Widening Horizons – a Training Course in Dublin
Légras Ireland provided funding for the Widening Horizons training course in Dublin, Ireland in the last week of January, 2019, as did the Hungarian National Agency. As the lead coordinator of the ComServ project we thought it important that we apply for the training course as it focused on ESC and volunteers.
The two trainers, Deidre and Gareth were welcoming and immediately made all the participants from various NGOs and schools, but all involved in ESC, feel right at home. This hospitality played well into the theme of the training, which was how to work with volunteers and help them throughout their journey.
Until then I had always thought it was really the volunteer’s journey and that a volunteer would deal with any issues alone. Granted, mentors and coordinators are provided to all volunteers at Poli and any other partners in ComServ, it was the result of this training that I realized just how important it is to be their for the volunteers. It was made very clear through the hands-on, interactive approach that up to half a year after a volunteer returns home support is needed. This is when their journey ends.
There was also an opportunity to give a small, non-formal presentation on ComServ which garnered interest from other participants. Email addresses were exchanged, websites, social media accounts as well. Who knows, maybe a new project will come from this….
However, it also became even more clear just how much of a journey the hosting, and even sending organizations go on when working with volunteers. This is known to us all, honestly, however, the extent to which this is a significant element of working with volunteers was new. In fact, it was rewarding.