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Introduction 1. Name games, Energisers and Closing Activities 2. Team-Building 3. Exploring Identity 4. The Concept of Culture 5. Culture Shock 6. Intercultural Communication 7. Dealing with Challenges 8. Expectations from my EVS 9. Learning 10. Rights, responsibilities and supports in EVS 11. Volunteering and development 12. Info on host countries 13. Last minute advice 14. Evaluation

INTRODUCTION We are starting from a belief that intercultural learning is a process. This process involves knowing yourself and the factors that shape your identity and the way you behave before you can begin to understand others. From here you can begin to explore challenges to your identity, how to deal with this and how to learn to live with others peacefully in a culturally diverse world. We have introduced activities in this resource that will help groups of young people about to embark on volunteer experiences in different countries, to explore this process experientially and creatively. Two EVS pre-departure trainings were run between August and October 2009 in Mayfield Community Arts Centre. The first group were older young people (22-28yrs) going for 3 months. The second group were mostly younger teenagers going for 3 weeks, accompanied by 3 older young people, who would stay on for 3 months after the initial 3 week project. The 2 groups of young people were unusual, in an EVS context, in that they were all heading to Latin American countries and had all met and worked on projects together before the training. Furthermore, some of them had met people from the host organisations already, in summer projects that took place in Cork in July 2009. This gave them a background to the work of their host organisations and meant that they already had some friends in the host community. An important aspect of these EVS pre-departure trainings was the focus on development. As the host organisations were in countries considered to be “developing”, “poor” or “Third World” the volunteers would face challenges that might not occur in EVS projects within Europe. We wanted to give the trainees different perspectives on development and to encourage them to reflect on their own assumptions about wealth and poverty. Furthermore we wanted to challenge traditional models of “charity” volunteering and emphasise the equal 2-way nature of their EVS experience. The activities laid out in the following resource are designed to give trainers suggestions and ideas of ways to help prepare young people for their volunteer experience but it is up to the trainer to choose activities appropriate to their group and their own training style.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Trainers: Karen Webster and Eimear McNally Sending Organisation: Mayfield Community Arts Centre, Newbury House. Resource designed and developed by Karen Webster and Eimear McNally Thank you to all the pre-departure EVSers who participated in this training. Thanks also to Léargas for funding the training and development of this resource.

1. NAME GAMES, ENERGISERS AND CLOSING ACTIVITIES NAME GAMES What it means and why you were called it… Ask each person in the group to take turns to say their name, to explain what it means, where it comes from and why they were called it. It is a good warm up especially for a group who might already know each other as it enables people to find out more about each other and introduces the idea of identity and how different cultures use names True or False Ask each person in the group to introduce themselves by saying their names and saying three things about themselves. Two of these things should be true and one should be false. The others in the group should try to guess which is the false statement ICEBREAKERS/ ENERGISERS Ya, How, Hundum! Form a circle with the participants. The exercise starts with a karate blow. Bring your right hand in front of your body. Stretch it out again in a hard blow to your right hand side, and scream: “YA”! Be careful, don’t actually hit anybody! Do this first with the whole group together; afterwards you let the action go around the circle as fast as possible. After the blow has circled the group you introduce the next karate technique. You put both hands up beside your head and scream: “HOW”! We let the “YA” circle the group again. When someone does “HOW”, the “YA” goes the other way round the circle. When the “YA” changes the direction, the arm technique also does this. In other words, you have to do it with your left hand. After this you introduce a third technique: “HUNDUM”! You make little circles with your thumb and index finger and place them in front of your eyes (like glasses). When somebody does this, the direction isn’t changed, but the next person is skipped. The fourth action is “ANGUS”! You make the same circles as with “HUNDUM”, but now you place your arms next to your head (like “HOW”). Now the direction is changed, and one person is skipped Princess and dragon Participants stand in a circle in pairs, touching at the arms. One participant is a Princess and one is a Dragon. The Dragon chases the Princess. When the Princess is caught their roles are reversed. The Princess can find safety by attaching herself to someone in the circle. Now she is a pair with that person. The person on the other side of her new partner is released and becomes the Dragon, the former Dragon is now the Princess and must run away from the new Dragon. Continue until everyone is warmed up. Colombian Hypnosis Form pairs. One person is the hypnotised, the other the hypnotiser. The hypnotiser uses his or her hand to direct the other. They should hold their hand at a distance of about 6 inches from the face of their partner. They should aim to maintain this distance throughout. The hypnotiser begins to move his or her hand slowly in all directions. The hypnotised follows wherever he or she is led. Encourage the participants to maintain a steady fluid pace (no quick jerky movements) but to use the full space of the room. After 5 minutes swap over. If you want to continue you can repeat the process in threes, with the hypnotiser controlling two people with both hands. Seek and drive Blindfold half of the group and hide them in different areas. They cannot move nor make a sound. The other half of the group has to find their missing companion and bring them back to the meeting place. They are not allowed to touch their companions; they only can give

