by Xosé L. Garza (Director of Cies WorkCamp).
When one has spent almost all his life, twenty years already, working with and for the youth, he is willing to make an analysis of what really motivates to have chosen this path and not another: many of us can think that it was an exit through the side door, others that was an escape route or others that was a promising future. Well, none and all. The time of life teaches us to the succession of events leads to a goal and that time brings you closer to a goal. When I started in the free time sector I could not think what I would need to work so much in the education of young people, we knew that educational free time was there, but I had no idea how necessary is the education in values with, first the boys and girls and then teenagers. When you really see things you realize that you have to follow a road map with a very marked line in human values.
The young man when he comes to an activity as a Volunteer Camp thinks that he is really having a good time, which is true, but he does not expect the large amount of content and value that will be carried out for his home and that he will expand where you develop your daily life. When young people participate in a European program where several countries interrelate and cause synergy among adolescents from various backgrounds, they are also not problematic that there are many and other values that are going to be difficult there. Their parents don’t know it either, they think it is an ideal place, a learning activity among people of the same age, away from a patent reality: the reality of non-formality in the education of our youth society.
The academic is training, the everyday is education, but what is not training or education? Well, it is simply value. All the activities that young people today do not do in the academic field and in the family environment have to have a strong primer of value, to give meaning to their thoughts, their questions and to let them grow what they have to do whatever it costs and whoever likes it. The new educational methodologies have to go this way: the enhancement of young people’s free time through attractive activities in which the youth itself is responsible for programming, executing them, being involved, making decisions, controlling and specifically evaluate everything they do and be able to correct it if necessary even coming to propose inter-rationalization, why not?
The values of the future go through a participatory and committed youth where the environment has to be a basic priority in their training and where passivity cannot be in their backpacks. In a volunteer field such as Cies Camp, many values are learned but perhaps the most important are coexistence, passion for nature and youth awareness: our young people become vindictive with what they think is wrong and if it is against nature becomes even passionate advocates of a life that has little to do with what they have in their daily lives. To this in our volunteer field we have to add the saber to awaken the spirit of ideas. The value of the idea is one of our objectives, since we want young people to be a manager of ideas in the struggle for the environment that our future generations may have. Ideas, coexistence, the environment, … we are talking about terms that although they do appear in books cannot be taken into account until they are put into practice; We may have a lot of knowledge that if we do not really practice them, they cannot be objectively real. That is the key piece of non-formal education: the implementation of a world of ideas and values, so that young people today have support beyond academics and family. That is the function of the volunteer camps and that is the function of projects like Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs.
This has to be our way, that’s my route.