Empathy in ACTion

3-phase Training Program for Youth Workers


September 2021- January 2022
Björnbacka, Sweden



Empathy in ACTion is a training course that aims to provide youth workers with an introduction to Social Theatre and Empathic Listening, for carrying out initiatives that can trigger a change in their local communities. Combining an Empathic Listening approach and Social Theatre techniques for applying it, this project focuses on promoting Social Change through compassion and empathy.

In Empathy in ACTion we will explore the specific methodologies of Social Theatre and Empathic Listening:

Social Theatre is an umbrella term that includes different types of theatre that are done with the specific aim to have an impact in the community. In Social Theatre, the aim is not only to have an artistic result but also to provide a process where different communities and groups can address topics, ideas, and debates that are meaningful for them. Therefore, Social Theatre is not necessarily done by professional actors, directors or playwrights, but by the communities themselves, providing a space for exchange, creativity, and reflection.

Empathic Listening is an approach to listening to oneself and others based on the principles of NVC (Nonviolent Communication), which is a process that combines consciousness and communication developed by Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg based on historical principles of nonviolence – the natural state of compassion when violence has subsided from the heart. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—it fosters dialogue, respect, attentiveness, and empathy, and engenders a mutual desire to contribute to each other’s wellbeing. The principles of NVC have been used worldwide to mediate disputes and conflicts at all levels including war-torn countries, prisons, schools, organisations, health care institutions and in personal relationships.

Including these techniques and approaches in our everyday work, we can together create theatre plays, performances and public interventions that will talk about our ideas, opinions, and perspectives in life. Through the empathy and presence that Empathic Listening brings to our life and the practical embodied techniques of Social Theatre, we can create, together, a safe space that enables young people to perceive themselves, others and the society they live in in a more compassionate way, questioning stereotypes and prejudices and contributing with their own inputs to the social change.

Practical information

Applications deadline: 25th July 2021
Selection results: Until 26th July 2021


Phase 1
Arrival day: 6th September 2021 (after 15.00 dinner is served at 18.30)
Start of the program: 7th September 2021 at 10.00 am
End of the program: 14th September 2021 at 20.00
Departure day: 15th September 2021  before 17:00

Phase 2
October-November-December 2021


Phase 3
Arrival day: 8 January 2022 after 15.00
Start of the program: 9 January 2022  at 10.00 am
End of the program: 12 January 2022  at 20.00
Departure day: 13 January 2022  before 17.00

This Training program is for you if:

  • You are a youth worker and/or educator working directly with young people at a Local Level, especially if your target group is considered a minority and/or is at social exclusion risk.
  • You are committed to take part in the 3 phases of the Training Program: You will be present in both the Training Course and the Capacity Building Meeting, and will implement the local action in your community between the two trainings.
  • You are motivated to fully experience the theatre and movement sessions yourself: You are ready to be present in all sessions of the Training. All that counts is your curiosity and enthusiasm, no need to have previous theatrical experience.
  • You are prepared to follow the carefully designed build-up of the program: Having a committed attitude, taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing during the training and not using alcohol or drugs during the training. 
  • You want to develop your facilitation skills on Social Theatre methodologies applied to your target group.
  • You are a legal resident of Sweden, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Italy, France, Netherlands, Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, 
  • You are able to work and communicate fluently in English.
  • You are over 18 years old.

Structure of the project


1st Phase

6-15 September 2021 (including travel days) – Björnbacka, Sweden 

Training Course

In an 8-days program participants will:

  • Experience the power of Social Theatre and Empathic Listening themselves.
  • Receive practical skills in designing, implementing and facilitating theatrical activities and embodied processes as tools for inclusion and empowerment. 
  • Adapt the methods to their target groups and create inclusive workshops for them, using the acquired techniques.
  • Create their action plans for the Local Action Phase


2nd Phase

October, November and December 2021 – each partner country simultaneously

Local Action Phase:  

During the 3 months action phase participants will:

  • Come back to their local organisations and put in action the gained knowledge and tools by implementing the inclusive workshops created during the 1st phase.
  • Practice and improve their facilitation skills in Social Theatre methodologies, getting feedback from their target groups. 


