Rootstudio – EVS TRAININGS

On-Arrival Training: objectives, content and programme of planned activities

Sending organisation GAIA (Portugal) and hosting organisation Rootstudio (Mexico) work together on the conception and implementation of the On-Arrival Training, taking place by arrival of the 3 EVS volunteers. The training is participated by 3 volunteers + 1 EVS trainer + 1 cultural expert from Mexico. This expert on culture will be assigned by Rootstudio to be present during the training, with the objective of presenting volunteers with information on Mexico, its culture, history, social and political situation and different organisations working at regional and national level. We will further search for other young people doing EVS in Mexico and, when appliable, invite them to join the whole trainig or specific moments.

For the conception of this training, we consult and respect EVS Training and Evaluation Cycle – Guidelines and minimum quality standars (2011 document of Youth in Action Programme) + Youthpass in the EVS training cycle (2010 document of Salto Youth).

The objectives of the On-Arrival Training are:

  • To introduce the volunteers to the host country and local region/community: history, political and social situation, key aspects of the local culture, introduction to local dialect;
  • To promote the meeting of the volunteers with local culture and to experience traditions, so to deepen their knowledge on local culture and to make the training a pleasant experience;
  • To equip volunteers with communication skills, including aspects of intercultural learning, and to prepare them for conflict management;
  • To go over formal information on EVS, discuss its application on the field and clarify the role, rights and responsibilities of each partner + practical arrangements;
  • To discuss about the meaning of being a volunteer and to allow each volunteer to identify her/ his own position and goals as volunteer in Rootstudio;
  • To identify individual learning objectives, within Youthpass process of non-formal education;
  • When possible, to promote the gathering with other EVS volunteers, the sharing of personal experiences in EVS and the building of a network.

The programme includes formal information and discussion moments and leasure cultural activities – a timetable follows. The training will take place outside of Oaxaca and will last 8 days. On the first day the participants will meet and the programme will be presented and discussed, followed by a visit to a local site or community. On the second day a presentation on Mexico will take place, its culture, history and social and political current situation, followed by an introduction to the local dialect (Part I). Participants will then visit projects of Rootstudio’s partner organisations and cook diner with local people. The third day will begin with preparing a traditional breakfast. Then we will go over formal information on EVS and practical arrangements of this specific project, followed by a Diary Session (within Youthpass learning to learn dynamics) and My Story of Volunteering drawing methodology. On the fourth day participants will have an introduction to the local dialect (Part II) then head to a natural site. The next two days will be dedicated to cultural activities and walking trails + introduction to local dialect (Part III). On day 7 volunteers will reflect upon cultural diferences and will be introduced to Non-Violent Communication. In the afternoon, a reflection will take place on individual learning objectives for the EVS project, followed by a Mind Map session to reflect on their possible contributions to Rootstudio in the role of volunteers. The eighth day will be dedicated to preparing results to be presented to Rootstudio, evaluating the training and defining next steps.

Results from this training will be documented and included in the final report.

Mid-Term Evaluation: objectives, content and programme of planned activities

Mid-Term Evaluation lasts for 3,5 days and has the participation of the 3 volunteers plus one EVS trainer. It will occur at the middle of their project, approx. 5 months after the arrival of the volunteers in Mexico, in a venue outside of Oaxaca.

Objectives for Mid-Term Evaluation are:

  • To allow volunteers to make a personal evaluation on the EVS project and their specific Activity, to identify achieved working goals and expectations and to identify what could be better and how to make it better;
  • To reflect, evaluate and update learning objectives within Youthpass process and to categorize them inside Youthpass learning competences;
  • To allow the reflection on and transformation of conflicts, using Non Violent Communication methods;
  • To encourage the volunteers to reflect on how to apply this experience in personal projects when they return to their home country;
  • To create the opportunity for the volunteers to visit another place in Mexico, to have a pleasant encounter and relax and to make stronger their motivation to continue the EVS project.

This event will take place outside of their (already) regular environment, in order to allow some distance to the project and help them evaluating the situation. Before the mid-term meeting, mentor at the host organisation and sending organisation communicate with each other, in order to pre-evaluate what the needs of the volunteers are. An evaluation sheet is sent for volunteers to fill in previously. For example, if they’re experiencing difficulties in cultural integration, the expert will prepare instruments to help them understand and deal with cultural differences; if their need is to see how similar organisations are working and to have more working tools, the programme will be adapted accordingly.

The programme of the meeting follows. The programme includes moments of reflection and moments of leisure. The first day will be dedicated for the volunteers to present their activities at the hosting projects, to evaluate the development of their EVS project and to put in a time frame tasks and projects to be concluded until the end of their EVS project. The trainer should encourage them to give worth to the positive aspects of their experience and support them clarifying doubts and solving conflicts. On the second day the programme includes a cultural activity and an afternoon session on conflict transformation and Non Violent Communication. The third day starts with Youthpass dynamics, evaluating and updating learning objectives and categorizing them into Youthpass competences. The afternoon will be dedicated to preparing the results for volunteers to present to their host organisation Rootstudio. On the forth day, a discussion will occur regarding next steps for their EVS project and follow-up after their return to Portugal, followed by an evaluation of the Mid-Term Evaluation.

Results from this training will be documented and included in the final report.

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