Business planning along Christian values
2016 started with the realization of plans, projects and trainings initiated already in 2015. We turned towards new target groups, accordingly, we called business owners and young entrepreneurs to participate in a practice oriented course built in 2 consecutive moduls. This program aimed to train and mentor young adults living in rural regions and running enterprises in the field of services and agricultural production. The project started out from an unfavourable experience we had regarding local enterpreneurs: they lack several very basic entreprenorial skills, knowledge and competences, meanwhile the lack of self-confidence and trust is also a very common characteristics of them. This phenomenon justified the education and training program we initialized, and motivated us to work in respect of: broadening entreprenorial knowledge, helping entrepreneurial ideas to become reality, urging collaborations between entrepreneurs and building trust. The aim of this training was to debate and internalize the characteristics of viable business, to discuss about values entrepreneurs undertake, to develop professional skill and competences and building self confidence and trust. In practice, the training gave participants guidelines for strategical thinking along Christian values, mentoring in realizing or rethinking business plans, provoking entreprenorial ideas and thoughts. The case studies, debates, practical instructions and mentoring was completed by the international experiences of a well-known Hungarian trainer. 22 entrepreneurs took part at this training, the program was financed by the Hungarian Government’s Ministry or Human Rerources.

Training on horsekeeping
In previous years Pro Educatione initialized several education and training programs related to small scale agricultural activities for local farmers, rural women and youth. In 2016 we continued to work in this direction. Together with Caritas Rural Development we organized a very practicel training according to the needs and claims of farmers (a previous needs assesment was realized for this purpose). The „Horsekeeping” course was organized in Gheorghieni during spring. 22 participants came from villages to learn about horse keeping technologies, foraging and horseshoeing. The 2 days long training was held by local professionals, practice was realized on the educational model farm of Caritas Rural Development. We consider this program very successful especially because there is an explicit further need for it. It will become a constant education/training offer of Caritas Rural Development. The number of participants and interested people shows the demand for such programs that are close to farmers’ every day activity, knowledge needs and practical expectations.

Mentor training for career orientation
This program started in 2015, and we had the chance to continue it for a second round in 2016. Working together with the Hungarian Türr István Research and Training Institute we trained mentors for our network in the fields of career orientation and guidance for youth. The 3 month long training gave guidelines and professional materials for mentors to prepare for fieldwork, furthermore gave the opportunity to discuss with Hungarian experts and even between the group, in order to have and structure the best contents for youth career orientation and guidance. 30 mentors have been trained for this purpose, they achieved all together approximately 400 students and young jobseekers from the region. Indirect target groups of this project were students (and young people outside the education system) between age 14-18 with disadvantaged social backgrounds. Mostly rural youth took part in these programs. The mentors met 4-5 times with student groups and run consecutive training activities with them. According to mentors’ feedback the program was necessary and useful. It would be good to continue and build a long term human development strategy on it. It was good to see and know that there are trainers, educators, teachers and other adult groups who feel responsible for the education of youth and are willing to engage in youthwork or in accompanying them on their way towards adulthood. Mentors came from different professional backgrounds: psychologists, social workers, social pedagogues, special education teachers, youth trainers, HR managers took part in this program, creating a colourful community and bringing into this whole program their professional inputs. We can rely on this ruman resource of mentors later in other projects as well.

Kisokos-Nagyokos teachers and parents journal
This journal was first time out in 2015, while in 2016 we suceeded to edit another 3 issues. It is dedicated to parents, teachers and children. The journal gives opportunity for readers/target groups to know about school problems, learning difficulties, behavioral problems, or questions coming from the specificities of age groups, to find handrails or explanations for problems they face in relation with their children, childrens’ learning and other issues. The jurnal is new but neccesarry item on local and regional media market. Among authors there are psychologists, pedagogues, spiritual counselors, mental health professionals who raise and discuss everyday problems in a way that readers can get practical guides and applicalbe knowledge for managing crisis or change.
The edition of these issues is possible due to the financial support of Hungarian National Cultural Fund. 900 copies of each issue are generally out. We manage to sell the journals through network member organizations, local parishes, schools and volunteers.
The topics usually relate to the questions of mental health, to resources from that we „recharge”, how to disencumber ourselves, how to handle bullying, career-orientation and guidance. This journal is very wellcomed among teachers from rural and parents from rural regions. In the background of the journal there is a group of professionals who are there for any questions or discussions (offering a phone call service or face-to-face meeting possibilities), and readers (especially teachers) really like and use this opportunity. We thank for Association Áradat that they undertake the coordination of editorial tasks and satisfy the needs that come on behalf of schools, teachers, parents. Rural teachers often invite the authors of the journal to hold presentations, workshops or counselling activities in schools.

