ARMOUR just ended its first year!

What can we account for in our first 12 months?

ARMOUR launched a series of interviews and focus groups in seven countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, and Austria) engaging over 130 teachers, researchers, social workers, health workers, law enforcement agents, mediators, consultants, jurists, home providers and subject matter experts in exploring their challenges, needs, required skills and recommendations to design effective prevention and intervention programs with minors and youth.

ARMOUR designed experimental labs, where special attention was placed on developing and testing individual capacity building and social skills of support, addressing: social competence (responsiveness to other, conceptual and intellectual flexibility, caring for others, good communication skills, sense of humour); problem solving (ability to apply abstract thinking, ability to engage in reflective thought, critical reasoning skills, ability to develop alternative solutions in frustrating situations); emotional competence and autonomy building (positive sense of independence, emerging feelings of efficacy, high self-esteem, impulse control, planning and goal setting, belief in the future); and mediation and negotiation (group problem solving and consensus, base groups, stop and think before reacting to bullying).

ARMOUR tested the labs with sociologists, psychologists, trainers, security experts and practitioners from civil society organizations, who were provided with a presentation of the guidelines, the methodology used, curricula details and a selected number of exercises. Simulations were employed with the aim to collect feedback and recommendations for improvement.

ARMOUR already initiated research activities related to the preparation of future training of trainers and the feedback loop needed to properly evaluate the project outcomes.

Now, the project partners are looking ahead to the official launching of the Experimental Labs in the ARMOUR Member States, the design of the training-of-trainers’ curricula incorporating the Experimental Labs’ feedback and the trainings’ facilitation.

Cheers to more shared successes in the new 2020!