The training took place in from Monday 27th until Saturday 1st of April and brought together 25 volunteers from the Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia autonomous regions.
The objectives of the gathering were to introduce the volunteers to the specificities of host country and the regions where they live and to prepare them morally and practically for the rest of their voluntary service and for a fruitful overall EVS experience.
The on-arrival training was overall a worthwhile experience in preparing the volunteers to adapt to potential cultural and personal challenges. The volunteers received some general guidance on conflict prevention and crisis management in their organisational contexts.
The volunteers had a chance to reflect upon and practice their communication and Spanish language skills, cultural awareness aspects and to evaluate their competencies (knowledge, attitudes and skills) that will enable them to have a successful voluntary service in their host organisations, shared living spaces and the community. The last day of the training was spent on planning their non-formal learning and volunteering tracks in the upcoming months and to develop their personal goals for their period of service.
The volunteers had a change to share their preliminary experiences and impressions from their time spent in their host organisations and had the change to clarify questions related to their projects with the trainers and with the other volunteers.
Overall, the training was a good opportunity for positioning within the EVS process, an orientation and calibration of intentions and learning needs of the volunteer with the realities of the host organisations and task in the activity agreements. Finally, the informal exchange among the volunteers allowed for a unique exchange of perspectives, impressions and experiences about the work of the sending and host organisations and about wider social, political and cultural aspects in these countries, which shaped this into an enriching experience.