This is a reference for Panayiotis Theodorou

“VOLU.M.E” - Volunteer Management Enhanced

The training activity took place
in Weimar, Germany & Lysos, Cyprus
organised by EJWB - Stiftung Europäische Jugendbildungs- und Jugendbegegnungsstätte Weimar
23-30/03/18 & 07-13/07/18
Reference person

Markus Rebitschek

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Aims & objectives

This project named Volu.M.E. will deal with Volunteering, Youth participation, International Volunteer Management and Mentoring. “VOLU.M.E” Volunteer Management Enhanced will include 1 training course & 1 seminar focused on offering an experience in Volunteering management to persons in organization which already have at least ONE experience as international Hosting organisation.

The AIM is:
The training course + the seminar aim at developing competencies of youth workers & organisations in volunteer management and mentoring of EVS volunteers. The purpose is to enhance the quality of EVS projects as learning experiences in all levels - from the writing of a project right through the closing & evaluation.

Activity A1 - 8 DAY TRAINING COURSE in November 2017 in Weimar, Germany will aim at the exchange of expertise, investigating good practices, development of tools, development of documentation that will enhance the quality of EVS projects.

Tools developed will be implemented in a period of 3-4 months in existing EVS projects of the participant organisations. The training will also aim at creating a SUPPORT NETWORK amongst the partner organisations.

Activity A2 - 7 DAY SEMINAR in March 2018 in Cyprus, involving the same organisations (& at least one of the participants from A1 from each organisation), will deal with the feedback and reflection on implemented tools (products of the training) in real life situations of EVS projects. The seminar will focus on refining the tools for dissemination to other organisations involved in International EVS volunteering projects, firstly during the seminar in the last days, through a press conference run by pax.

Especially in regard to future Strategic EVS cooperation & the upcoming efforts to implement the „European Solidarity Corps” we consider the proposal as an important contribution for all parties involved in EVS

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

Twelve organisations and countries were involved in the project. Participants that were present in the Training also were participating in the Seminar, building up on their experience and promoting the work of the workgroups that was established in the time between meetings.
The background and needs of the participants we are looking for are comprised as follows - they will be persons who:

- are EVS coordinators or Mentors or Ex Volunteers;
- Ex Volunteers should be currently active in EVS project implementation, either as coordinators, mentors, task managers, tutors.
- are involved in EVS projects;
- are willing to be an active participant in the entire project duration;
- are interested in learning through Non-formal education;
- are willing to practice the attitude of “active lifelong learner” by being encouraged to actively recognise and look for chances to learn;
- are motivated to use the European and intercultural context as a learning dimension;
- are ready to cooperate on an international level and create a network of organizations for future cooperation, exchange of expertise and experience;
- believe in values such as: understanding between different cultures, social responsibility, sense of belonging to a community, youth active participation;
- believe in and promote the value of volunteerism and the added value brought by EVS as a learning experience for the volunteer
- are of age 18+;

The team of trainers were from Romania and Cyprus

Training methods used & main activities

The overall project was aiming in using a specific methodology based on the principles and practise of non-formal education as:
• Taking account participants needs, motivations and previous experiences
• Using active methods for group dynamics
• Working in mixed groups
• Learner centred
• Based on a personal responsibility for learning
• Supported by a strong group dimension and collective approach
• Enabling participants to apply and transfer what they learnt to their youth work practise
• Be open to regular feedback and evaluation

Outcomes of the activity

• We offered consistent time for the reflection process, a creative one, with multiple layers, offering time and space for participants to go deeper in their learning experience and express in detail what they acquired
• We gradually created a comfortable, safe, easy and enjoyable working atmosphere, intensively using the space available (indoors and ourdoors), the ideas and needs of the participants and the principles of non-formal and experiential learning, placing participants in the center of the entire process
• We placed the responsibility of facilitating the workgroups on the participants especially in between period of creating the tools and results.
• We were amazed to see the energy, dedication and depth of the preparation participants went through, so as to ensure a meaningful learning experience both for themselves.
• The cooperation and communication among the group was very intense and continued after the TC as well, using the facebook group created as well as personal, more direct contacts
• We feel the training course achieved its goals to a higher level and has had a very positive impact on the participants learning and also on a personal development aspect, after reviewing the evaluation and feedback that was given.
• The space offered was a crucial element for a proper learning process and we were fortunate to have a very diverse and beautiful working environment, which supported and enhanced the learning experience, aspect that was noted by all participants present
• We believe the format and structure of the TC, together with the methods applied and the mix of games and activities, as well as the general pedagogical approach and working principles have created a unique learning experience that can be multiplied and extended, in other settings as well, so as to benefit more organizations involved in the EVS implementation
• Participants appreciated the concrete level of discussions and debates, the sharing of very real experiences in everyday EVS management and learning from each other through this exchange, which is still more needed on the large-scale in the EVS movement.
• Volu.M.E as an ENHANCED training process for EVS issues is not for beginners. It is addressed to participants that have had experience and have faced or are facing EVS – Volunteer management – challenges. It has aimed in assisting and supporting participants with their specific needs in an experiential process also enhancing personal development within the topic. It achieved dealing with issues of a second and third level of depth concerning Volunteer management in EVS.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I acted as a co trainer with Corina Pintea (Romania) implementing fully the activity in Cyprus.
As trainers/facilitators we were responsible al for the coordination ensuring the quality of all aspects, both content, learning, facilitation and quality of outcomes.

I worked on this training for 11 days as a full time trainer.

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