“Illustrative Skills”

International Trainig Course
“Illustrative Skills”



Here are the personal impresions from the Bulgarian group (Anelia Pashova, Iva Dimitrova and Jelena Ostoich):

The whole October I went through travelling here and there. I came back home tired. However I had my sketchbook filled with new drawings and my soul inspired again!

Baile Tusnad turned out to be a magical place, not only because it was hidden between mountains and forests, but also because it was that time of the year when everything is colored in the warm shades of the autumn. It was my first time in Romania and I loved it! There was a nice welcome from the hosts of the event and on the next day the program started. Everything was scheduled, which is very important for such a short courses.

Everything that happened, no matter if it was a lecture or anything, was not just declared by the trainer. Everything was in the form of a game. We felt like older kids involved in something really intriguing. It was a learning process, without burdening us because we had fun! Yes, the course was named Illustrative skills, but what we mainly did was having fun.  They were all great people. It is true that for such a short time you cannot say that you know them, but you get to know at least some part of them, of their world, their country, their personal thoughts and ideas. That was priceless!

We had somebody responsible for the lunch and dinner who was always changing the nametags on the tables and as a result we were sitting with somebody new on every meal. We had the chance to communicate with different people, to hear different points of view and to share experience. On the same principle, even at sessions, suddenly we were exchanging places and standing next to new people. This method united us as a team.

Before sessions we started with the so-called energizers and ice-breaking games. Fun and motivating method before starting work. They were my favorite! The energizers literally break the ice between people and we started feeling more comfortable in the others company.

The things were happening gradually, without additional rush. On the fourth day we had a session when we discussed everything that happened so far – what we liked/didn’t like, some recommendations we can give. What is more, feedback from the participants is extremely important. The trainers were not just leading some kind of course, they were asking if we were satisfied with it or not.

We were learning new techniques and methods for graphical facilitation of ideas and projects. I was already familiar with that, since I am working as an illustrator , but for others it was totally new phenomenon. For me this was rather an incentive to realize what else I can add to my everyday work.

As our accommodation was situated in the Mounties, we couldn`t miss the opportunity to have a hike to the nearest lake St. Anna.

Being in Transylvania means we simply had to visit at least one of the castles in the area. So the organizers made it possible, by adapting the  program so that we had this extra day to make a trip either to Bran – the Dracula`s castle or to  Peleș Castle in Sinaia.

During the project I had a chance to earn some new things about myself. Once gain I saw that there is nothing impossible, you just need to find your way to achieve them. In the work process I realized how sometimes the short deadlines for completing a certain task, can inspire you to be more creative and to find new ways of doing thing easier. I learned that too much thinking about how to go about something can make the pointless and that it is more important to do and be active!
I also experienced something really important – when you have fun, you learn things easier and effortless. Work needs to bring you pleasure!
Surrounded by so many people, I saw clearly my own weaknesses, which I hope I have already started to overcome.

At the end of the training course, we were sent to the nearest town Miercurea Ciuc to present to the young people there what Erasmus + program was about, also to tell them something about who we were and what we were doing in Romania. Of course using our newly learned skills in graphic facilitation 🙂
My group decided at the end not just to show photos and videos, but a short illustrative video. Link here:
I met amazing people and made precious friendships! I am even  planning on visiting them  next year. It is very probable that we could even  work on  projects together with some of them.

As the saying goes: the world is a book and those who don`t travel red just only one page of it. I strongly believe in this! Every time I go back home form a trip, I feel my mind more wildly open and my soul more inspired!

I want to express my gratitude to the organizers and especially to Dan and Domca, who did their best so that we could feel good and get the most out of the project in Baile Tusnad!

Travel!  Erasmus + is covering your travel, accommodation ad food, which makes it much easier to travel and grow! I am warmly recommending to young people to join as often as possible those events and initiatives. It will contribute both to your personal and professional development!”


Project Summary:

There is a saying that “One picture is truly worth a 1000 words, pictures help to convey realms of data efficiently”. Our project´s main objectives were to develop for the participant’s practical knowledge, competences and abilities on how to apply visual facilitation techniques and methods in youth work activities.

