This is a reference for Nora Stefanova

Standard EVS On-Arrival Training

The training activity took place
in Albena Summer Resort, Bulgaria
organised by National Agency "Youth in Action" - Bulgaria
19 - 24 July 2013

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 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 own 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 19 participants - long-term EVS volunteers in different hosting organizations all around Bulgaria. Totally, 12 nationalities were invloved in the training:
- Spain - 4
- Nepal - 2
- Poland - 2
- Macedonia - 2
- Turkey - 2
- Latvia - 1
- Lituania - 1
- Estonia - 1
- United Kingdom - 1
- Cypros - 1
- Portugal - 1
- Germany - 1

Training methods used & main activities

Discussions, short lectures, group work, role-plays, brainstorming, energizing games, individual work, creative tasks, on-the-field task, etc. For example, there was another on-arrival group and a mid-term training in the same time, so there had to be organized some common activities in order to mix the groups and to provoke some exchange between them. The participants were in six different groups with representatives of the three training teams. Each group had to shoot a movie in a certain genre (action, comedy, horror, soap opera, documentary, science fiction) but with the same topic "Why EVS in Bulgaria?". After completing their tasks, all volunteers were invited for an Oscar Ceremony and presentation of the movies. All the three groups had the opportunity to work together, mis with other people, discuss on the topic why did they choose to make their EVS in Bulgaria and what are the advantages.

Outcomes of the activity

The goals of the training were completed, including the collaboration with the other on-arrival group and the creation of the feeling that they are not two separated groups but one group with separated sessions from time to time.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

- Creating a positive working 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;
- Provoking expectations management, negotiation skills and pro-active thinking among the participants.

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

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