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Meditation time

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Exercise to help EVS volunteers to reflect on their journey so far. This is exercise can be used during On-arrival training – mainly looking back or during Mid-term evaluation – more focussed on looking ahead.

Aims of the tool

Supporting the volunteers in reflecting on their EVS journey and becoming aware of important (often forgotten) aspects surrounding it.

· To connect fully with the EVS experience
· To create awareness of and to remember many aspects involved in their experience
· To discuss with and get support from other volunteers in the group
· To use the session as a basis for further reflection, learning and planning

Description of the tool

Step one:
Volunteers come in and get pillow
· Everyone makes him-/herself comfortable on the ground or on a chair, wherever they want to be for the next 10 to 15 minutes
· Everyone closes eyes
· Trainer talks them through their journey from the moment they heard of EVS up till now - Where were they? Who was with them? What steps did they take? Who helped them? How did family and friends react to them going away, what did you do on the last evening, how was it to arrive in the project? Who collected them in the airport? What is their new house like? Who lives there? Who do they meet in their project? What do they do when they do not feel well? Who do they go to for support? etc.

· Give participants time to think of their challenges past, now or foreseen in future.
· Where did/do they find support?
· What can you do to support yourself?
· Who can help you?

Slowly let the group come back to the room
· Wake up, go in small groups or in couples, share the journey (this can be long and intense)
· when finished sharing, choose a way to record the journey so far.They can use all paper and art materials and dairies.

Guiding questions can be used:
· What were your best moments and why?
· What were your worst moments and why?
· How did you act and how would you have liked to act?
· What surprised you and why?
· How can you increase the positive experiences?
· How can you learn from the negative experiences?
· What did you learn and through which situation did you learn it? How can you put this into practise?

To finalise the session:
· Feedback to group with one thing that surprised them

This exercise can bring up a lot of emotions and can go quite deep, be prepared for this.
This exercise is a basis for further work and it can be taken into many directions, depending on the group.


  • It's a wonderful psychological task. Indeed, this exercise remembers me my 1st tripto USA in 2010.Because I participated in the Global Connections and Exchange Program ( GCE by the USA.

    mohammed el-amine slimani , 10 November 2011 16:46:30

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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for

EVS Volunteers

and addresses

Personal Development

It is recommended for use in:

Action 2 (European Voluntary Service)

Materials needed:

Pillows (get from bedrooms), Cosy and warm room (preferably with curtains closed, set the atmosphere), calm music, diaries, pens, art materials (as many as you have available)


min. 90 minutes.

Behind the tool

The tool was created by

EVS On Arrival Training - many times

in the context of

Mieke Neven McMahon, Dermot O'Brien

The tool has been experimented in

EVS On Arrival Training

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Mieke Neven McMahon (on 5 November 2011)

and last modified

4 November 2011

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