Monday 7th September VON has started!!! What is VON?! It is the acronym of Volunteering Opportunities Network. 24 youth workers coming from 11 different countries and representing 18 different organisations have reached our beautiful Pesaro to spend a week working on the topic of European Volunteering Service (EVS).
On Monday little by little all participants arrived in the city and since Tusday we started the seminar.
As they are coming from such different places and contexts, the first day has been dedicated to get to know each other, to discover at least some small peculiarity about every other participants. Name game help them to break the ice and to feel more confident into the group.
Then it came the moment of a reflection about personal expectations, contributions and fears connected to the development of the project. On every piece of paper the draw of a bike: the wheels for the contributions (what can I bring to build together the project?), a road as expectations (what would it be my path?) and a stop signal, symbol of possible obstacles (will there be some stops that will contain or slow down my ride?).
From two symbolic wheels, in the afternoon they passed to ride a special but real mean of transport: maybe you also saw them riding through the city with the risciò. In small groups, participants had the opportunity to discover some places on the seaside of Pesaro meanwhile they were talking to find out something more about each other. One of the purpose of the seminar is the creation of partnerships, of a network of colleagues able to collaborate and to built a safe and nice working environment. Trust is the essential foundation on which based the creation of future projects! !
If we ask to the participants a sentence that could express their feelings after the first day we get:
“Riding together as a team is better than alone”;
“EVS is a challenging ride”;
“Life is like a bike, if you want to keep balance, you have to move forward!”
We closed the day with the intercultural night during which each country had the opportunity to share with the others food and drinks, but also to present three facts about the country that are little know in the world.
Cheered from the wonderful see-view offered by our working room, the second day has been dedicated to set down the milestones of the “EVS Quality Chart” from the perspective of both sending and hosting organisations. Once again, clear and constant communication between every single actor involved in the process appears the base for a fruitful collaboration. During these days of exchange of views, participants focused on some practical tools and solutions in order to offer to future EVS volunteers the best experience possible. It is important to underline that for the volunteer to be involved in any kind of mobility experience should be first of all a moment of personal growth.
On Thursday we had an “open event” in the Job centre of via della Robbia in Pesaro where the professionals of the youth field and Italian youngsters interested in EVS projects had the opportunity to meet, speak and, why not, maybe also to create future partnership!
(If you want do know more about what happened, do not miss our next article!)
The program of Friday gave space to the organisations to present some tools or good practices that they considered useful and that could be adopted also by other organisations in order to work always better both in sending and hosting volunteers.
Finally came the last working day during which participants had time to actualize their partnership, to set up concrete collaboration and to discuss about the realization of future project together.
It was a demanding week, but we all came out with stronger relationships and the guarantee of better and greater mobility opportunity for European youngsters.