Saving the Earth – Cross border project
Pro Educatione took part in a cross-border cooperation project in the field of youth education in 2016. Our partner - the KIFE from Szeged, Hungary – organized a contest for that we recruited high school students who joined the 2 days long contest and change of experience. The topic of this contest was the protection of the Earth. This initiative was strongly related to the „Laudato Si” paper of pope Francis. In the first day of this program participants knew and learned the result of Paris Agreement Climate Action and the Laudato Si paper of the pope, they exchanged their good practices and formulated their recommendations regarding this issue. On the second day within world cafe forums they formulated very practical and small step based action plans for youth in regard of protection of the creation. 7 students and 2 teachers from the Segítő Mária High School took part at this event. Pro Educatione strengthened its relationship with KIFE and got the materials/users’ guide of the project.

Advent – On the way towards Christmas along the pedagogy of Franz Kett
At the end of year 2016 Pro Educatione organized activities for different target groups in that we used, presented and tried to teach the pedagogical methods of Fraz Kett. Franz Kett’s pedagogy is a special way of religious education, it uses symbols and pictures in order to lead people – youth and adults - to feel the presence of God. It is a reform pedagogical experiment, well known in German speaking area. It focuses on the existential questions of a person, and gives help in answering these questions through the light of Christian revelation. Two close colleagues of Franz Kett – Dr. P. Cyrill Havel and Dr. Eva Muronova - came to Romania in November 2016 and held a training for 53 religion teachers and church staff from the region. On this training we had participants on behalf of the Iasi Diocese, and from the Spiru Haret University (Brasov), both being engaged in spready this pedagogy towards romanian audiences/speaking areas in other dioceses from the country. The topic of this training was the Advent time, during activities participants learned to recreat the symbols of Advent and to interprete them. Floor pictures have been created with natural materials, while during creation participants got the chance to acknowledge and interpret their relations with God, people, and themselves. This program was supported by Pro Educatione, since we want to be a partner of spreading this pedagogy in Romania, together with the Posticum Association from Oradea, Oradean Catholic Diocese, Iasi Diocese and Spiru Haret University. In future, Pro Educatione intends to manage the teachers’ education in Kett pedagogy within the Alba Iulia Diocese.  

The life of Jesus - interactive program using the methods of Kett pedagogy
In december 2016 dr. Istvan Nemes held Kett training activities for families and youth in several parishes in Alba Iulia Diocese. One program organized by the Franciscans at Sumuleu-Ciuc was dedicated to families and laity. The life of Jesus was in center of the activity. Participants actively engaged in the program, some of them later became participant of the Kett teacher training as well. The other activity was held at the local parish of Carta, for young people preparing for confirmation. These activities showed that the Kett pedagogy is very good and effective in involving youth into action, into activites that relate to religion and faith. In 6 groups alltogether 100 young people took part at this pedagogical activity. For this program Pro Educatione got finance from the Hungarian Government’s Ministry of Human Resources.

