This is a reference for Jonathan Robertson

Intercultural Learning through Voluntary Service

The training activity took place
in Glasgow, UK
organised by Xchange Scotland
09/06/2013 - 15/06/2013

Aims & objectives

This was 5-day residential non-formal workshop supported by the Grundtvig Programme. The aim of the workshop was to promote through active learning, volunteering and non-formal educational methods the benefits of active global citizenship and intercultural understanding.

The course was designed to explore what active citizenship meant for all the participants involved and reflect on the learning available through volunteering - and for the participants to take their inspiration and action plans back to their organisations in their home countries.

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

The workshop was for young adults who had not attended college or university. The nationalities were UK, Portugal, Estonia and France. There were 20 participants in total.

Training methods used & main activities

The focus when it came to methods was on creating a range of activities - many out and about in different places in the city - and minimise any sitting and listening to an absolute minimum. The programme of the workshop focused on two main sections:
1) The first section was linguistic and cultural preparation of the participants and shall involve one day of language preparation where the participants went out into Glasgow to practice their language with citizens, while getting to know the city. The next day participants were asked to prepare a presentation of what they like about the communities they are a part of and what they would like to change.

2) The following three days of the programme shall focus on these three topics: Volunteering, Active Citizenship and Next Steps. This involved:
- An interactive presentation on the history and origin of the concept of volunteering and an examination of its practical benefits for societies and individuals. This was followed up by a day of volunteering with a local organisation chosen by the participants - and reflection on their experiences
-Active European Citizenship – An non-formal session on the meaning of citizenship in it’s various forms and a group discussion of pros and cons of each model. Exploration of the ‘European’ model and what that means to each of us. This was linked to a trip to the Glasgow people's museum, The People's Palace.
-Strength through Diversity: Why intercultural understanding is important and what are it’s benefits. This was done through a range of non-formal games (mostly physical in nature) and debriefing sessions.
- Next Steps. The participants were given time in groups and individually to reflect on their experiences and what they had learned to devise some actions that they would take back home with them. These actions were shared in plenary.

Finally, in the evening time, we also had meals-out in different community settings and a Scottish Ceilidh night which showed traditional Scottish culture.

Outcomes of the activity

The outcomes of the activity were that participants had:
- A greater understanding of what active citizenship meant to different people and what it meant for them practically.
- Improved understanding of English and particularly communication in an international setting.
- Built their knowledge of the opportunities of volunteering that exist.
- Greater comprehension of the benefits of volunteering and higher motivation to participate.
- Greater confidence in their ability to access opportunities discussed during the course and ideas that the participants had come up with.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

My role was as leader of the training team. Together we devised the programme and divided the delivery between us. I also contributed to the reflection and the reporting of the workshop.

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

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