This is a reference for Panayiotis Theodorou

Volu.M.Entry - Training series on Volunteer Management & Mentoring (Making Magic in the Kingdom of Volunteering)

The training activity took place
in Weimar
organised by EJBW
21-26 October 2024

Aims & objectives

We start from the belief, proven by more than 8 years of field experience, that offering opportunities for organizations to build capacity concerning Volunteer Management Skills is essential for a quality implementation of international volunteering projects (focused e.g. on the European Solidarity Corps Programme - ESC).

Based on this - 3 long-term partner organizations - EJBW, Weimar, Politistiko Ergastiri Ayion Omoloyioton, Lefkosia (Youth Accreditation holders), and Pro Vobis, Cluj-Napoca - hereby propose to you a sequence of 5 trainings, under the title: "Making Magic in the Kingdom of Volunteering".
The proposed trainings are developed as a result of our common experience since 2015, from the era of European Voluntary Service (EVS) up to European Solidarity Program (ESC) and aim to achieve common ground and understanding on volunteer management issues, mentoring skills, professional development regarding youth workers key competences - based on the ETS Competence Model for Youth Workers, creating a community of practice and peer support among the implementers of European Volunteering projects. A special focus will be given to the role of mentors and competences for mentors.

The aim is to improve the quality of ESC projects as learning experiences at all levels - from writing a project to its completion and evaluation.
The Main Aims of the 5 TC series are for participants to
-to improve competences in volunteer management
-to develop tools that can be applied in ongoing volunteer projects and thus improve quality or quality in learning processes
-to improve competences in mentoring and facilitating the learning process of volunteers; and
-to acquire knowledge for the future implementation of projects within ESC.

training activities under the title “Making Magic in the Kingdom of Volunteering”:
Volu.M.Entry: 20th - 26th of October 2023 in Weimar, GERMANY
 Target group of the event: representatives (coordinators, staff, mentors, support-persons) from organisations that have entered the ESC program recently, or newcomers in the field of volunteer management (either new or experienced organisation representatives )
Mentors Training (I): 20th - 27th of January 2024 in Lefkosia/Lysos, CYPRUS
 Target group of the event: newcomers in the field of mentoring & mentors to be
Volu.M.Experience: 16th -22nd of March 2024 in Cluj, ROMANIA
 Target group of the event: EX volunteers who are still involved or potentially involved in the field of youth work - we aim to gather the experience and perspectives of former volunteers as participants in volunteering projects and define issues, content, topics related to volunteer management, so that future projects may rely on lessons learned from practice, for improved quality implementation.
Mentors Training (II): 12th - 18th of April 2024 in Weimar, GERMANY (current event)
 Target group of the event: participants who have had at least some experience in mentoring volunteers (at least 3 volunteers mentored)
Volu.M.Enhanced: 25th of June - 1st of July 2024 in Lefkosia/Lysos, CYPRUS
 Target group of the event: representatives (coordinators, staff, mentors, support-persons ) from organisations that have experience in both EVS and ESC projects (at least 3 project implemented and finalised), for sharing a deeper introspection on the volunteer management process, challenges and good practices in European Volunteering projects

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

Target group of the event: representatives (coordinators, staff, mentors, support-persons) from organisations that have entered the ESC program recently, or newcomers in the field of volunteer management (either new or experienced organisation representatives )

Participating coutnries:
Cyprus, Germany, Romania, Finland, France,, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey Portugal, Iceland, Italy

Training methods used & main activities

Non-formal learning methodology was intensively used during the training, making use of both individual and group methods, facilitated by trainers and taking into consideration participants’ learning needs with a creative and participative approach (working with collage, role-plays, small groups, simulations, introspection, open space dynamics). Sessions were designed using experiential learning methods directly involving participants, their skills, previous experience, interests and potential for growth. There was a particular focus on the peronal development of the participants and documetnation of persona learning using reflection activities. Youthpass and the ETS key competence model for Youthoworkers was used as a tool. Trainers Corina Pintea and Panayiotis Theodorou.

Outcomes of the activity

The training aiming to introduce newcomers to ESC and international volunteering, focused the structure and process of steps that would succcefully implement an quality project. Case studies, tools, practicalities and networiking oprions were introduces, clairyfing burning questions and mostly empowering participants to be involved in projects promoting Interantional volunteering

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I was a full-time trainer anc co-designer of the concept (with my colleagues from Romania and Germany), involved both in the preparation of the trainings (topic, design of activities, flow, as well as organizational and administrative preparation) and the evaluation of the training and the entire project.

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

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