibility to acquire the skills and sensitivity to plan and look ahead into the future, yet being able to retrieve knowledge and experiences from the past of the individuals and of Agape’s community.
First of all, it is important to know the nature of an Agape’s camp , which represents an experience of strongly communitarian life and deep interaction. Every camphas a subject, a style, some content, whilst the balance among the activities offered in it (social activities, interrelationships, games, plenary meetings, workgroups, workshops…) depends on the age of the participants.
Every year, Agape organises an EDUCATION CAMP opened to everybody. Particularly, all those who want to become part of a Staff Group for organising and managing a camp are strongly invited to participate. The education camp proposes a new subject every year, trying as hard as possible to answer the needs that arise also from the Staff Groups along the year and from the Staffissima event. The camp normally lasts 3 to 4 days and tries to involve other local actors that deal with education. The Staff Group that manages this camp is composed by members of Staff Groups and participants from other camps both for children and adults, and it includes the presence of the Campolavoro Group and the Resident Group. This Staff Group changes every year and it is responsible for the organisation of the formative moment (horizontality of competences, verticality of responsibilities). The idea is for each and every one to participate as an individual with their own competences – also the technical ones – in an organisational group whose participants come from all the other Staff Groups, so to guarantee the mechanism of peer-to-peer learning. It is not unusual for the Staff Group to avail itself of external speakers, who are called to intervene and share specific competences and experience.
Staff Groups attend to 3 organisational meetings along which they build the workgroup, discuss the subject, define the activities, debate on the rules to be adopted during the camp and work out the logistic details.
Beyond the organisational meetings autonomously organised and managed by each Staff Group, Agape requests every Staff Group to participate to the STAFFISSIMA event, an annual meeting held in Agape in which all the Staff Groups get together for an “ordinary” Staff meeting, which constitutes a precious occasion to share contents and instruments. Within the event, all the Groups gather for a plenary moment, managed by the Staff Council, meant for the interchange and sharing on the subjects that transversally interest all the groups.
The Staffissima is also the time in which the decisions about the Education Camp should normally be taken (choice of the subject, formation of the Staff Group, promotion and valorisation of the camp).
The STAFF COUNCIL is a group of people which offers supervision to all the Staff Groups in their critical moments, accompanying them along their way. Composed by people who are external to the dynamics of the Staff Groups, the Council offers – in a peer-to-peer mode – a point of view, ideas and exercises that can be useful to face possible difficulties.
The Staff Council is responsible for organising the plenary moment during the Staffissima and for proposing a list of names for the Staff Group of the Education camp, whilst the choice of the members for it is on all the Staff Groups. Yet not being part of it, the Council coordinates the beginning of the work of the Education Camp Staff Group, so offering an element of continuity when it is completely renewed. The Council is appointed by the General Committee and has to be constituted by people with acknowledged competence and experience, and who have taken part in one or more Staff Groups in the past, whether for children or adults camps.
The current educative model is the result of the work of a Workgroup on Education named by the General Committee in 2011. Composed by 6 members from various Agape’s Staff Groups, the Workgroup has revised the former educative model, proposed the current one and developed the Education and Training Map.