This is a reference for Mihaela Amariei

Mid-Term Meeting (M.T.M.)

The training activity took place
in Predeal, Romania
organised by NA Bucharest

Aims & objectives

Mid-term evaluation (only for Services lasting more than 6 months) provides volunteers with an opportunity to evaluate their experience so far, as well as to meet other volunteers from different projects throughout the host country.

The training course had 5 major objectives:
1. Evaluate the EVS experience until the present;
2. Review of the personal objectives and expectation of everyone for the next period of the project;
3. Receiving tools to continue the learning process;
4. Evaluate the perspectives after the completition of the EVS project;
5. Exchanging personal experiences.

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

We had 21 participants coming from 13 countries (Italy, Serbia, Portugal, Spain, Uganda, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Denmark, Great Britain, Latvia, and France) that were doing their EVS stage in Romania in 6 different NGOs.

Training methods used & main activities

I am going to give examples from different sessions of the training course. I used only non-formal learning methods adapted according to the training course objectives. I have to mention that also the informal learning was present as method in the free time, the participants being very interested in knowing each other as better as they can.
An example of non-formal method from the session named “Crisis management”: I used an exercise called "My EVS world and how I deal with it". Each participant initially worked individually on a handout, printed on colored paper; after writing their name, they gave an example of a conflict situation encountered in his / her EVS stage so far; they had to identify the parties involved in conflict and what was the role of each person. Then each paper was crumpled and they had a "snowballs fight". After a few minutes each participant took a "snowball" (not his/hers) and worked individually in writing giving solutions to the situation described by the owner of the snowball; they had guidance questions: how did you fix / change the situation?, What concrete actions would you make considering each element of conflict situations?. After each conflict situation has been answered, participants identified the original holder of the "snowball" and they handed the solution. We continued with reflection group in which participants (only who wanted) shared: the conflict situation, the solution received from the other participant and answered the questions: have you already tried this solution? If not, what else have you tried?
The method was highly appreciated by the participants. Most participants exposed to the crisis situation in detail and discussions were held also on crisis situations commonly found among volunteers.
Other non-formal methods used were: challenge on completing in a given time frame, 12 tasks posted in the training room (for Youth Pass session and the 8 key competences); short movie session (on the learning from others and motivation session); role play (for the survival skills and the EVS stakeholders sessions); presenting and facilitating using graphics and texts on flipchart paper (on the Opportunities after EVS session); visual and creative method using lots of non-formal instruments for creating „Life River” or a „Life Plan” and also the “EVS Volunteer Mirror” (for the during and after EVS personal and professional development plan sessions).

Outcomes of the activity

Daily activities and methods used were chosen so as to pursue the above objectives, to direct the participants to reflect on their learning so far in EVS stage, to better understand how to organize learning, how to make their plans after EVS, how to perceive and manage existing or potential crisis situations that may arise.
Depending on the needs of participants, on how they responded to the proposed activities and methods used by the trainers, the sessions were adapted during the 3 days. For example, in the first day of the meeting, discussions and activities about conflict and crisis situations in EVS were extended due the high interest on the topic and the diversity of problems/situations in their EVS stage (both when they were in the large group reflection and when volunteers had discussed in small groups). The session continued also the next morning, passing, in the process, the relationship between volunteers and stakeholders with emphasis on the rights and obligations of each.

For evaluation we used observation, short non-formal evaluations after each day, but also a lot reflection in large and small groups due to the specific of the training course. Also at the end of the course we had an evaluation form were participants expressed their opinions regarding all aspects of the training: reaching objectives, utility and structure of content, materials, tasks, methods used, group dynamic, team work, communication, logistics, and trainer’s performance.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I was one of the trainers. My main role, together with my colleague, was to prepare, deliver and follow-up on the training course with the participants. I prepared each training sequence for each day, deciding according with the training course agenda and the learning objectives, on the various non-formal methods I will use for each training session. Also I discussed with my colleague the communication process among us which led to a very good networking between us and participants. In the communication process with my fellow colleague I used a strategy based on complementarities and balance regarding the course topics. During the course I also proposed new non-formal methods adapted according to the needs of the participants. After the course I kept in touch via e-mail with the participants by sending them contact lists of other EVS volunteers and also lots of useful electronic resources for their EVS stage and their personal development process. I wrote the final report of the course for the AN, and analyzed the evaluation forms from the participants.

I worked on this training for 3 days as a full time trainer.

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