Do you work with volunteers who are returning from placements in the Global South?
Comhlámh, along with 3 other volunteering organisations – Volunteering Matters (UK); INEX-SDA (Czech Republic); and finep (Germany) are working an Erasmus + project exploring how organisations support international volunteers in long term active citizenship.
Research on promoting active citizenship
To date this project has created research. The research explores learning and best practice from four countries on how organisation can promote active citizenship with their volunteers. It is available here.
It outlines 12 recommendations for improving the way that active citizenship is fostered in returning international volunteers
A training resource
As part of this 3 year strategic partnership a training manual has also been developed. The manual aims to help organisations work with their returned volunteers. It is divided into 4 chapters.
Chapter 1 is reflecting on their story
Chapter 2 looks at the root causes of many of the development issues we face as a global community
Chapter 3 helps volunteers decide on an action and works with them from start to finish using project management tools
Chapter 4 is about consolidating their learning so far
This manual has already been used as a framework for a training course that was hosted in the Czech Republic with returned volunteer from the 4 partner countries.
What Next training in the Czech Republic 2016
The course was a great success and validated the strength and the need for this type of resource and work.
Feedback from the course was as follows
I feel more confident engaging with myself and the world
I realise social activism can be done at home and abroad
It inspired me to do more
I have gained a lot of knowledge on global issues and how to tackle them
It was great learning skills on project management
It was very useful learning to put ideas into practical projects
I felt empowered. I feel confident to realise my project
I gained more confidence to create projects
I have gained new skill and got more confidence in my options and ideas.
Some images from the 2016 course
Other outputs over the remaining 2 years of this strategic partnership will be
- Irish Training course. This year we will host a training course for volunteers based in Ireland. The course will bring together volunteers and work with them over a 5-day course using similar methodology as the course outlined above. This will happen in September/October 2017.
- Irish Training resource. A training manual specifically targeting volunteers in the Irish context and Irish sending organisations.
- A training handbook for training of trainers in Volunteer Sending Agencies – The aim of this output is to create a ‘training for trainers’ handbook for volunteer sending agencies, so that representatives from these organisations can build their own capacity to deliver global citizenship education with their volunteers.
- A training of facilitator’s course hosted in Germany. This training activity will bring together 24 participants from across 4 countries, using the content generated from the training for trainers manual. The event will take place in 2018
An online training course: transnational training, national training, and training of trainers. This output will redesign the training materials for young volunteers developed throughout the project, which will up to this point rely on face-to-face workshop spaces. The materials will all be translated into an online version so that ‘hard-to-reach’ volunteers, those with access issues, and those who do not have time or availability to attend face-to-face courses, will be able to access online training to enable them to consider their role following their overseas experience