A Brief History of Recrear
RecrearMagnify team building
Everything started in 2007, when Recrear’s founder Gioel Gioacchino took part in an extraordinary voyage aboard the Scholar Ship, an oceanic university, together with 200 students from 35 countries. They trained on intercultural competencies while traveling around the world for a semester. This resulted in a laboratory of ideas that Gioel wanted to recreate for others.
Returning from the scholarship and following a workshop in Palestine, Gioel could not stop thinking about setting up her own collaborative youth platform. Together with Chris and Zari, they organized Recrear.beta (checkout our first website). Sixteen people from 10 different nationalities came together in Berlin in August 2010. The conference recreated the experience of the Scholar Ship and set the tone for an organization that is youth-driven, action-oriented and inclusive.
Easier said than done. Launching an international organization at the Beta conference was easier said than done. Recrear was founded with the vision that intercultural environments, like conferences, can foster creative and thoughtful ideas and discussions. However, once everyone had left Berlin, the international network of Recrear proved hard to sustain and manage remotely.
Action is what has allowed Recrear to thrive. Inspired by the Beta experience, Recrear now organizes an annual conference, RecrearMagnify. Here volunteer staff come together with new members for two weeks to develop the organization’s strategies and projects. So far the conference has been held in Berlin, Canada, Ecuador, New Orleans and Armenia.
Since its launching, Recrear has piloted projects in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Russia and Morocco. They were designed to raise the capacity of young people to pursue professional opportunities and run their own projects. However, we began to see that our participatory methods were better served to do something less obvious – research. Organizations often lack youth perspectives in their projects, we wanted to become the bridge.
Research became the new pulse of the organization. Action research to be specific. We use creative techniques to reach young people and then share their insight with organizations designing or reviewing youth programming. Our research projects have thus far taken us to Ecuador and more recently Cuba with the Caribbean Youth Envioenment Network and supported by a UN Habitat Youth Fund.
Recrear aims to reinvent the field of international development, by turning on its head the word `development`. To do it well requires a certain dose of reflection, which Recrear aims to bring to the youth it engages with through its conferences and research projects. We work in the field of action research and youth engagement, delivering projects that are energizing and fun. Recrear comes from the conviction that the way we do `development` needs more of a youth perspective. Luckily we know how to bring the best out of young people and then connect them to the organizations that could benefit from their insight.[/testimonial]