directions as to where to go. 3 times run around Ask the whole group to stand in a big circle. Ask them to silently pick someone else in the circle. They must not reveal to anyone who they have picked. When you say GO they should run to that person and run 3 circles around them before returning back to their spot in the circle. GROUP DYNAMIC ACTIVITIES Train smash Standing in a circle holding hands, 3 or so people are nominated as ‘train stations’ (TS) and 2 as ‘junctions’ (J) depending on the size of the group. Facilitator squeezes the hand of a person next to them and sends a ‘pulse’, which is the train, around the circle. When the train reaches a TS they make a sound ie: “toot toot” and when it reaches a J it can change direction if the J chooses. Then a person has to go into the middle of the circle (train spotter) to guess where the train is at by touching the person they think has it. When they are correct they swap with that person and the game continues. Ozone and sun Before the game begins each person chooses someone who is their sun (S) and ozone (O) and keeps this to themselves. People start to move around the space and make sure that for the entire time the O is between them and the S. CLOSING ACTIVITIES Pat on the back Get the group to stand in a tight circle facing into the centre. Ask everyone to turn to their right so they are facing the back of the person next to them. Depending on your group ask them to massage the shoulders of the person in front of them or give them a gentle pat on the back or both. Hand swap You can ask the group to sit on chairs or to kneel on the floor. Ask them to place their hands on the persons knees either side of them or if they are kneeling, lean forward and place both hands on the floor with their right hand over the left hand of the person beside them. The facilitator starts off by lifting one of their hands and then getting their neighbour to lift theirs. The group have to lift each hand in turn according to the order. It takes a bit of concentration! Rainforest clap Standing in a circle, start the group clapping with one finger, then 2, 3 and eventually the whole hand. When the group has given themselves a good loud clap you can bring it back down to 3 fingers then 2 and then back to 1 and quiet,

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2. TEAM-BUILDING EGGSERCISE Aims… • To establish good working relationships within the team • To create a set of “principles for co-operation” that can be used for this training and also their EVS experience. Materials… 1 egg per group, string and tape to ties the eggs to the ceiling, mixed materials (cardboard, tape, elastic bands, tissue, newspaper etc) Scissors Method… 80-90mins • Before the activity, hang the eggs from the ceiling- making sure they will not slip and fall to the floor. • Divide the group into smaller teams. • Give each team a selection of similar materials. • Explain their task: To create a structure, using only the materials they are given, that will catch the egg and prevent it from breaking. They will have 30 minutes to build their structures. An added bonus will be give to teams who can make their structure beautiful, as well as functional. • Answer any questions and then give the teams 30 minutes to complete the task. • After the allotted time ask the groups to stand back and cut the eggs from their string one by one. • Congratulate the teams on their work.

Follow-up As a follow-up during the debrief from the activity, ask the group to make a list of tips for

working together.


