Elements of Connection

Elements of Connection is a professional development program for people who work with youngsters who were feeling lost.

This project is aiming to equip youth workers, educators and other working with youth the tools and practical experience they need to support young people through periods of uncertainty.

It consisted of online learning events, preparation meetings, in-person training courses, and local actions.

It happened in 2023 and the events were hosted in Olde Vechte Foundation, the Netherlands.

The program is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of European Commission and the Dutch National Agency of Erasmus+


  • Hosting a Professional Development Activity for 30 youth workers and educators
  • Building a community of people who work with youngsters.
  • Developing local community practices.


This project follows the EnvironMental method of learning. The hands-on approach empowers educators to learn by doing and in this way immediately bring new skills to their daily practices. The whole process is designed in cycles of practice and reflection that leads to an embodied learning experience.

Why Elements of Connection

We started this project because more and more young people around us were sharing that they go through a specific period, characterized mainly by feeling lost:

  • not having a sustainable financial situation
  • going through mentally ups and downs
    not knowing what they want to do in life
  • feeling aimless, lacking purpose

Some of the young people that we work with shared that it is not the lack of opportunities that make them feel this way, but rather the abundance of opportunities; What makes it hard for them, was the lack of tools to navigate this world with so many roads to happiness and their feelings towards it.

This is why we focused on developing a system that can holistically and meaningfully support young people in the transition between ‘feeling lost’ to creating a sustainable, happy life for themselves. What we brought into it from our experience, was also methods and tactics to also build resilience. Because, as educators, we have to first guide youth out of the darkness of uncertainty before building to bridge to a happier future.


Learning Resources

here’s what we created through this project:

The Coaching Book

will support you go from "BEING LOST" to SUCCESS. Created specially for youth workers and educators.

The Videos

which compliment the book and are there to support your process in the world of coaching

Coaching Cards

with 120 coaching questions that you can use them for reflection, exercises or in coaching conversations.

Project Diary

where we documented our journey together, and shared it with friends, colleagues and friends!

See for yourself

Participant's Insights

here’s what our participants had to say about Elements of Connection:

My take aways would be to start analysing more my inconvenient situations and to start finding what is hiding below.
Maria Ismini Galanopoulou
I realized that I am ready for the next level. I am taking with me me tools that I want to invest in and doing at this moment (NLP, constellations).
Maartje Brinkman
The Netherlands
Again, I discovered that I need to stop playing small and that I don't know, work less. I trust my method much more and enjoy the flow and playing with what comes up.
I observed how important it is to be true to oneself, how important it is to be able to listen both to oneself and to the other person. I will take with me new acquaintances, new ideas, inspiration.
lze Vēze-Balode

Our Partners

The organisations and people behind the project who we join forces with and grow together.


Olde Vechte Foundation


ALTER Network


Association Rasmah