On-arrival training for EVS volunteers in Sremski Karlovci

On-arrival training is a weekly meeting of volunteers from some state or region organized by SALTO – YOUTH. It is an organization supporting youth exchanges within ERASMUS+ program. We participated in this training in Sremski Karlovci, near Novi Sad, northern Serbia at the end of February. The meeting took place in Radulovački Ecological Center, which is also the youth center.

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The idea of the training is to introduce volunteers realizing different projects with EVS, which is a part of ERASMUS+ program. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to meet volunteers from different states of a region. We met people doing their EVS in the Western Balkans – in Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.

First day was the arrival day. We came to Sremski Karlovci by bus from Belgrade and earlier by night train from Skopje. The training began with a dinner and then we could meet better each other during card games. Each of the next days of the training consisted of different sessions and workshops. Our trainers presented topics whereas we had to participate active in tasks.

At the beginning we summarized our so far impressions and experience from EVS projects. We discussed what we have already learnt and what we want to learn until the end of our EVS. One of the points presented by everybody was better speaking in local languages. In our case it is the Albanian language.

During another day we realized small projects connected with local youth activism. Among different ideas we chose three and then we worked in small groups. Effects were shown on the following day. The first group prepared promotion materials encouraging local youngsters to participation in meetings of the youth center. Second group conducted a simulation of a Language Café – language workshops with speaking is a priority. Third group created a game which is available on app in smartphones. Participants of the game have to visit the town and follow questions connected with history and interesting places. We played this game on the last day and we answered to all questions. It is good opportunity for having fun together and discovering the town.

In the end we discussed how to solve conflict situations and what Youthpass is. We played roles in pairs of two arguing sides, for example volunteers or a volunteer and hosting organization. Then together with trainers we were looking for solutions. Youthpass is a document which describes our skills that we learnt during EVS and which we will get after project. It enumerates in details volunteer’s competences in the field of communication in a foreign language, social relations, IT skills or entrepreneurship.

Finally, during free time we visited Novi Sad where we were in very interesting places but also we had a lot of fun. On-arrival training was organized very well, our trainers were professional, consequently we could learn a lot. We are looking forward to mid-term training which will take place in April in Sarajevo.

K.W.

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