To continue team-building and getting-to-know-you within the group To explore the concept of our own identity and how this can be linked to our culture To move from considering individual identity to group identity and culture To see if there are common factors that people use to define their identity such as family, the land etc

Method… 40mins Invite two members of the group to read out the following quotes 1 “When the Maori introduce ourselves we say’ “such and such is our mountain, such and such is our river, such and such is our tribe, such and such is our ancestor house.” We don’t actually start by saying “I am so and so.” We start from the larger cosmos to which we claim descent and then work our way towards human beings, the last wall of creation”

Mereana Taki, from Aoteoroa/ NZ, from the “Through Other Eyes” project, a video is online here: 2 On Jeannette Armstrong, Okanagan educator: “When she introduced herself, she talked about her heritage and what she was responsible for and challenged everyone to say authentically who they were. ‘Don’t tell me what books you have written or what your accomplishments are’ she said, ‘Tell me who your grandparents were,’ because it was through her grandparents, the names they had given her and the meaning of those names, that she understood her responsibilities for taking care of other people and all life forms. She wanted to know where we’d come from, who our elders were, what we had inherited and what our responsibilities were.” From the book Ecological Literacy (2005) edited by Michael K. Stone, Zenobia Barlow

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Discuss with the group how these two approaches might differ or be similar to how they would introduce themselves. Talk about how in western culture we would often begin with ‘I am so and so…’ or often people might ask “What do you do?” when they meet someone new. Ask them to consider how they would define themselves using the sentence ‘I am…’ as a starting point. Explain that you want them to be as creative as they like and handout 3 slips of paper starting with the words ‘I am…’ to each member of the group. Give them 5mins to write 3 sentences to creatively describe themselves. Ask them to bring their sentences back to the group and using a large sheet of coloured paper, oil pastels, chalks or markers, to arrange the sentences in whatever order the group decides to create a poem introducing them as a group. To finish, display the finished piece on the wall and invite a volunteer to read the entire poem aloud.

Discussion • • • • • •

How did you decide to arrange the sentences to form a poem? Why did you choose that method? Did any of the descriptions surprise you? Have you found out things about each other that you didn’t know? Did you find any common factors that people used to describe themselves? Can you list any of the things that seem to be important to all humans in defining their identity?

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I am……….. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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To explore what is meant by the term ‘culture’ To give the participants the opportunity to come up with their own definition of ‘culture’ To look at processes of coming to consensus in a group

Method… 15mins • Give each participant a slip of paper and a pen. • Ask them to write down four words that they feel explain or could be used to define the word ‘culture’. Allow 2 or 3 minutes for this. • Ask the participants to get into pairs and on another slip of paper, to write down four words that they agree on out of the eight that they have together. • When everyone is ready ask the pairs to join up into groups of four and repeat the process again. • When the whole group is back as one, look at the four words that they have decided on and create a group definition of ‘culture’ Activity 2 MODELS OF CULTURE: THE ICEBERG Aim… • • •

To present one model of understanding the visible and invisible aspects of culture To link to identity exercise To offer theoretical exploration of culture to balance practical activities

Materials… You can draw your own simple iceberg diagram on flipchart paper in advance. Make cards with various aspects of culture written on each for participants to place on the iceberg (see table on next page). Method… 15mins • • • • • • •

Post up on the wall a simple drawing of an iceberg. Ask the group if they know what it is and explain that we are going to use the iceberg as a metaphor for understanding culture. Refering to your drawing ask the group to think about what we know about icebergs and how this might relate to culture. (Only the tip of the iceberg is visible. Most of the iceberg is hidden below the surface of the water.) Explain the iceberg model briefly (see the example diagram below), Ask participants to consider aspects of our identities, explored in the previous activity, and where these aspects would fit into the iceberg (place, family, tribe, sexuality). Would they be above or below? Ask for suggestions for the visible part of the iceberg and then for the invisible part. Move on to the next activity, reminding particpants that we will come back to the iceberg metaphor later.















If you have less time, instead of doing the “Four-word Build” activity you can do a general brainstorm on the word “Culture” ( flipchart on the right). Then you can pick out words from this to place on the iceberg diagram after you ave explained the concept.


