Haja Center (English&Japanese Blog)

‘Guidelines for youth activists who travel maze so-called project planning’

‘Guidelines for youth activists who travel maze so-called project planning’

Several questions that we have had when preparing for the workshop


written by Min-jung Son (Breath, Education Planning Team)

translated by Hayan Jeon

The workshop titled ‘Guidelines for Youth Activists Who Travel the Maze, project Planning’ was held in November 2012 for youth activists to make questions and checklists needed for planning projects in the field together. This article covers several questions asked while we prepared for the workshop to explain why we planned this workshop.

 With whom we will have this workshop?: Selecting targets

We reconfirmed situation of major players and got new information through interviews with working-level employees of facilities for teenagers in diverse age brackets. They shared their common difficulties. For example, “frequently, we cannot help following just an existing framework as we go through the motions due to too much mandatory work,” “in many cases, we need to ponder about alone, which is hard for us” and ‘we feel like being exhausted because of lack of a new perspective.’ Under the circumstances, the direction of training that we think is workshops, not just lectures, so that participants can become able to play a leading role in fields by bringing internal problems up and introspecting them and restructuring situation of fields based on contexts. The major participants were working-level persons who have planned projects autonomously at least more than several times for 2 ~ 5 years so that they could know a basic process of planning and analyze themselves and their surrounding environment.

What does ‘recognition of problems‘ mean in planning?

Generally, youth activists sometimes are urgently pushed into the situation where they need to start projects to meet changes of policies related to teenagers such as ‘five-day class a week’ and ‘promoting Saturday projects,’ rather than starting from their own recognition of problems. If this is the limit that we need to accept, why we do such projects and what kinds of changes we dream for project planning should be clarified. Therefore, we wanted to share how important activists’ recognition of problems is and how it can become the backbone to understand contexts. Given projects that concepts are clear, such projects are obviously prospecting because planners focus on core problems and clearly define them by introspecting social concepts and caring teenagers.

Why are the questions firstly about planners’ daily lives?

The precondition is that we need to start from our daily lives. Let’s be more frank, keenly look at the situation, and reveal from which specific awareness, concerns, and questions I start. It is okay to be small and minor. It is better to be frank and sensitive. It is important to see the situation by revealing ‘something live itself,’ not fancy ‘others’ words.’ Then, it might be clear where we need to take root and start, whom we can be with, and what to do, which can be found in planners’ daily lives.

Is planning for someone, or for everyone to do together?

The most common dilemma that activists face is how to do with participants who are not voluntary and independent. However, this question is from the point of view unilaterally considering participants recipients. Planners should discover their own current issues in their daily lives and do planning with their own recognition of pressing problems. In other words, planners are not the ones who just start first but should be the ones who suggest first how to resolve problems together by getting people who have similar concerns and pressing problems to them and understand the concerns and problems together. Participants should gather, contribute, and create together. Therefore, all activities of this workship are done by teams and team members’ activities are important. Three lecturers also become one of team members when they join teams to share their discoveries and questions from their field experience.

Is a complete ‘curriculum’ unchangeable? : Flexible leading

We made the following curriculums through the process of asking the above questions and answering them. Whenever a lecture finished, we reviewed it and discussed details of the next lecture. During this process, we adjusted details of each lecture depending on participants’ energy, speed to go through details, and necessity. It is not important to proceed with all curriculums but important for participants to reach their common goal together.

Also, for participants to approach curriculums pleasantly and lightly, they created improvisedly music and wrote lyrics together to look back on their daily lives and the presentation of each team’s outcomes was done in a comfortable environment under the title of network party.




Lecture 1

Opening & Starting from daily lives

∎O.T. / Making teams

∎Youth activists’ joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure in their daily lives created by music!

Lecture 2

Difficult planning, recognizing problems

“projects suddenly given to organizations! How to resolve such difficult situation?”

∎Planning projects – Diagnosing problems expected to occur when executing projects by asking questions

Lecture 3

Sympathizing with planning, solving problems

“In our fields, what can be criteria for planning projects?”

∎Making self-questionnaire & planning checklist needed in the fields

∎Setting criteria to check fields for planning and doing projects /deriving solution for problems

Lecture 4

Sharing & network party

“What we will learn and share”

∎Sharing self-questionnaire & planning checklist by teams

∎Sharing what we have learned from the curriculum and insight & network




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