By Ilze Zirina, photo: Justine Bulina. June 20,2020

After the first meeting after the pandemia with the young people of Latvian team in Rauna, Latvia, June 10, 2020.

Let me share some thoughts about how pandemia effected the journey to find the key to connection in Latvian team. .

Even though some kids enjoyed distance learning, for the Key to Connection it failed. Quite many from the target group agreed to connect in a whatsapp group. They shared their photo with the text: I participate! But there were no further responsiveness from young people side any more. To our invitations to do something individually and send the photos/video nobody replied. I keep asking myself – what could we do to get their response?

Well, then as soon as we were allowed, we organized actual meeting with them. It was a day of hiking and balancing on ropes in frames of Creative Days of Youth Center. Which means our activity was open also for other kids – not only the target group. So, few people from the key to connection joined the activity. The description about the activity, called BALANCE, you can find among the materials of methodology. But again i asked myself – why they do not come back? It felt really good at the last time we met. It felt that we have come to the point were we are on the same page. It felt like a team. Even the boys who usually choose to keep silence, started to share their ideas and they turned out very smart and funny.  This time… well these boys came (that is important) but they chose always to say NO! Safe place, easy tasks but he participates only if he can be still and quiet. Asking myself – if we were too aggressive or familiar? I can answer – no. May be too high expectations? Probably. I forget that they have stories behind, difficult family situations which makes them stay still and quiet. Their priority is not the key to connection. And it makes me so sad. I truly believe that this project is supporting them. But they escape. Does it mean they came JUST because they could skip the regular classes at school? By the way, this is what they said at the reflection and we took it as at least important feed back.

So, my feeling now is very insecure. I love the group. The group is great! But how to gain their trust and curiosity? The colleagues of the project suggest more space and time for them – wider perspective towards development.

We keep the track. Step by step… please check out the details about the 4th activity of the porject in Latvia BALANCE.

the Key to Connection is implemeneted in the framework of Erasmus+: Youth in Action  programme – key action 2, Strategic Partnership for exchange experiences.