Hello! I am Alice and I am volunteer here in Fundació Catalunya Voluntària-FCV. I have now been volunteering here in FCV for 3 months and recently, from the 1st until the 7th of April, the FCV organized a European international seminar called ‘Volunteering for Peace’. In this seminar I got the great opportunity to act as the support person during the whole seminar which was held in Vilanova i la Geltrú, Catalonia, Spain.

This seminar was organized with the aim of  perceiving volunteering as a driving force to promote and build peace. During the seminar FCV and the partner NGOs from 9 different countries shared tools, ideas, practices and inspiration to support young volunteers to be part of initiatives with a positive social impact and to be more proactive against different types of discrimination, violence and hate speech, while also encouraging volunteers to carry out new activities, like awareness and advocacy campaigns, focused on building more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies. During the seminar we created inspiring spaces to reflect on these topics and the 5 key skills and attitudes that were the main competences focused on in this seminar were active listening; non-violent communication and ‘do not harm’; giving and receiving feedback; critical thinking and conflict management. My role during this seminar was to be part of the organizing team and my responsibility was to be the support person of the seminar which included in itself all different kinds of tasks; from the preparation of the seminar to supporting the realization of different activities by taking photos and taking notes about the different activities and the results of the different sessions carried out during the week and of course supporting and providing information to the seminar participants.

After this intensive but very fruitful and interesting week I would I say that I have learned a lot and not only in regards to the seminar topics but also on a personal level. Being part of an organizational team in a seminar with an international impact was truly a challenge but the experience and new knowledge I got during the event was very extensive and made me realize and analyze many things about myself and our society in general. I discovered the importance and great positive impact these kind of seminars have on our societies and also our personal lives. It was great to see and observe not only the participants but also the facilitators of this seminar and to learn from them. During the seminar we all had the chance to learn about each others experience and expertise in the field of volunteering and thanks to this, many new project ideas and partner relationships were seeded between the different participating organizations and I believe that this seminar was just a first step towards working together for more peaceful societies.

I would like to thank the FCV team for giving me the great opportunity to be part of the organization of this seminar and for giving me the chance to challenge myself and also to learn so many new things during this whole process. Furthermore, a big thank you to all the participants for making this week in Vilanova i la Geltrú the most enjoyable and productive as it could have ever been.

Alice – Current volunteer at the FCV