SMART project – Skill Matching and Assistance Tool
It is an ERAMUS+ program, a Strategic Partnerships for youth, within Key Action “Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices”.
The SMART project with its aim to create an innovative multimedia skill matching and skill testing tool is a real chance for youth educators, youth workers and young learners to get a valuable, high quality assessment. In SMART the consortium partners are going to conceptualize, develop, implement, and evaluate an innovative web-based tool that matches the skill, trait, and interest profiles of young people with the requirements for jobs and apprenticeships. The SMART tool supports ICT-based teaching and learning as well as ICT-based assessment practices in the youth sector. The idea is to recognize non-formally acquired skills and competencies, and therefore will be useful particularly for young, disadvantaged people or youths in the transitional system that have to face different obstacles and who are looking for employment. SMART enables disadvantaged young people, who often lack formal qualifications, to show their real strengths and to present themselves in the most beneficial way to potential employers. Thus, the tool is a step ahead of the common approach which focuses on standard qualifications and formally acquired competencies alone which is, unfortunately, is most typical in classical tools and approaches. SMART, in contrast, aims to provide youth workers, career counselors, and other relevant parties all over Europe with a tool that helps them to improve their work , giving them access to an innovative approach that not only allows them to show their learners career opportunities but that matches their profiles with the profiles of vacant jobs from all over Europe. Furthermore, the method of assessing the informally acquired skills is based on theoretical but particularly practical oriented research. SMART will best help young people to find employment that matches their skills and interests easier, following a European approach. The matching mechanism is based on theoretical research, cutting edge approaches, and the expertise of employers themselves.
The partners will conduct interviews with employers, allowing us to not only set new quality standards in this field but also bring practice and theory together in a very efficient and sustainable way, particularly because the database can be extended easily without any further development. If used by counselors or youth workers in school on a local/ regional level, or by bigger organizations on a national/ European level, SMART will always be tailor-made. However, it is the innovative skill matching concept that will not only help young people to find orientation in the world of work and to find a job-description they might be suited best for, but it will help them to directly find employment and to become aware of themselves as they can analyze their profiles. The tool brings employers and young people together, based on the profile descriptions of the young people and the vacancies as well. The generic job skill model which will be developed focuses on the assessment of generic skills that are relevant for nearly every job and furthermore, the non-formal more generic skills of the learners will be assessed by using different tasks that are bespoke to the developed skill model. These tasks will be developed by the Universities as didactical experts, and they will be revised by the youth related partners, that are highly experienced when it comes to the needs of them. Thus, SMART will focus on the very personal profiles of the learners to match them with job descriptions and vacancies that are described the same way. This makes it possible to focus on the individual. Because the tool will be made available in the different partner languages, potential users the countries can benefit from the development, and this will allow young people to find employment in foreign countries also. Thus, the European perspective could not be fostered more.
Duration of the project: 01.04.2016 – 31.03.2018
Five project partners from four different countries Romania, Germany, United Kingdom (Scotland) and Cyprus are involved in the project consortium. The coordinator is Association Pro Educatione. Partners are: Paderborn University and Ingenious Knowledge from Germany, University of Dundee from the UK, and Youth for Exchange and Understanding from Cyprus.

The pilgrimage of trust – meeting between protestants and catholics
This program was a spiritual retreat for two target groups: 1. mixed marriage couples (where not both spouses came from the same religion) took part on couple days/evenings where thematic questions have been discussed related to faith, religion and living religious life in family, in community, in minority. This program was a novelty within spiritual type adult education offers in our network. 2. Members of the local catholic and protestant communities from Sindominic took part in a joint „spiritual attunement” activity at the beginning of Advent. The community house of Helping Sisters from Sindominic offered all the conditions to make advent whreats, sing the songs of advent time, create all kind of handcrafts that help people prepare for Christmas. The aim of this overall program was to deepen the relationships between catholics and protestant by the exchange of their everyday religious experiences.
This program was organized within the frame of the 500th anniversary of the reformation. Pro Educatione won a support from the Hungarian Government’s Ministry of Human Resources for this purpose.

Building professional relationships
FEECA general assembly in Wien: operative director Sándor F. Szakács took part at this meeting together with a network member organization’s delegate. They reported about our projects and programs, and cultivated relationships with FEECA members’ delegates.
Faludi Ferenc Academy - Amateur Film and Photo Contest. The presence of Pro Educatione was assured by two of our colleagues at this festival. They took part in the evaluation of amateur film entries and gave a Pro Educatione prize for one of the artist.
Annual network meetings: in 2016 we held 2 meetings for network member organizations. In February, the meeting focused on the elaboration of a joint adult education project, in that all network member organizations find their roles and tasks, and will be realized in collaboration with all members. The content of this initiative includes a „train the trainers” training for those, who demand such qualification, and a complex further education program for the employers of local parishes. In 2016 we searched to find financial sources for this purpose. The second network meeting in October scanned through the annual programs of all members, and discussed the challenges we all face in adult education. Within this meeting network member organizations made an estimation regarding the number of people they reach in total (all 15 adult education providers) in a year: this is 25.000 persons/adults.
Occasional, partial support of several diocesan events, namely:
The name of God is mercy – interactive exhibition, organized in 3 locations within the diocese
Annual conference of Association Via Mariae
Annual cantors’ training and spiritual retreat
The aquisition of a pianino for the cantor school

