Erasmus+ KA1 Mobility - Build Advocate Mobilise

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AONTAS is leading an Erasmus+ KA1 Mobility project called Build Advocate Mobilise (BAM). Mobility projects provide organisations with international capacity building opportunities. They are an excellent way to embrace our European identity working in partnership with colleagues from across Europe while developing our strengths within the sector. In addition, as an advocacy organisation this supports AONTAS’ international collaborative work with representative bodies including the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), the European Basic Skills Network (EBSN), and engagement with the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE).

BAM is a 24-month project with 10 activities that will see the AONTAS staff team and board undertake courses and study visits, participate in conferences, and attend workshops focussed on different areas within adult learning. Mobility trips undertaken within the project to-date, include:

Ben Hendriksen, AONTAS Advocacy Lead

EAEA General Assembly, Copenhagen, June 2019

Undertaking workshops and attending presentations from educations experts including Lene Rachel Andersen, author of the ‘The Nordic Secret’ (2017) as part of the European Association for the Education of Adults annual conference event and General Assembly. This conference was hosted by the Danish Adult Education Association. Ben is a policy expert and he continued to build on his theoretical and practice-based learning in Copenhagen from specialists across the sector. During his trip Ben wrote a blog post sharing his learning during the trip and this was shared on social media and on the AONTAS blog:,-experiences,-and-history-to-create-a-stronger-europe


Tara Farrell, Deputy CEO Longford Women’s Link and AONTAS Chairperson

FutureLabAE Workshop, Finland, December 2019

This two-day event focused on the role of adult education in increasing social inclusion and active citizenship across Europe; ‘Adults and digitalisation of our society – How can we manage the challenges of digitalisation by using change oriented adult education?’ The event was co-hosted by The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation. The workshop focussed on the concept of change-oriented adult education, showcasing change oriented adult education practices and tools from across Europe.

This was particularly supportive of Tara’s role in Longford Women’s Link as it is an independent Community Education Centre which is a form  of change-orientated education. Tara learned and shared best practice with people from across the adult learning sector in Europe. In addition, Tara learned from the research  shared by Finish Professor Jyri Manninen. As Chairperson of AONTAS Tara is in the unique position to share her insights on a national scale and support AONTAS’ work representing and advocating on behalf of adult learning and community education.

You can read Tara’s blog post here:


Alan Hand, Adult Learner & AONTAS Board Member

EAEA General Assembly, Copenhagen in June 2019

Engaging in discussions on adult learning policy, best practice and innovative methodologies with practitioners from across the adult learning sector in Europe, Alan built his capacity for advocacy and leadership. The European Association for the Education of Adults conference event and Annual General Assembly provided opportunities for collaboration and networking. This was hosted by the Danish Adult Education Association. Alan attended the event with AONTAS Advocacy Lead Ben Hendriksen. Guest speakers included Katarina Popovic, ICAE, the future of global policies in adult learning and Alex Stevenson, Learning and Work Institute UK, Presenting findings of the Life Skills Project.

The EAEA is a European wide international advocacy group for adult learning. As an adult learning advocate and leader Alan travelled to Copenhagen to meet representatives from NGO’s, networks, European organisations and academics in an effort to build his understanding, gain up to-date information, and share his insights. He voluntarily helped to facilitate a workshop during the event and this provided him with experience on an international stage making impressions and forging new contacts.

Alan wrote a blog post sharing his learning during the trip  and this was shared on social media and on the AONTAS blog. You can find it here:


Alice McDonnell, Educator and AONTAS Board Member

Mental Health Course, Budapest November 2019

Adult education is a means to personal and social change founded in the potential of people” – Alice McDonnell (2019).

Handling Stress and Avoiding Burnout - This five-day intensive adult learning programme provided a professional development experience for Alice. Alice works in Transformative Recovery College, Mullingar providing supportive education programmes focussing on mental health.  Alice engaged in peer learning activities, discussion, and reflective exercises that have supported her as a professional and in her personal life. Alice has taken the learning and shared it with colleagues and learners helping to build resilience and positive mental health. DOREA provided short and medium-term intensive adult learning professional development programmes. For Alice, this allowed her to gain a capacity building opportunity in an area she’s interested in while meeting and collaborating with educators, counsellors and therapists from across the EU.

Alice also wrote a personal insightful blog post which has been shared on Twitter and Facebook and is available on the AONTAS blog: