Training in Serbia: MentOring Volunteer Exchanges

I was invited to participate in the LTV coordinator training “MentOring Volunteer Exchanges (MOVE)”, in Serbia which took place from the 5th until the 9th of November. I was very happy to take part in such an event because I found that there was a big chance to learn new ways to coordinate and work with volunteers that engage in long term services, I was also very proud of representing and being part of the "Swiss team".
During the training I had the chance to interact with other 26 persons from different SCI European branches, including the Preparation Team. For me it was a new opportunity to get to know people who share the same interest and views towards volunteer work, but that also have a different perspective towards it, due to their professional and personal background. This means always such a great opportunity to network building and to benefit from the experiences of other organizations.
During the five full intensive days, we worked with different topics that are relevant to the “management” and coordination of the long term volunteers. We discussed and reviewed subjects such as, among other things, what means to be a mentor or a coordinator, best practices, bad experiences, intercultural learning, practical procedures, mentoring handbook, and we also went into more specific topics such as the available LTV tools and databases. The sessions were organized by the Preparation Team in a very dynamic way, for instance, there were continuous energizers, and the discussions and their results were presented in a friendly way that allowed everybody to have a say and share their opinion. Also, the participants had the chance to enjoy an “International evening” where we were encouraged to share and present insights to our culture; that of course was one of the most beloved activities of the week.
I am personally very glad of my participation on the training, because it allowed me to be acquainted with new forms of working with volunteers, the different ways of how organizations deal with LTV projects and also, more importantly, how it is possible to create and host a LTV project. I am looking forward to putting my new acquired skills into practice in my future work and projects.

Flavia Contreras