We understood why people have different learning needs and why graphic facilitation is an accessible tool for everybody. We developed our visual vocabulary and we gave meaning and form to our ideas. We used mind mapping to talk, brainstorm, analyse, dialogue, reach conclusion, find solutions. Grab markers and go close to the flipchart. Techniques, tricks and tips were presented as well on how to use these tools in our work!

Secondly the aim was to increase the capacity of the partners to organize youth activities using visual facilitation methods and techniques and to increase the level of efficacy of the dissemination and exploitation of results strategy within youth activities and Erasmus+ through visual facilitation techniques and methods.

During 8 days we discovered the benefits of visual facilitation and experience storytelling and recording stories in the community.

Organizations involved:

  • „The Change is in You” Association – Bulgaria;
  • Ifjúsági Nomád Klub Nonprofit kft. – Hungary;
  • A4ACTION – Romania;
  • Outdoor Institute STAGEMAN – Slovakia;
  • Stowarzyszenie “Grupa Dzialania” – Poland;
  • Tarptautinis bendradarbiavimo centras – Lithania;
  • MTÜ Youth Europa Estonia – Estonia;
  • Genc Dusler Atolyesi Dernegi – Turkey;
  • Association for sustainable development SFERA – Macedonia;
  • Green Spirit – Greece.



The Training Courses took place in Băile Tuşnad a town in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania. It‘s a famous town known for its spas and mineral waters. Nearby is the famous crater lake Saint Anna the only of its kind in Romania.
Located in green surroundings between the Harghita and Bodoc mountains, very rich is natural resources it offers a unique beauty of the landscape full of forests, rivers and lakes. For those who love hiking, at least five, well-marked routes are leaving the resort through the forests to reach the most famous places in the surroundings: Ludmilla Kilátó (725 m), Vártetõ (1079 m), Sólyomkõ (824m), St. Anne’s Lake – a unique volcano lake and Nagy Piliske Peak.
The project was held at 3 stars hotel IRIS Panzió. Accommodation was arranged for 2 persons/room, grouped by gender. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were served at the same location every day. Each room has its own bathroom, modern furniture. There was a free Internet wireless connection available. There was also a very limited wireless internet in the public area, the speed was very slow in comparison to our normal internet in our country.
For more information about the hotel facilities and entertainment possibilities check at www.irispanzio.ro


Every day’s menu was typical local meals, prepared and served for us in our accommodation.

Financial support:

Project was supported by program of the European Union – ERASMUS+. Accommodation, meals, program and travel cost (based on distance) were covered from grant. There was no participation fee.

Travel cost reimbursement:

100% of the participants‘ travel costs were reimbursed within the valid budget sums calculated according to the official rules of Erasmus+ programme. If a sum exceeded the limit, the excess was paid by the participants themselves. The reimbursement limit was 180€ per participant from Bulgaria.

Important: In order to obtain reimbursement for the tickets, we needed to obey the following rules:
1) To present ALL THE TICKETS, including RETURN TICKETS, which we sent after realization of the project
2) To use PUBLIC TRANSPORT e.g. planes, trains, buses, trams or underground.
3) To depart from the country.
4) It was recommended to make scans of tickets before our arrival in case we lose them. The reimbursement was done only in euros.


The travel insurance was not mandatory but it was highly reccommended. It costed 1 BGN/day and covered all the common injuries during projects up to 5000 Euro. Hostin and sending organisations did not covered the insurance, it was individual, but the sending organisation, “The Change is in You” Assocition, supported us to obtain a proper insurance for the duration of the project. For more information about the insurance, contact them.

Every participant should have had valid European Health Card.


Every participant was individually entitled to receive a Youthpass Certificate, which confirms participation and validates the non-formal learning (NFL) experience of Training course project. Validating the learning experiences of participants is important in itself and the document can be of benefit in terms of the educational or employment future of the participant. Through Youthpass the European Commission ensures the Training course activity is recognized as a non-formal learning experience.
(*For more information on Youthpass you may click on this page to check it online)

Some videos from the project:

From the organizers: part 1 and part 2
From the participants: part 1part 2 and part 3

Some pictures from the project: