Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Partnership Building Seminar for EVS coordinators and mentors
Venue: Krakow, Poland
Dates: 17-25 January 2016
Participants: Jakub Miklín, Tereza Svobodová
Participating countries: Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Spain
Hosting organisation: Association Europe4Youth
In the middle of January 2016 us, two participants, from Czech Republic participated on the seminar called Sowing the seeds for EVS organised by NGO Europe4Youth. Project took place in Krakow, Poland on a very cosy venue. There were 20 participants from 9 different countries with the same aim – to get to know more practical information and extend their knowledge about European Voluntary Service. During the whole project were used methods of non formal education and as a main outcome was a “Manual for EVS”, full of practical information for mentors, coordinators and volunteers.
The target group were participants who are EVS coordinators, mentor or have some previous experience with EVS. During the whole week we heard lot of possible stories which may happen and how to solve them. First of all, we started with getting to know each other and teambuilding activity. We were divided into groups and tried to save an egg which fell from the roof at the end of this activity. We learned how to work in the group, how to actively listen, how to divide the roles in the group. We also set some rules for the group and shared our expectations and possible fears. The first evening was NGO fair where all participants introduced their sending NGO’s and had possibility to gain new contact and start networking.
Thanks to our experienced facilitators we came through all topics including EVS area. We discussed risks and challenges in EVS programme and focused on a crisis management. Some of the participants with bad experiences, as volunteers, mentors or coordinators, contributed with their experiences which led to better understanding of some issues. And because we did a lot of job, we also deserved some break. The first visit of Krakow was planned for the whole afternoon, we had a city game and played laser tag. The organizers took us for a dinner and provided for us “polish raviolli”, pirogy. What a great day it was!
During the session we also focused on the current topics regarding our community and how can contribute with at least a little help or change. While we heard different problems or issues we could think about our own project. I really liked the session focused about coaching and mentoring. Barbara, the facilitator of this session, presented several methods and ways how to act in different situations while mentoring and coaching. The project writing workshop took almost two days and we all came up with some ideas. In total there were 5 groups with 5 different EVS programmes. Some of them participants applied for the 2nd February deadline, so the outcomes of the project are really visible.
I am really glad I could be a participant of this seminar. The organisation was perfect from the very beginning since we’ve accommodated – we received pens, papers and folder with schedule and necessary information. I really appreciate personal approach of our facilitators and my big thanks go to them!