The Pool of Trainers (PoT) is a valuable human resource and a capacity-building tool for our member organisations and partners, providing a high level of tailor-made support in many different areas. Their skills and expertise range from advocacy and youth policy, to non formal education and the rights-based approach. They also have expertise in many topical areas relevant to work of the Youth Forum and its members.
Check out the bios of our new 2023 PoT below 👇
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Xabi (he/him) began his journey in the local scout group at the age of 6. A few years of scouting and student representation sparked his activism. Over the past 12 years, he has been a dedicated advocate for non-formal education, youth rights, and equal opportunities for all young people. He has actively participated in Regional and National Youth Councils, undertaking various board responsibilities since 2016. Professionally, Xabi has worked as a facilitator since 2014, starting as a Scout and non-formal education/youth work trainer. Subsequently, he expanded his role, facilitating diverse international events and trainings. In addition to his professional endeavors, Xabi is currently studying social education. His educational background includes training as a kindergarten teacher and pursuing studies in youth work, reflecting his commitment to fostering positive development and empowerment in young individuals.
Nina Kapelj Lukman
Nina is a youth worker, trainer, mentor and facilitator with 15 years experience. In the last 8 years she has been most active in the fields of leadership/management, education, soft skills, project management, teamwork and communication. She has been active in several youth organisations on local and international levels such as National scout organization (ZTS), National Youth Council of Slovenia (MSS), International Youth Health Organization (YHO), No excuse Slovenia, etc. She is passionate about helping young people to see things differently and working with different and new methods. She was introduced to non-formal education and youth work some 15 years ago in scout organization and helped many individuals and organisations one step further on their way to reach their potential since. She is believing that one little step can move something in one person and make them better people. And with them making this world a better place. One small step can change our life.
Judit has been actively involved with non-formal education since 2012. As a peer educator to fellow student union activists and ESNers, she started delivering sessions in her university, as well as did practices in schools and NGOs during her Educational Science studies. She further expanded her horizons thanks to her involvement in the National Youth Council of Hungary between 2014-2017 and various European youth and youth work organisations. She has been a freelance trainer, facilitator and youth worker since 2016 working with a range of stakeholders, groups of participants, events and processes. She also worked in the Secretariat of the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU), the European Youth Forum and is currently the Secretary General of the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe).
Valeriu is a trainer from Moldova passioned about public policy, organizational development, strategic development, advocacy and citizen participation. Valeriu is a former president of the National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM), has been active in the EaP and Eastern Europe, and has more than 7 years of experience in trainings and facilitation.
Riikka is a Helsinki-based trainer and facilitator that works in the Nordic-Baltic region and beyond. She has been delivering training courses and facilitating on national and international levels since 2014, with extensive experience working with value-driven leadership, youth work, volunteer management, intercultural learning and global citizenship education. She brings a visual and creative outlook to her activities, with a passion for games and gamified activities, including simulations, escape rooms and thematic games, traditional and tech-based scavenger hunts. She also enjoys visual facilitation and loves to incorporate beautiful flipcharts into her activities. Riikka is a member of the EEE-YFU Pool of Trainers and a co-founder of The VALE. She holds a M.Soc.Sc. in Organisations and Governance. She's open to work on various types of projects, but residential trainings and creating new activities is where her heart is at.
Switching effortlessly between cheeky energy and calm focus, Gaffar is a trainer, facilitator and moderator with 10 years of experience working with European public and civil society organisations. As a communications specialist, he has delivered campaigns for the European Parliament, Erasmus Student Network, Asia-Europe Foundation and beyond. He combines this experience with his academic background in political communications to deliver tailored group experiences around the themes of interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, gender diversity and learning design, often incorporating storytelling, music, poetry and the outdoors into his training activities.
Nadica is an International Sport for Development Instructor and also a Project Manager at ENGSO Youth. She has been in the field of education, empowerment, and leadership in sports for more than 5 years now. She has vast experience when it comes to working on sustainability, inclusion, mental health and wellbeing, leadership, and gender equality in different structures. She has delivered many trainings, workshops, and courses on these topics, but also she has experience when it comes to organizing conferences, panel discussions, or big-scale events.
Pavel is a non-formal education and youth empowerment enthusiast. He has more than 7 years of experience in leading various facilitation, moderation and training activities in the fields of youth participation, active citizenship, youth work and volunteering. He is a member of the pool of trainers of the Czech National Agency, where he conducts trainings in ESC and Erasmus+ programmes both nationally and internationally. He regularly performs consultancy and facilitation services for youth NGOs and as an accredited debate judge he is skilled in soft-skills development activities. Besides that, he has long-term experiences with advocacy, EU Youth Dialogue and project management, all of which he currently uses as a project manager at CRDM after he ended his term as Czech UN Youth Delegate.
