During the month of September, a training took place in the city of Gyumri, Armenia, in which Fundación Catalunya Voluntaria has been represented. Sergio and Verónica were the participants during the Training Course “From Knowing to Becoming” from 15 to 22 September, addressing the issue of European Volunteering and in particular the figure of the mentor.
Once we were selected to participate, we began the trip to Tbilisi, Georgia and others to Yerevan, Armenia, a region unknown for us, the Caucasus. Finally we met all the participants in the city of Gyumri, in the north of Armenia on the 15th. Then we were getting to know among ourselves a group of young people from all over Europe: Italy, Greece, Estonia, Czech, the Netherlands, Croatia, Moldova, Russia, Armenia and Georgia, that created a fantastic multicultural environment.
Once we started the training course, we had the opportunity to discover the city of Gyumri. It is a city with a lot of history, which prides to have been the capital of Armenia in the past, besides being at the moment the capital of the region of Shirak and the second most populated city of the country. Today, it is in the middle of a long process of reconstruction due to a powerful earthquake that destroyed around the 75% of the buildings some decades ago, among them some very emblematic ones. It is very curious to still be able to see the effects of the tragedy today and watch inspiring and hardworking people push to rebuild the city.
There in Gyumri we had the opportunity to see the offices of the organization that made this Training Course, Youth Initiative Center (YIC) possible. They told us about the projects they carry out, how they work and finally we had the opportunity to interview three mentors of the association Gyumri.
As for the content of the training, we find it very interesting. Firstly, we review all aspects of European Voluntary Service in the Erasmus+ program. We analyze the concept of learning and non-formal education and then we addressed the central theme of the course, the role of the mentor in a European voluntary project. We had the opportunity to practice among ourselves, to study different situations of crisis, to share good practices and ideas to carry out, but above all we created a wonderful mix of future ideas in relation to volunteer work.
Personally, we brought a lot of new knowledge, we reorganized concepts in the head and a number of great ideas that would be great to be able to carry out in the future.