Monday, August 6, 2012

Bety reports on the training for the leaders in Slovakia

My name is Bety, I come from Czech Republic and since March this year I have been volunteering for Concordia helping in the office to send volunteers on international projects overseas and as one of the reasons to come to Brighton was to coordinate an international residential project, which Concordia generously offered to me, I decided to go for a training for the leaders of youth projects organised in Bojnice in Slovakia. I got an invitation just a couple of days before the project started, but I decided to go for it without any hesitation, because I knew I have still lot of to learn and I wasn´t confident enough about leading a group of international volunteers. Another reason to take part emerged itself from the description of the project: 70% of all transport expanses will be refunded after the end of the training. Well, interesting, even these possibilities exist within the wide european net of youth projects and training opportunities and everybody can go for that. The only limit is age, but since I´m under 30 I can participace in any of projects funded by european organisation Youth in Action. But the real catching point in terms of inovation was the fact that there was going to be a bunch of 20 participants from differnet countries, and all were going to be trained by experienced trainers, which sounded amazing and all together with the location in Slovakia (my dearest brotherland) I basically couldn´t say no. I bought my flight tickets three days before the project started, that may sound rushed, which scared me a little bit, but all these feelings were absolutely pointless, because one week later I was leaving the project with the notice of complete, deep and cheerfull satisfaction with an expression „I can do it“ on my face.

Having fun during one of our many team building games. Can you spot me?
Situated in a beautiful village of Bojnice, which gave us many daily and night opportunities for free time activities, the training was full of enthusiastic and open minded participants and especially with great professional trainers from Estonia, Slovakia, Cyprus and Czech Republic it was one of my best holidays ever. Our main goal was to write an international guidebook for future leaders of youth projects, which was supposed to teach us by the very elaborated method learning by doing how to lead a group of young people. During different sessions such as intercultural learning, conflict resolution, evaluation methods or project managment the trainers teached us how to handle with different (problem) situations, which can occur at a group of young people, how we should behave and act to satisfy the needs of each participant and whether it is possible at all. What I really loved about the project was that besides so much handy information we got something more and it was our self development. This was very insightful and I think all the participants noticed that and it brought all the group together. All the programme was just very well organised, the trainers as flexible as they could be and they gave us the best example. All I can say for the end is that i would strongly recommend this kind of training not only to future leaders but also for those, who would like to learn or reveal some new facts about themselves as personalities.  So if you see such a project is going to take place, don’t hesitate and go for it, because it will rock and I’m sure you will love it!

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