3rd Phase

8-13 January 2022 (including travel days) – Björnbacka, Sweden

Capacity Building Meeting:

During the 4-days meeting participants will:

  • Discover new Social Theatre techniques (Including Creative Imagination and Micro-Theatre).
  • Present their Local Phase experiences, using creative methods for sharing the project’s outcomes.
  • Have the chance to practice their facilitation skills, delivering workshops for their peers and improving them by getting feedback.
  • Create the Empathy in ACTion Manual, a detailed and powerful written resource with the workshops created and tested by the participants.
  • Develop future projects working on social inclusion and empowerment of their target groups, with the focus on using Social Theatre techniques.


Learning Outcomes

During the 1st phase, participants will:

  • Explore inner tools to connect empathically with themselves by understanding their own emotions and their shared human needs.
  • Learn how to compassionately connect with their target groups even under conflict situations.
  • Understand principles that will allow them to create spaces of acceptance and authenticity within their target groups.
  • Experience Body Awareness and Body Expression sessions that can be applied with their target groups.
  • Discover Voice Warm-Ups and Exercises that they can use for their own healthy use of the voice.
  • Understand how to use Community theatre tools with their target group.
  • Know how to create a Social Theatre Workshop for their target group.

During the 2nd phase, participants will:

  • Put in action all the acquired knowledge from the first phase.
  • Have the practical experience of designing, preparing and facilitating workshops based on Social Theatre and Empathic Listening.
  • Know the process of evaluating and gathering feedback after their own workshops. 

During the 3rd phase, participants will: 

  • Understand how to use the ‘’Creative Imagination’’ technique in Body Movement.
  • Know how to develop a ‘’Micro-Theatre’’ presentation in their communities.
  • Know how to write and share a written resource with the acquired techniques.
  • Have the chance to practice and improve their facilitation skills.
  • Know how to create a Social Theatre project with an Empathic Listening approach for triggering a change in their communities.


“This program is a great training to go on a wonderful journey through many layers of yourself. The trainers have an awesome program for you to let you experience body expression and social theater in a way that you cannot live without it ever again. You will appreciate your body, health and mind more then ever and will set you in a clear state of awareness to ACT. Moreover you will move and act for a bigger purpose and bring yourself and your community to the next level. You will experience magic for sure.”

– Jolien Bouwman, The Netherlands

“This program showed me that magic exists and the power of social theatre. It allowed me to fully trust a group of teenagers and give them the opportunity to explore. I realized that they are the ones who have the power and the ability to create whatever they want. The program in 3 words: Readiness, Empowerment and Creativity.”

– Melania Forte, Spain

“This program is a possibility to learn body expression and social theater tools that I can use during class meetings and parents meetings to solve individual problems, social problems, community problems  against discrimination, intolerance, xenophobia and racism. It was a possibility to become a more open minded person. The program in 3 words: Knowledge, Experience, Inclusion.”

– Dragana Grujovic, Croatia

“Theatre and body expression are very powerful tools to work on healthy social and self development of youth, and this program is an amazing opportunity to discover them, to try them and to spread them. Furthermore, having the support of the whole team, facilitators, participants, T-Groups, during the 3 phases is a motivation boost! The program in 3 words: Explore, Find, Create.”

Belén Fernández, Spain


This Training Course is based on an Experiential Learning approach, being highly participatory and interactive. We will have an immersive and intensive program full of experiences, movement and action!

Our Team’s approach is based on the values of compassion, empathy, authenticity, playfulness and generosity.

In Empathy in ACTion we co-create our learning experience together. Your individual learning process will take place in a safe space and in a team-oriented and group-supported environment, guided by our facilitators.

