Learn through Volunteering: What and How? – Impact

learn-through-volunteering (6)Saturday, May 16th, Moli de Mar, Vilanova i La Geltru- a lonely place with a wonderful view of a green garden, the light brown beach and the blue sea (one of the favorite places of the FCV).

Two trainers and two support persons waiting impatiently for the others. They’re coming one by one, 17 participants from 13 different countries. The Training Course “Learn through Volunteering: What and How?” was about to begin! And our objective was to promote educational volunteering, recognizing its value as a non-formal learning experience.

All the participants gaze at the landscape smiling, stunned by its beauty. Although everyone’s first thought was that this place was perfect for going on vacation and just enjoy the sun and the beach, they soon discovered that working here can be inspiring and fun as well.

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That scene, the group of my colleagues looking around, admiring the beautiful landscape and wondering what will happen next – it was so inspirational and I think it will stay with me forever!

We worked together for a week, sharing experiences and good practices. Mentors, volunteers and trainers had the opportunity to learn through various activities, to recognize and appreciate the learning programs offered to the volunteers by different organizations. In addition, we improved our knowledge about the new methodologies and management tools useful for helping young people to discover and develop specific interest or competence.

learn-through-volunteering (1)The participants were given a special time which was devoted to organizing workshops on their own, with the aim to provide contribution to the activities and the program. The main themes they dealt with were about conflict solving and breaking the stereotypes.

The entire program was colorful thanks to the interesting themes and our participants’ active inputs! Each one’s individual experience was different and special, and we even got the opportunity to discuss things all together.

Namely, there was a session where some of our colleagues decided to share their stories about their own volunteering experiences with the rest of us. One of the favorite activities of all the participants was the ’Thinking hats´ that made us use different thinking styles in different situations.

learn-through-volunteering (3)While having fun, we learned so much about the flexibility of approaches and how one issue can appear so different when observed from various angles. Speaking of fun, in one moment the participants were divided into groups with the task to make an Ad- campaign for volunteering.

This activity proved to be more than successful, because each of the imagined campaigns got its own interesting output.

A week of intense work was interrupted by the trip to Barcelona and to the Camp Nou! Well, not everyone was very excited about the Camp Nou, but for sure everyone enjoyed walking and discovering the city with our 2 favorite guides Lluc and Fran. At the end of the day, when our adventure was about to end and the participants were about to say good bye to Barcelona – even the sky above Barcelona seemed to have been sad: it started raining!

learn-through-volunteering (4)May 23rd came and ended… And after all the shared moments of work and fun (´´Surprise´´ and ´´Blah, blah´´ etc.) we all had to pack our luggage and leave. It was exactly the moment when we were all starting to get to know each other better – we had to go. But one thing made the whole thing easier for all of us: we promised to meet again!

This training course story finished in the best possible way for Fran…. after making his speech in English.


Marija Brkovic

P.S. One important thing that I’m sure all participants will remember from the training is that we ate the tastiest food ever! 😀

The course relied on the support of the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission… here you can see the table of the results in English and Spanish!!