5. CULTURE SHOCK Activity 1: Simulation game HONZAS AND ORIONS (adapted from Pandyas and Chispas on-line simulation game) Aims… • For participants to experience what it is like to meet people with different cultural norms to their own and how they respond to this • To explore how cultural values and attitudes affect behaviour • To explore the factors of culture that are not immediately obvious Method… 30mins to play 30mins debrief • •

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Split the group in half and explain to the participants that they are going to play a simulation game in which they will have to act in role. Explain that the two groups are going to come together and their task is to build a monument to celebrate the twinning of their two cities. As well as building this monument, each group have to try and observe the other group’s behaviour during the game. Give each group the handout that describes their cultural norms (see following page) and allow them a couple of minutes to read them in their separate groups. Place a bag of clay and tools for working it on a large board in the middle of a table and invite both groups to come together and design and construct the monument working together. They have 20minutes to build it.

Debrief… (30mins) In their own groups ask them to discuss and make notes on the following questions: • What did you observe? (It is worth asking the group to think about the difference between an observation and a judgement.) • How did it make you feel? • What cultural norms do you think the other group had? Why? Come back as a whole group and ask each group to present their reflections on the activity. Questions for discussion: • Did you feel judgmental about the behaviour of the other group if it was different to yours? • Can the same behaviour be perceived differently depending on your group’s cultural norms? • What lessons would your bear in mind from playing this game when you are working

in a different culture? Going back to the iceberg model, would you add anything to the invisible and visible parts of the iceberg, based on you experience during this activity?

Ask the group to make a list of things to consider when preparing to encounter a different culture. Alternative ideas for younger participants: •

Instead of creating a monument, ask the group to design and build a model of a youth café for the community, to be used by young people from both cultures. They should think about and decide a number of things before they start to build, e.g. what services should the café provide? Who should run it? Will everyone be allowed in? What are the most important features? The Derdians is another simulation game that can be used to explore the meeting of two cultures. (see Intercultural Learning T-Kit

Honza’s Cultural Norms

Orion’s Cultural Norms

The Honza’s are informal and friendly… they like meeting new people

The Orion’s prefer to mix with members of their own culture

They are accustomed to touching and being in close contact with people while communicating

They do not like to initiate conversation and use formal speech patterns…ie. they use ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’

To greet people they kiss them on the left shoulder…any other form of greeting is seen as rude

Men hold more status than women

There are no gender rules…men and women behave the same way and hold equal status

Men avoid eye contact with women and try to avoid talking directly to them The Orion’s value keeping a large personal space and do not feel comfortable with physical contact with others

They value cross-gender contacts highly They have no concept of time being linear… ie. running out of time to do something

They are used to working in a very structured way and value time as a resource to be used’ wisely

Activity 2 HOW LONG IS A MINUTE? Aim… • •

To explore different perceptions of time To link differing individual perceptions of the world to differing cultural perceptions

Method… 5mins • • • •

Ask each participant to stand in front of their chair and hide and their watches. The facilitator explains that they are going to time one minute on their stopwatch. When they say “go”, the participants are to remain standing with their eyes closed until they feel one minute has passed. They should then sit down silently on their chair and open their eyes, waiting for the whole group to sit down. When the last person has sat down the facilitator can feedback to the group the range of responses, who had the “fastest” minute and who was closest to 60seconds.

Questions for Discussion… • • •

How can we all have different perceptions of time? What are the reasons for this? Physical? Mental? How do we know the world around us? Do different cultures have different perceptions of time? What are the reasons for this? How might this affect us working in a different culture?