The non-formal education methods that we will use are Social Theatre Methodologies (Including Theatre of the Oppressed, Community Theatre, and Impro Theatre) and will explore Voice Techniques and Body Work (including Body Awareness and Body Expression)); Empathic Listening based on the principles and intention of Marshall Rosenberg’s “Nonviolent Communication” approach to compassionate living; together with individual and group reflection and conceptualization processes.


Workshop leader Isabella dos Santos

Gabriel Vivas Martínez

Read more about Gabriel

Gabriel is an actor, trainer, and researcher. He holds a Dramatic Art Degree, an MA in Artistic, Literature and Cultural Studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid and a MA in Applied Theatre, Drama for the Community and Drama Education from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama – University of London. He has wide experience facilitating Social Theatre projects with young people with ASD and cognitive disabilities, migrants, refugees and LGTBIQ+ young people in countries such as Italy, Romania, China, Malta, South Africa, Spain, and the UK. He works as a freelancer trainer of Youth Workers, using inclusive theatrical tools and body expression for Human Rights education across Europe. He is currently researching and writing his PhD project on Applied Theatre, Gender Performativity and Social Intervention at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama – University of London, and is working as an University lecturer in the same institution.

Read more …

Workshop leaders Csilla & Gabriel

Jordan Herreros

Read more about Jordan

Jordan is a facilitator with experience in designing and facilitating experiential learning programmes for youth and youth workers in Spain, Estonia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Greece, Liechtenstein, France and Sweden. His mission and passion is to create contexts where meaningful insights and profound connections can happen – spaces where we are welcome and accepted as we are. His work is based on a Person-Centered approach combined with the principles of NVC and embodied & mindfulness practices, and he trusts the body as the gate that leads us to connection – with ourselves and others.

Read more …

Financial Arrangements

This training program is co-funded by the European Union program Erasmus+. The grant covers your participation in the training, accommodation, food and materials. Travel costs are covered up to a maximum amount.

See the table below for details about the maximum reimbursement per participant per phase for each country.


CountryMax reimbursement
Sweden 180€
Germany 275€
Italy 360€
France 275€
Netherlands 275€









In order to cover the expenses of the project, participants are asked to contribute with a Participant’s Contribution of 100€ to be paid in cash during the registration at the beginning of the Retreat.

(We don’t want money to be an issue stopping anyone from learning, so if you can’t honestly afford to contribute with 100€ contact us and we are open to discuss alternative possibilities).

In case you are selected to participate in Compassion in Empathy in Action, you will receive the detailed conditions of the reimbursement of your travel costs in the Confirmation Email.

Apply now to join Empathy in ACTion

Fill in the application form latest by 19th July 2021 at 11 pm CEST time.

Before applying take into account that you need to work with a local group of young people for the Local Action Phase of the program. In case you are currently not working directly on a daily basis with young people at a Local Level, you can contact your sending organisation and find a way cooperate with their target group during Local Action Phase.


Sweden Ängsbackaerasmus@angsbacka.se
SpainAsociación Dinámicadinamica.asociacion@gmail.com
Germany Jongliriumfelix@jonglirium.com
CroatiaDruštvo osoba s invaliditetomTamara.korenic@hotmail.com
GreeceRoes cooperativaroes.cooperativa@gmail.com
Italy VulcanicaMenteVulcanicamente.project@gmail.com
France Collectif Les Balladinscollectif.lesballadins@gmail.com
Netherlands Stichting CAAT Projectsa.m.n.s.bessa@gmail.com
EstoniaMTÜ Risti-Rästi ristirasti.estonia@gmail.com

Theatre – studio “Studentina”




HungaryPro Progressionegordos.katalin@pro-cult.com

Contact information

If you have any questions, you are very welcome to contact our project coordinators:

Melania Forte & Baldesca Moner at empathyinactionsweden@gmail.com

This training course has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program. If you would like to find out more about the program, please visit http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus_en