Maximize the impact of your youth organization with Raycho Raychev, a seasoned youth worker and trainer with a decade of experience from local to international level in the youth field. With a remarkable track record of over 3000 hours+ in facilitation and training, Raycho has touched the lives of more than 2500 young people from over 15 countries. His achievements as a trainer include the development of long-term education programs and the creation of an innovative interactive book-game centered on youth rights. His contributions to organizational development and capacity building have empowered numerous groups to reach their full potential. Embark on a transformative journey with Raycho Raychev, where youth empowerment, education, and advocacy come together to create lasting positive change.
Spyros is a passionate youth worker and young European, experienced with facilitation and non-formal education in civil society or institutional contexts. His expertise lies in the areas of external relations, policy-making & advocacy, funding and management. His thematic focus is around youth participation, diversity and inclusion. He was the President of AEGEE-Europe and he currently works as Secretary General of Rural Youth Europe. He also has extensive experience working with the UN and with European institutions, especially as Chair of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. As a young person who developed through NFE, volunteering and international mobility, he is dedicated in empowering other young people as well as a youth worker and educator.
As a dedicated scout and youth advocate, Clara is experienced with facilitation in civil society contexts and non-formal education. For some time now, she has been working as a freelance trainer and facilitator. Being a young black woman, she advocates for more diversity on stages, a culturally sensitive approach and inclusive language, as well as interactive, participatory events and trainings both face-to-face and online. Through her international relations studies and her work as a youth policy officer, she strives to help build bridges between young people and political decision-makers. In addition, as a former project coordinator, she is experienced in supporting strategy and team processes and is skilled in project management methods. Clara also has expert knowledge in the EU Youth Dialogue and can give consultancy and trainings on the EUYD.
Hannah Graham is Manager, Advocacy and Partnerships at the World Organization of the Scout Movement. She works to empower young people to learn through non-formal education and deliver advocacy campaigns and initiatives partnering with UN agencies and organisations. She has 10+ years experience in campaigning, policy, advocacy and engagement roles that work to empower young people and advocate for change within EU Institutions, Government and the UN. Formerly Global Youth Lead at The Food Foundation, working alongside premiership footballer Marcus Rashford for children’s free school meals in the UK, and Advocacy Manager at World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and Policy & Youth Engagement Manager at UK Youth. Her passion is the design and facilitation of training regarding advocacy, youth participation, equality, diversity and inclusion, developing advocacy and political strategies and facilitating meaningful dialogue spaces between decision-makers and young people. Hannah is also a committed green campaigner and climate activist.
Dragana Jovanovska is an experienced facilitator, trainer and educator working with youth and adults. Dragana is passionate about human rights education, youth participation, education (formal and non-formal), intercultural dialogue and organisational development. Besides her work as a trainer in the non-formal education field Dragana has worked in various international, national organisations, in the field of youth, intercultural dialogue and education. Moreover, Dragana was also a board member of the National Youth Council of North Macedonia, and a representative in multiple networks on European and global level. This experience provides her with the expertise for organisational development, fundraising and organisational strategic development. When not saving the world, Dragana loves to cuddle with animals (doggos – yes please ^_^), watch random series, or play board games with friends.
Jorge Sánchez Hernández
With 10 years of experience in non-formal education, Jorge has specialized in soft skills, project and event management, and climate change. He has worked as Global Programme Manager at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) leading educational projects around the SDGs and Climate Action for +24,000 girls and children. He's launched three startups around remote team building and online education and is a lifelong learner. Jorge is an enthusiastic, energetic, uplifting facilitator who will lighten up your event and empower your learners.
Sara Þöll Finnbogadóttir
Sara has been delivering trainings and facilitating on a local, national and international level since 2015, mainly working on capacity building activities with student unions and youth organisations. Sara is passionate about organisational development, advocacy, inclusion, human rights, democracy and political and electoral participation. She also enjoys graphic facilitation and likes to incorporate it into her activities.
Maryam Majidova is an international youth policy expert focusing on the topics of social inclusion, organizational development, youth participation, gender equality and sustainable development. Having an extensive career in youth work management as NGP leader and youth activist Maryam is currently running feminist organization in Azerbaijan and continuing her career as freelance trainer. She is engaged in the work of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe as a member of the Pool of Trainers and actively engaged in youth engagement projects of the European Union in the Eastern Neighborhood region. Maryam is actively involved as consultant and trainer within the United Nations system and UNDP, UNFPA, OHCHR. Maryam strongly believes in importance of diversity and intersectionality while designing methodologies and facilitating spaces as educator / trainer.