YAMNFL – focus group no17 (United Societies of Balkans)

Focus Group

Project “YOUth Ambassadors of Non-Formal Learning”

Country: Greece

Organization: United Societies of Balkans

Facilitator: Vasilis Tsalos

Date and location: 04.06.2020 – online


List of questions for Focus Group


  1. Do you think for NFE is important age, gender, nationality?

NFE does not have any strict instructions that you must follow. About age, participants mentioned that the usual age limit is between 16-30 years old. Gender does not count at all. They mentioned that in mobility projects they usually attend to have equality between the two genders. Nationality does not matter, at all because all the people have the same opportunities.

  1. What does NFE mean to you? Can you define?

The facilitator motivated the youngsters to share some interesting facts from their experience with NFL. They mentioned the following:

– Meeting new people.

– Gain new experiences.

– Role and simulation activities.

– World café methodology.

– Address the needs of the society.

– Trainers and facilitators.

– Providing feedback and evaluation.

– Personal development.

– A way that you can try your abilities and discover your aspects.

  1. Have you ever been a participant in an NFE program? If yes – in which one?

Most of them have been participants in non formal activities, by participating in youth exchanges and training courses. Three of them have participated in European Solidarity Corps projects, in which they were doing activities based on non formal learning with children and teenagers and they had the role of the coordinator. Moreover, they mentioned how important is the volunteerism and how many rich experiences you can gain by being a volunteer.

  1. Do you know something about Youth Law / Strategy / Action Plan, as well as other documents related to youth?

They were not aware of any specific law or strategy regarding NFL. They mentioned that in order to participate in a training course you have to be up to 18 y.o.  They were informed about the age limits. When they heard the phrase “youth law”, their mind went to the Youth Pass certificate and the key competences that includes.

  1. Have you ever participated in the youth decision-making process? If yes, in which one?

The most of the participants answered no on this question, except of 2 that were members of the youth council in their municipality. Actually, there were not aware on how can contribute in the youth decision-making process and the facilitator explained to them how they can participate and the opportunities that are offered in this field.

  1. Do you think that more support from the Government is needed to improve the status of young people and in the NFE sphere? If yes, what are the benefits of this, and what are the disadvantages?

Of course, the Greek Government could put more effort on the development, as well as on the promotion of the non-formal learning philosophy. The participants said that many of their peers do not know at all what does non-formal learning mean and what opportunities offers. The Government should include the NFL methodology in the educational system in schools. Moreover, the Government should put in their priorities the support of NFL and to find effective ways of how can achieve this. One of the participants mentioned that the Government should give more funds to NFL projects and activities. It is an effective way to prepare the young people for the labor market, when they finish with their studies.

  1. Does NFE activities help you for your personal development. If yes, how? If not, why?

All the participants answered that NFE activities help, for sure,  to their personal development. They said also that NFE benefits personal development because you can gain the following:

– Entrepreneurial skills and competencies

– Communication in a foreign language

– Socializing

– Avoid racism attitudes and discrimination

– Teamwork and learning from each other

– Management of many and different situations (e.c. crisis management, conflicts, etc.)

  1. For you, why is it important to be involved in activities through non-formal education?

In this question, participants answered with some phrase expressions, such as “It’s life changing” or “it’s a new creative world that you can feel free”. What the facilitator understood is that their opinion or their general feeling regarding non-formal learning is totally connecting with their personal experiences. The most of them, during the questions of the focus groups, were thinking about their participation in an Erasmus+ project. Apart of that sharings, they pointed out some key words about the importance of NFL, such as:

– Creativity and imagination

– Improvement of digital skills

– Personal development

– Improvement of youth work skills

– It is a life-long learning process

– Professional and career development

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