Association Pro Educatione succeeded - through the implication of international catholic funds - to support the implementation of network member organizations’ adult education and training programs. The following organizations and projects got financial support in 2016:


·         Caritas Rural Development: From the roots up to the greenery crown of a tree
·         Caritas Social Care: Confident parents for confident children – training series for parents
·         Association Kalot: Support for first semester adult education programs by Kalot
·         Caritas School: Palliative care – further education for nursing professionals working in home care
·         Association Háló: Non-formal and informal adult education among Háló volunteers
·         Association Áradat: The name of God is mercy – interactive exhibition
·         Diocesan Pastoral Committee: Let’s be the face of mercy – Jubilee of Mercy in Alba Iulia Diocese
·         Catholic Bible Society: Basic biblical training and methodological biblical training for youth and adults
·         Romanian Bibliodrama Association: „I believe! Help my unbelief!” Meetings in the crossfire of faith and doubts.
·         Kolping Families’ Organization: Religious life in family and community
·         Families Pastoral Centre of Alba Iulia Diocese: Wifes’ and mothers’ spiritual training weekend
·         Hungarian Scout Association of Romania: Widening the training methods and tools of youth trainers
·         Helping Sisiters’ Congregation: LIVE! – Life, spirituality, community
·         Szent Gellért Foundation: You can do it! – 4th training program for the independent life of disabled adults 
·         Diocesan Youth Pastoral: Whole Soul - youth leaders’ training

Looking back – summing up our professional experiences from 2016

In 2016 we succeded to move forward in working together with our network member organizations, and realized more sinergy in networking. We talked less about the network, but accomplished more joint activites and programs that show a better functioning and already the benefits of networking. We can say that the sinergy in diocesan adult education is more deep and practically grounded now.

The two network meetings run in a very good mood, were based on sharing professional experiences, people honestly got involved and took part in meaningful discussions. It was good to think and create together: we managed to write a common project in that all network member organizations found their roles and tasks.

It also gives us a good feeling that we could help each others’ work in severaal respects. There have been initiatives in that Pro Educatione only helped the birth of new but necessary practical training programs. Here the number of participants shows that training topics related to people’ everyday life and existential questions are welcomed. Furthermore, it meant a significant disencumber for the operative staff of Pro Educatione that Association Áradat undertake the editorial coordination of journal Kisokos-Nagyokos in 2016, and 3 new issues could came out.

The operative staff of Pro Educatione initialized training offers for new target groups. At the beginning of the year we run an entrepreneurial training dedicated to young entrepreneurs and adults who intend to establish their own business. During spring we managed to organize a mentor’s training, after that mentors realized to train and/or counsell youth in their career and further education plans. Mentors’ and youth feedbacks show the need for such programs in special for rural schools. At the end of the year we organized activities for religion teachers and other church staff showing and teaching the pedagogical methods of Franz Kett.

It was a challenge from several respects the SMART Erasmus+ project we joined this year. Pro Educatione is the coordinator of this international project, managing the cooperation between 5 organizations from 4 different countries. Together with coordination we do manage all the financial issues as well. Regarding its content the project brings novelties since it aims to create a web-based tool that evaluates informally acquired skills and competences, and matches the individual profiles with job offers present in the system. The overall aim of the project is to help low skilled and low educated people in getting more chances on labour market.

At the end of the year we succeded to start our new website, on that we try to collect and show the network member organizations’ adult educational offer. Year 2016 proved us that a better functioning and a productive future depends on alliances and well organized networking.

Association Institutio Pro Educationem Transilvaniensis
Network for Adult Education and Training
RO- 530203 Miercurea Ciuc
Str. Szék út 147.
Judeţul Harghita
Mobil: +40-722-388651
Institutio Pro Educationem Transilvaniensis (Pro Educatione) Egyesület
Tanulmányi és Felnőttképzési Hálózat
RO – 530203 Miercurea Ciuc, str. Szék nr. 147
Tel.: +40-266-372.126, Fax +40-266-372.145
Mobil: +40-722-388.651
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