The Youth Work & Trainers Bazaar is an initiative involving practitioners from the Non-Formal Education field that builds connections beyond Youth Work by exploring a range of related topics using Bazaar-style events to create enriching and rewarding experiences that fuels practitioner learning.

The purpose of ‘The Bazaar’ is to create settings in different locations that mimics and captures the atmosphere, colours, smells, noise, sensation, and environment of the archetypal and traditional Middle Eastern marketplace.

Visitors are never quite sure of what they will come away with, whilst traders are there to promote their wares.  Equally, both parties indulge in various behaviour including the browsing and surveying of their surroundings, buying and selling of products, presentation and promotion of ideas, bartering and the exchange of goods, mixing and matching items, sampling and tasting various cuisines, meeting and interacting with others, discussing and debating with friends, and the negotiating and finalising deals.

Like the Bazaar it opens and closes at set times, everyone is welcome, movement is constant, people come and go as they want, they get what they need but also might leave empty handed, they can set their own pace or move with purpose, they can change direction and vote with their feet, they can bring ideas with them or look forward to new discoveries, ultimately though, they will leave enriched, wiser, more knowledgeable, and more exposed to diversity and with a desire to return.

The Bazaar is independent, it is self-organised, and is owned by the practitioners that form part of its collective.  It does not attempt to replicate any particular policy agenda but aims to ‘Burst the Bubble’ of Non-Formal Education and expose the wider Youth Work Community (including Trainers), to ideas and knowledge across a range of other sectors, that might provide meaningful insights that are of benefit to the non-formal sector.

It is also designed to create space and openings for practitioners to bring ideas and offer up solutions to identified needs, for them to be critiqued and supported in equal measure, and where possible, help transform ideas into reality.

The Bazaar endeavours to be build upon the principle of self-organisation by also trying to self-finance events, and where possible utilise the collective knowledge, resources, networks, tools, finance and capacity of the collective in order to maximise the possibility of delivering events at low or zero costs. 

Bazaar is from the Pahlavi world baha-char which means ‘the place of prices.’  Rarely is in life is anything truly free, be that with currency or whether you barter with another human being to secure something of benefit to you, there is always a price of some kind, even if that’s expending energy to attend and event, and/or engage with others whilst you are there.  With this in mind, we wish to nurture this spirit, where everyone that commits to attend must also contribute something, whether that’s time, energy, resources, ideas, an offer of some kind, or perhaps even finance.