Activity 3 SHARING STORIES OF CROSS CULTURAL EXPERIENCE Aim… • To allow time for the group to share personal stories • To develop a list of possible scenarios or challenges that people might come across during their volunteering experience Materials… Flip chart paper, markers Method… 20mins • Invite the group to take turns to share experiences that they have had that relate to cross cultural interaction. • Point out that this does not always mean when you’ve been in other countries… it can also be when you are meeting a group with different cultural norms to your own about a certain thing such as sexuality or religion • From people’s experiences create a list of challenges, solutions for which, can be explored later


6. INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION Activity 1 PLAY-DOH! Aims… • To experience the challenge of communicating non-verbally • To learn creative ways of communicating non-verbally Materials… Modelling clay and a piece of board, Flipchart paper on a stand, markers, scraps of paper, coloured paper, bucket/ hat. Method… 60- 80mins • Start by asking the group of various things about Irish culture and their own lives which they might like to share with people in their host countries. These might include things like “Hurling, Irish music, playing the piano, Nintendo Wii games, the beauty of the Irish landscape” and so on. • Ask everyone to take some scraps of paper and to write ONE of these things on each piece of paper. They should keep these secret and not disclose what they have written to each other. Encourage them to come up with at least 5 distinct things each. • The facilitator should make three cards at this point, one saying “DRAW”, one saying “MIME” and one saying “MODEL”. • The facilitator can also add some “surprise” things to the bucket. This ensures that some of the things in the bucket will not have been seen by any of the participants. • When they have done this collect the scraps of paper and place them all in the bucket (or hat). • Next explain the concept of non-verbal communication, ask the group for examples of how we can communicate without words. • Divide into 3 groups. Ask each group to sit together and to think of a name for their team. • Create a scoreboard on the wall and write each team name on it. • Explain the rules of this “game”. Anyone who has played Pictionary, Rapidoh or Charades will already understand. This game is a mash-up of all three. o Each team will select one person to be the communicator. o They will pick something out of the bucket. This is what they must communicate to their team members. o They then select one of the three methods by choosing from the three cards held by the facilitator. This is the method of communication they must use. o The communicator gets one minute (this can be 2 minutes if you feel the group needs more time) to get their message across to their team members. o If the team members guess correctly in less than a minute the facilitator adds a score to their column on the scoreboard. o If they do not guess correctly, allow the other teams to guess. You can do this different ways, for example, if both guess correctly they divide the points and get a half point each. If one guesses correctly they receive the full point. • Continue until everyone has had at least one opportunity to be the communicator. • Add up the scores and announce a winner. The winning team could receive the prize of tidying up after the game! Debrief: • Bring the whole group together and ask them for their reaction to the activity. Did they enjoy it? Was it a challenge? Was it too easy? How did it feel to be unable to get your message across? How did it feel to not understand what the communicator was trying to say? • After some discussion ask the group to come up with a list of tips for non-verbal

communication, for both “listeners” and “speakers”.

TIPS FOR COMMUNICATING… • • • • • • • • •

Persevere Don’t be afraid to act silly Take time 50/50…listen and make an effort Look for things you have in common Accentuate your body language / gestures Keep it simple (Don’t use slang when you’re speaking English) Slow clear talking…articulate! Ask people to repeat if necessary

Follow Up Activity HOW TO SHARE OUR IRISH CULTURE WITH OUR HOSTS Aims… • To prepare participants for “culture night” Materials… Flipchart, markers. Method… 30mins • • • • •

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Refer to the brainstorm by the group in the first part of the previous activity. You can take all the scraps of paper from the bucket and lay them out on the table. Group them into different categories, e.g. sport, music, art. Give a brief outline of the concept of “culture night” in the world of Youth in Action. Ask the participants to get into their country groups. Give each group a piece of flipchart and some markers. Alternatively, ask each group to take one category and plan how they could incorporate the suggestions in that category into the format of “culture night”. Give each group 15 minutes to take some of the things they would like to share during culture night. Using the flipchart paper ask them to draw a mind map of; HOW they can communicate these things, WHAT they would need, HOW much TIME it would take and WHO will do it. After 15 minutes invite each group to present their mind maps to the whole group. They should display their mind maps on the wall to share all the ideas with the whole group. You can also encourage the group to make a provisional plan for the evening, listing what they want to take place, how long it will take etc. Based on this make a list of things they can prepare and do before the EVS.



