Training for Multipliers

The Training for Campleader Trainers, took place this month as the penultimate activity of the SCI poject Global Volunteer Action. The training was held in Athens, Greece from 11 to 17 April. 

Here we share reflections and reports from the participants:

"From 11 to 17 April a training of  Campleader Trainers was held in Athens, Greece which gathered  together 22 volunteers from Belgium, Bulgaria, Catalunya (Spain), Greece, Hong Kong (China), Hungary,  India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Poland and Sri Lanka. The training, part of the project Global Volunteer Action, was aimed at SCI volunteers and activists for the preparation of future coordinators of workcamps (campleaders) in various nations. The training was conducted by Malgorzata Tur and Natalia Jivkova, both professional trainers and part of SCI’s Pool of Trainers and Facilitators.

 
Training for Multipliers, Glovola Project, Athens, April 2016

The training can be divided into 3 parts:

 

- The theoretical part:

How the human mind learns, the models Kolb (cycle learning) and Tuckman (various types of group), the role of a trainer (qualities, abilities and weaknesses), the figure of the volunteer, dynamics and management of a group, the importance of communication (experiment Mehrabian), flexibility and listening.

 

- The practical part:

Many role games useful to better know themselves and each other, models of intervention within a group with varying degrees of difficulty.

 

- The comparison between volunteers and teamwork:

How the various branches of SCI work in their trainings for campleader, communication skills and preparation of training models (1,2,3 days of training and urgent replacement coordinator).

At the end of each day a reflection session enabled participants to evaluate the meaning of the things learnt that will serve us in the future as educators of volunteers. The group of participants was very close-knit and the diversity of volunteers (for age, experience and profession) allowed for creating new friendships. The afternoon tour of Athens i was not  to be missed, the beach the evening before the departure and the visit to a home for refugees (former public office) in the city center.

Personally, this is the first time I participated in a training lasting a week and the occasion was very useful to acquire new knowledge and confront one another; the training has given to everybody new tools and a new incentive to act with enthusiasm, so to give a significant contribution to the growth of the SCI in various countries."

Rosario Scollo, SCI Italy


Training for Multipliers, Glovola Project, Athens, April 2016

"Imagine: you spend one week in a group where everybody seems to be very different. After a couple of hours you understand that you share the same values, open-minded, a peaceful and joyful heart and acceptance of diversity and everything flows in its natural, easy way. This was our training course in Athens, Greece in April.
SCI is an inspiring organization for people  with these common values. Two outstanding, well-prepared trainers facilitated our program. Their enthusiasm  reflected on their continuously positive energy level, that could be felt during the whole event. Natalie and Goska are extremely committed to the mission of SCI  and built a close partnership to the participants.

 

As most of the participants were experienced in SCI workcamps, the trainers gave us space to unfold our creativity and to converge the experiences in a structured way. Every day we had energizers at the right moments (morning, after lunch, before a big session), group activities, individual tasks, and feedback sessions at the end of the day.  Sessions covered topics like group dynamics, Kolb learning cycle, conflict situations, leadership styles. The variety of methods were on as wide a range as the colours we used to perform them: colourful pencils, papers, balls.  We created an atmosphere together where everybody felt secure and could share their opinion freely.  From my own perspective the highlight of the week was the practice of presentation skills: we had very limited time to prepare a short presentation about the introduction part of a camp leader training and  perform it in a smaller group. I am happy that I was brought out of my comfort zone because it is always the best way to develop.

 

One important result of the training was putting together a plan of a camp leader training, including schedules, methods, energizers, activities and topics. More strategies were created based on the length of the training, that could be just a few hours for an urgent replacement or, ideally multiple days. In all, I am sure that the impact of this event is even bigger: the quality of trainings will improve , workcamp participants will be happier , and there will be an increased popularity of SCI. What more could we ask for?"

Kinga Katona, Útilapu Hálózat - SCI Hungary


Training for Multipliers, Glovola Project, Athens, April 2016

"This story is about the great experience of going on trainings with SCI.  I just completed one on the topic of Training for Camp Leader Trainers in Athens from 11th to 17th of April. We had our daily sessions at the sunny office of SCI Hellas and as trainers we had the amazing and professional Goska and Natalie from SCI’s Pool of Trainers and Facilitators. The group was from two continents and 20 participants came from Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, China. All well selected, involved in the cause of volunteering and with different backgrounds and experiences.

 

For the first moment, when I had an amazing welcome from my roommate, I felt that it was going to be a great experience. Already on the first evening, when most of us had arrived, it was easy to reach each other and we were sharing personal information and finding common topics to discuss that were enriched during the rest of the week. On the first official day of the training the icebreaking continued easily, with some difficulties on remembering all the names and who is from where, which is I think is the most normal situation. Then we realized that actually we are not on a training! We were heading on a cruise. A cruise that was supposed to send a bunch of people into the ocean of knowledge.

 

We visited the island of the training programs and the land of  training secrets. We played poker with cards, showing us the most important qualities of a trainer. A lot of visualization methods and on-line applications were used and a lot of experience was shared. Not only from our trainers, but also from within the group. There weren’t secrets kept, everyone volunteered to share stories, to give examples from their own practices. This somehow led us to the tornado of group dynamics and we were learning live, on the spot.  The dire straits of the challenging situations was another level to reach and pass successfully.

 

The result for me was gaining confidence and at the same time humility and respect to the reasons which may lead to such situations. Visiting the volcano of methods was a session with our own contributions and ideas. We had the chance to propose topics and share methods for exploring them:: gender stereotypes were discussed, emotions were shown through a game, stressful situations and approaches to resolution during trainings or while leading a workcamps were shared. On the last day we were hiking in the mountain of presentation skills, armed with our cameras and our fresh and constructive feedback for every one of us who stayed in front of a group of people and was challenged to introduce in 3 minutes their own workshop. Of course I will not forget the free afternoon exploring the terra incognita called Athens with all the history, the beach and cozy local cafeterias. Some of us chose to explore and visit a refugee center in the city or museums and the Acropoli.

 

One of the greatest things in this training was that we often returned to the bay of reflections. We had the chance to summarize, think a little bit more and reflect within a group on a session, something that stood out for the whole day.

 

At the beginning we were a group of strangers, gathered from all around the world, who got on a boat and started a journey. Everyone had their own expectations and fears. During the cruise we all used and shared each other’s skills, transparent communication, open minds, support and fun attitude. At the end we landed, everyone of us in their own country, but this is actually a continuation to an even brighter future using all the tools we collected. And through advanced technologies, we will be able to stay in touch and support each other even from a distance and maybe meet again on the infinite land of voluntary projects.

Shirin Hodzheva, CVS Bulgaria