This is a reference for Nora Stefanova

Short-term Group EVS On-Arrival Training

The training activity took place
in Varna, Bulgaria
organised by Format SFF Foundation
19 - 21 June 2012

Aims & objectives

- Getting the participants familiar with the basic cultural characteristics of Bulgarian people, introducing the dynamics of the socio-political system, underligning key elements of the Bulgarian political system, etc;
- Supporting the adaptation process in a foreign country through discussion of potential problems during the stay;
- Creating a positive atmopshere for building friendly relationships between the volunteers and giving them the opportunity for mutual support during their stay in a common EVS project in Bulgaria;
- Introducing and considering key elements of the intercultural learning process;
- Considering different behaviors according to the cultural identity;
- Creating a plan to achieve the objectives in the voluntary service;
- Clarifying technical details, explaining the rights and responsibilities of the volunteer and the host organization;
- getting familiar with proper behavior models in any conflict within the project
- Other techincal issues - visas, AXA Insurance, support of the National Agency.

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

There was a group of 25 participants - short-term EVS volunteers in Short-movie Festival project in Varna, Bulgaria. Totally, 7 nationalities were invloved in the training:
- Spain - 8 participants;
- Portugal - 5 participants;
- Jordan - 4 participants;
- Latvia - 2 participants;
- France - 2 participants;
- Russia - 2 participants;
- Estonia - 2 participants.

Training methods used & main activities

In the training were used discussions, short lectures, group work, simulations, role-plays, brainstorming, energizing games, case-studies, individual work, creative activities, on-the-field work, etc.
For example, in order to get familiar with the city of Varna and the activities of their short-movie project, volunteers were invloved in a role-play game. Each team received a task to complete - to make a movie in some of the following genres: horror, romantc or action. Each team had different lists of typical places in Varna, which had to appear in the their movies. All the members of each team had to participate in the movies.
At the end of the day, there was an official movies projection and an Oscar ceremony in order to close the activity in an attractive way.

Outcomes of the activity

The training was specific, since all the participants were volunteers in the same project and I knew in advance that it requires a special focus on the convergence between them and the extra emphasis on teamwork. Beside the development of constructive relations between group's participants and their positive feedback on the training, two weeks after its end I recieved a feedback from their hosting organization (the project coordinator) that they have started working and living better together as opposted to their relations before the training.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

- Creating a teambuilding environment and open communication atmoshpere;
- Provoking discussions on expectations and providing expectations & change management techniques to participants;
- Enhancing reflection moments and discussion between participants;
- Clarifying technical issues such as programmes rules, roles' rights and responsibilities, insurance, Youthpass, etc;
- Developing effective communication, conflict management and intercultural awareness skills amongst participants.

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

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