Ljubica Simonova attended the training for trainers “Better Together 2.0” held between 11 – 19 November in Veliki Gaj, Serbia, organized by Organization MAGNET from Serbia in cooperation with IJGD from Germany. The main aim of the training course was to empower work-camp leaders and youth workers involved in International Voluntary Service and international youth work to independently develop and implement educational programmes. Here is what Ljubica has to say about her experience:


The story about how I got myself into this training course is really short. 

I saw an open call for a training course and I took the chance. 

Luckily for me and unfortunately for all the youngsters from our country, I was the only one participant from here. I always feel sad that more young people don’t use these opportunities.

Anyhow, I arrived on 11th in Belgrade. From there, we had organised transport to Velika Gaj, one small village near the Romanian border. 

We arrived at Magnet House, gorgeous reconstructed building. 

It was clear for the very arrival that this would be a different kind of group. Mainly because almost half of the group already knew each other from previous projects. 

That means a lot of positive energy and a lot of inside jokes. 

The project was for trainers: what does it take to become a trainer.

The methods trainers use, the entire process of training as well as the importance of debriefing, evaluation and giving/receiving feedback. 

The first two days were pretty intense. Introduction, house rules, name games, energizers – all that jazz. 

On the second day, we used the method ‘Open Space’ to divide ourselves into 7 groups of 3 people. 

Each group needed to create a workshop on a topic they’ve chosen themselves. 

And the most important focus of it was – Social Inclusion. 

There were a lot of creative topics. Starting from the social inclusion of people with disabilities, to LGBTQ, to solving social issues through entrepreneurship. 

My idea was developing a workshop dedicated to ‘Low Access to Quality Sexual Education.’

At first, no one seemed interested in it. It’s a pretty sensitive topic and even though these projects are made for people to get out of their comfort zone, I knew that this idea might never see the light of day.  

But, I ended up working with Boti and Mattia, two wonderful guys, from Hungary and Italy and we did a great job together. 

On our free day, we went to Vrshac. We’ve visited one famous tower at around 400m high, with a gorgeous view of the city.