Volunteering: a Youth Empowerment Instrument

Report from Kobuleti [Vol. 5]

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We are reaching the core part of the training and the sessions, after the break the participants spent in Batumi, are becoming quite intense. Yesterday morning the topic was the recruitment of volunteers. The trainers Laura and Giorgi proposed some tools with the aim to reflect about how to choose the people who fit better our ideal profile between a group of candidates. The first part of the work was very practical, because the participants were sent in groups to explore the city with the aim to discover where to find their possible target group. When they came back, they had to draw a map of the places they visited, just to make an exercise oriented to the better comprehension of the surroundings. I received this contribution from Marina, a moldovian participants, about the activity of the day:

Volunteers are the heart of any NGO, so we had a dedicated day to discuss about how to attract and select the best volunteers. Starting with different promo methods, we got really good ideas about how we can start our recruitment: a site promotion, a poster, an emailing or a BTL activity- it’s always a good idea, especially when it is done in a creative way. The next stage, after we have maaaaany applicants, it’s the selection process and we practiced it by making some great interview simulations. Each of us had a diverse experience in interviews, so we shared most interesting, funny and also learning interview experiences. We were both interviewers and candidates, so we discovered some amazing acting skills in our colleagues. This part of the day was funny, a bit crazy, with learnings and sure we enjoyed it at most!

marinaAfter the recruitment, the focus was put on the motivation and the general managing with the voluteers. About the first topic, the trainers wanted to underline some key words fundamentals for pushing people to do thier best. To achieve an efficient level of understandings (who is properly the goal of non-formal education), they proposed to the participants to work on that words drawing in a flipchart something related to the meaning.

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Afterwards, in order to empower the efficience of the motivational process, the participants discussed about the meaning of the word “coaching”, as an essential competence for the youth workers in order to help/guide people who want to improve theirselves through the learning process. I found interesting, from my side of football teacher, what Giorgi said about the differences between instruction, advising, training, mentoring, facilitation and coaching. I don’t want to bore you explaining every single meaning but, if you work in the field of teaching, I can reccomend you to have this distinction very clear.

About the managing of volunteers, the participants put on the stage some sketch in order to rapresent some concepts. Our friend Lida from Armenia, who was acting as my wife in the sketch (and it was pretty funny), explained me better the aim of this tool:

Beaing a part of creative group we decided to show in an unusual way one of the types of managing volunteers. We made a small theater play in order to show in a metaphorical way the odea of consultation and instruction. The bride and the groom were instructed by the priest, meanwhile the parents were showing the disadvantages of this wedding. The activity was really fun, it was a good example of real life, and at the same time, we showed the consulting and instruction method used in volunteering. I liked it a lot

LidaI would like to end my report of this two days of intense work with the contribution of one of the person who put more passion in the training, both for the activities and for the social events: the participant from Azerbaijan, Atabay, who wanted to share his comments and feelings about the project

I had some volunteering experience in Azerbaijan, so I wanted to improve my leadership skills and sharing my experience, also get information about different experiences in other countries. I’m glad to say that I’m achieving some of my aims here. Plus, I’ve discussed about: the problems of our country; what can we do together; how can we solve this problems as youngsters and as youth organizations. Also we discussed about different types of volunteering like, for example Erasmus plus, EVS, volunteering chance in Africa and so on. The best aim of this project I think is making connections between organizations. The second best aim is the peace between countries as, for example, Azerbaijani and Armenian people who discussed about some political issues and situation in their proper countries. I think this project has being perfect for friendship between countries because we, young people, are the future for the society. Finding partnership for small organizations is very difficult, and this project helps a lot in that

AtabeyStay tuned for the last report!

Daniele (The Reporter)


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