This is a reference for Leila Usmani

European Voluntary Service On Arrival Training

The training activity took place
in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Cardiff - UK
organised by Experiment in International Living UK on behalf of UK National Agencies British Council / Ecorys
various from 2014

Aims & objectives

EVS OAT is aimed at new long term volunteers who will be spending 3-12 months living and working on various projects in the UK. It is an introduction to what their experience may be like, with specific outcomes detailed below:

•Have had the chance to consider your desired learning outcomes for your period of EVS & skills you may be able to offer to your host project

•Understand the funding structure of EVS and who are the key players

•Have had the opportunity to discuss your rights and responsibilities as an EVS volunteer

•Have information about the UK, it’s history, cultures, food and climate, and also the chance to research a little about the specifics of the country (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) and the region where you are based

•Have presented information to the group about where you are from and learnt about the countries other volunteers come from

•Be a little more prepared for culture shock and have at least begun the process of cultural immersion.

•Have considered with other volunteers & trainers different methods of problem solving and conflict and crisis management

•Have information on health & safety in your voluntary project and an understanding of your EVS insurance, the National Health Service and how to get medical help and/or treatment

•You will have visited a local community in the UK (possibly where you have not been before)

•Have discussed any worries, concerns or questions you have about the experience you are undertaking

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

Participants are aged 17-32 and over the years I have been delivering I have trained people from:
Czech Republic
South Africa

Training methods used & main activities

1. Introductions/ Presentations
Name and action go round group; Individual Project Profiles speed dating (name, country, project and overall aims, your role - what you give and what you get from your project) - present to group. Group meals at local pub.

2. EVS Basics - Pub Type Quiz

3. Volunteering is… (agree/disagree activity)

4. Rights and Responsibilities STEP Forward with discussion. World cafe of key players and rights and responsibilities, group feedback

5. Culture – Cultural iceberg (sticky notes) / Stereotypes play - Home, Life, Social, Work, Other - culture shock rollercoaster - symptoms, draw their own transition curve, when they changed, what they felt, feed back.

6. Problem Solving – Brainstorm problems before break - collate, hand out one each and role play with possible solutions - Go back to symptoms of Culture Shock - could any of the problems been caused by CS? What else could we do to help deal with symptoms?

7. Health and Safety - group investigation and presentation: Cigna Insurance, Quick Overview
GP / Drop in/ Hospital Opticians / Dentist, Plugs / crossing road / personal safety - inform when away, Recycling / Heating / Fire

8. All about the UK – culture, history and politics. Draw map (one each, pass around), go around, fill with info. Follow by quick fact check presentation

9. What to visit – 2 teams - treasure hunt and investigation. Take the map you drew and ask people what they think of when they think of the 4 countries that make up the UK / GB in general. Ask them to think of something interesting that you might not know. Present back on return - can do as a Role play / song / game / comedy sketch as tour guides for visitors. Match pictures to a map - what do you know where will you go?

10. UK Brunch – typical UK products, time to taste
11. How to live cheap in the UK
Group brainstorm/investigation - Food, Clothes, Sim Cards, Internet, Travel (Bus, Train, Flights, Cars), Accommodation, Other bits - Freecycle, Gumtree, Groupon

12. Learning Opportunities
Group brainstorm - Making friends, social time, courses, classes, training

13. My learning journey and YouthPass
YouthPass Pizza on floor - write in different sections things they want to learn and what they have learnt - create their own for home wall. SMART Goals and STAR Examples - explain and write one up each in pairs for help.

14. Evaluation
Verbal with string - web of learning and written.

Outcomes of the activity

Evaluation has been consistently high throughout all of the EVS OAT I have delivered with a 90%+ success rate on all learning objectives and evaluation questions. I have had EVS volunteers get in touch with me afterwards to find out more information about things they can do / where they can go and they have always expressed a deep gratitude for the information and preparation they received.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Design the training (tools, methods, timetable) either alone or with co-trainer (depending on size of group) utilising input from past evaluations and feedback when applicable - collecting resources and setting up the room. Coordinating food and accommodation logistics on arrival and collecting all relevant paperwork, signatures, taking photos and videos and writing a final report for each training delivered to be sent back to the national agency.

I worked on this training for 4-5 days days as a full time trainer.

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