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Report on MIR meeting for adult education, local development

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  • minciusodas
    I share my report to Lithuania s Socrates Grundtvig agency on my travel to the meeting of the MIR Learning Partnership. http://www.dorfwiki.org/wiki.cgi?MIR
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 8, 2006
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      I share my report to Lithuania's Socrates Grundtvig agency on my
      travel to the meeting of the MIR Learning Partnership.
      http://www.dorfwiki.org/wiki.cgi?MIR Thank you to Franz Nahrada for
      this great opportunity, to Christophis Antoniou of Episkopi for his
      village's hospitality, to all our partners for new possibilities, and
      to our Socrates agency for its support. I am especially motivated to
      start work on our self-education program for traveling self-learners.
      I will be staying for one month at the university in Nablus,
      Palestine to create a course for nonviolent engagement. They also
      have video bridge facilities. We will also be getting such next year
      at our headquarters in Lithuania. Peace, Andrius Kulikauskas,

      1. Impact of the visit on the institutions / organisations, on the
      initiation / submission of new projects / applications and in
      particular the submission of (intention to submit) concrete new
      project applications under Grundtvig

      The MIR learning partnership members decided to invite Minciu Sodas as
      a partner in the second year of the learning partnership, 2007. With
      the approval of Lithuania's Socrates fund, Minciu Sodas will organize
      in July, 2008 a meeting of the partners with self-learners and their
      educators. The partners encouraged Minciu Sodas to ask Lithuania's
      Socrates Fund for support so that Andrius Kulikauskas might
      participate at the next meeting in Dublin, Ireland, March, 2007.

      2. Brief summary of the visit and the main results achieved

      In the first MIR partnership meeting the partners discussed the three
      year plan of activity and all of the information necessary for the
      application for the learning partnership for the second year. Episkopi
      mayor Christophis Antoniou showed us his village and the surroundings,
      with their plans to create an adult education cetner and with their
      new ideas for developing agriculture. Minciu Sodas participant Franz
      Nahrada of Austria taught us how to use ProWiki, an Internet interface
      for working together. We committed in each country to bring together a
      group of about 20 adult learners who are willing to help each other.
      Minciu Sodas agreed to create an educational program for self-learners
      founded on the visiting of independent thinkers and learning by their
      example, how to dream up and pursue one's own endeavors. The partners
      agreed to advise and at the July 2008 meeting in Lithuania help Minciu
      Sodas approach formal educational institutions as to how they might
      officially recognize the achievements of the self-learners.

      3. Identification and justification / explanation of any differences,
      compared with the original application, as regards:

      the aims of the visit

      The main purpose was to get to know the partners and to join the MIR
      learning partnership, and this was accomplished. It became apparent,
      that the ProWiki technology used by Minciu Sodas is sufficient for now
      for coordinating the partner's work and that further development of
      this technology is not necessary unless perhaps later, when we will
      help connect self-learners from various countries. The greatest
      contribution by Minciu Sodas will be to create a learning program for
      self-learners and with the help of our partners to find ways that
      formal educational institutions might recognize, certify and credit
      some of the self-learner's achievements. The partners did not find
      time at the meeting to create the evaluation questionnaires for
      partnership activity.

      the visit itself: duration and destination; identification and
      function / role of the participants (both in the home and in the host

      Everything took place according to plan. There were partners from
      Cyprus (Episkopi mayor Christophis Antoniou), Germany (Heinz Tischler
      and Herta Waechter from the adult education regional agency
      Volkshochschule Kronach), Austria (Franz Nahrada and Laurent
      Straskraba from GIVE, a laboratory for the future of villages),
      Ireland (Liz Waters and Avril Bailey from the community educational
      centre An Cosan) and Lithuania (Andrius Kulikauskas of Minciu Sodas, a
      laboratory for independent thinkers).

      4. Presentation / description of :

      the activities carried out (including needs analysis in the area of a
      prospective Learning Partnership)

      The partners agreed on general principles in their work to relate
      local education and local development. They also discussed with the
      coordinators (from Germany) the most important questions relevant for
      the MIR learning partnership's second year application. They agreed
      when and where the meetings will take place during the next three years.

      the results and outcomes achieved (including unexpected results,
      side-effects, etc.)

      At the request of Andrius Kulikauskas of Minciu Sodas, the partners
      expressed what they personally wanted to achieve through the
      partnership. The municipality of Episkopi wants their new adult
      education centre to be able to help farmers, hotel managers and others
      use the Internet to connect with others in the world having broader
      experience. The leaders of An Cosan wanted to make better use of the
      Internet for their website and at their centre. The leader of
      Volkshochschule Kronach is exploring, how to help their students find
      their inner motivation. GIVE researchers are investigating how to
      support the local educational insitutions of the future. The
      direktorius of Minciu Sodas wants to extend his laboratory with a
      network of traveling self-learners, especially in the villages, and to
      learn how to work together with educational institutions. He drew up
      the elements of such a system with input from GIVE leader and Minciu
      Sodas participant Franz Nahrada. All of the partners agreed to be
      subscribed to Minciu Sodas email working groups. New Minciu Sodas
      groups were created for activity in Greek and Turkish. The leaders of
      An Cosan invited Andrius Kulikauskas to attend the meeting in Dublin,
      Ireland in March, 2007 and offered to provide accomodation.

      future cooperation plans between the home and host organisations /
      institutions of the visit

      The hospitality of our hosts was most inviting, therefore two more
      meetings are scheduled to take place in Cyprus. We hope that the mayor
      will be reelected, but he did introduce us to the other candidate, so
      that in any event we expect continuity. We agreed to make a special
      effort to support the adult education Internet centre which they are
      building. Andrius Kulikauskas of Minciu Sodas signed up several
      residents of Episkopi for Minciu Sodas discussion in Greek, and also
      visited the Turkish occupied area and signed up several Turkish
      dissidents seeking reunification of the island. He extended his trip
      to Cyprus with travel through Izrael, Palestine and Turkey to look for
      Islamic independent thinkers and include them in Minciu Sodas
      activity. Such journeys to and through Cyprus are very fruitful and
      make it an excellent base.

      The impact of the visit on the home organisation / institution

      The MIR learning partnership meeting set in motion the Minciu Sodas
      dream to create an education program for self-learners, and emboldened
      Minciu Sodas to look for points of contact with institutions of higher
      education and to continue to pay attention to independent thinkers in
      Lithuania's villages. The travel onward to Israel has brought new
      participants to Minciu Sodas working groups fostering „loving God",
      „fighting peacefully", „living by truth" and „social agriculture".
      Andrius Kulikauskas has been invited to An-Najah National University
      in Nablus, Palestine for one month to create a course on nonviolent

      5. Administrative observations and general remarks on:

      funding (Grundtvig grant and other contributions, in terms of the
      amounts awarded and any administrative aspects)

      The amount for travel was sufficient and Lithuania's Socrates fund
      created wonderful good feeling through its flexibility and positive
      approach that this amount might be applied for a travel route that
      would multiply the value for Minciu Sodas, Lithuania, Europe and the
      world, quite possibly with a net savings for the Socrates fund.

      advice, support and assistance received (role of the NA, local /
      regional authorities, socio-economic partners, EU, etc.)

      The cost of accommodation was unexpectedly high, 93 euros per night,
      but the mayor of Episkopi wished that everyone stay together at the
      village's hotel, and thus generally agreed to lower the price for the
      Minciu Sodas participant and cover the difference. He also found
      sponsors for each evening's meals, thus eliminating these expenses. We
      learned how to receive guests with great hospitality.

      6. Recommendations / feedback on the practical implementation of the
      visit and covering aspects such as

      Difficulties encountered

      At first it was not clear for the Minciu Sodas representative what
      were the personal goals of each partner, especially, because he did
      not participate in creating the program. The partners made everything

      Initial effects

      Andrius Kulikauskas and Franz Nahrada discussed an outline for the
      Minciu Sodas self-learning program and Andrius has started writing it
      up. The leaders of An Cosan have signed up for the Minciu Sodas
      working group „learning from each other". At Minciu Sodas, attention
      has grown towards nomadic self-learners as they will be key to our
      learning program.

      Value of the grant relative to total cost

      Cyprus is a much more expensive country than Lithuania. The Cypriot
      pound is more expensive than the British pound.

      European added value

      It became apparent, that our organizations all arose from the grass
      roots but are different as to their age. Each has followed a path of
      achieving recognition from formal insitutions. The German activity
      started one hundred years ago, the Irish twenty five years ago, the
      Cypriot will start next year, the Austrian had a breakthrough this
      year, and the greater part of our own work is very much in the future.
      The older institutions seek fresh inspiration and the new ones seek
      experience, so that their learner's achievements could receive proper

      Administrative constraints related to the application, contract and
      final report procedures

      It was not entirely clear, at what time the air ticket may and should
      be purchased.
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