To introduce real-life case studies to the participants, relevant to their host countries

Materials… Case studies, cut in half, blu tac. Method… 40mins • • • • • • •

Copy the case studies on the next page and cut them in half, separating the “Challenge” section from the “Possible Solution” section. You can also prepare your own, based on the specific host countries of your participants. Mix them up before handing them out randomly to the participants. Ideally they should have a mixture of “Challenges” and “Possible Solutions” in their hands. Give them 20mins to mingle with each other and match all the case studies together. They need to discuss what they have and decide together which are the best solutions. When they have all the matches they should stick them all to the wall for everyone to see. Discuss as a whole group. Ask for volunteers to pick one case study out for discussion. Spend time going through the solutions and ask participants if they agree or disagree with the proposed solutions. What would they do in this situation?

Alternative or Follow-up Activity Method: 45mins… •

• • • • • • •

Divide people into groups of three and ask them to choose one of the scenarios to role play. Ideally, these should be kept secret. (Your group may have another issue, not addressed by any of the scenarios. In this case use the issue NOT covered by the scenarios if it is more relevant to your group.) Give each group 10 minutes devise a mini-drama that depicts the challenge that they have chosen. The mini-drama should be no longer than 2 minutes. It should have a start middle and end. Arrange the room like a small theatre while they devise their pieces. After 10 minutes invite the first group to perform. The audience should try to guess what the challenge in this mini-drama is. Brainstorm with the whole group about probable and preferable endings to the drama. If there is time, re-run the drama with the new (preferable) ending. Repeat with the other group(s). Finish with a discussion about how the group can prepare themselves for such situations.

(Read Augusto Boal’s ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ for ideas of transforming challenges with groups using drama techniques)




My host family lives in a 2-room house with no running water. The only tap is in a bathroom is outside in a separate building. Water is used very carefully in this household. I have to wash myself using water from a bucket. I feel very uncomfortable and I am missing the hot showers I am used to at home! As a result it takes me ages to get ready in the mornings and I am usually late for work. It is making me feel uncomfortable but I am too afraid to say anything to your host family because I don’t know them well yet.

I decided to talk about it with my host family. I was a bit afraid to say it is different than what you are used to, and that I was having trouble adjusting. But different does not mean better or worse. When I explained how I was feeling they were very understanding. I also talked to my mentor and asked about previous volunteers- how did they cope? Did anyone else find it difficult? I rang home and asked my friends for advice too. They said remember that it is only for a short time and I should try not to take it all too seriously, it is all part of the experience!


Everyday on your way to the office of your host organisation I pass people on the streets begging and asking for help. One day I saw a group of children all younger than ten years. They have no shoes and are wearing very old and dirty clothes. I wonder where their parents are and why they are not in school. They run after me laughing and asking for money. Though they look happy now I know that you will see them later still on the street and hungry. What should I do about it? I feel guilty because you know that what you get in pocket money at home every week could look after them for months. Should I help them or should I ignore them?

I talked to my mentor about what I was seeing everyday. I asked him if he knew the children, and their parents. I watched how other people in the street interact with the children. I asked advice from the people I worked with. Based on this, I decided to chat to the kids and get to know them, but I decided not to give them any money. I was still feeling uneasy, so I decided to find out more about the root causes of poverty. The answers were not easy or straightforward. I realised that some countries in the world remain poor because of unfair trade rules made by richer countries. In the end, I think, educating yourself, educating others and ultimately changing the root causes of poverty will go further than just giving money away.

I have been in myhost country for 3 weeks now and things are going well, I have adjusted to the different way of life. Sometimes I find myself getting homesick though, and missing the comforts of home. I would really like to find a pack of Taytos! But the crisps they sell here don’t taste the same at all. Its only a small thing but it would make me feel so much better to have something familiar to eat.

I tried the local crisps but just couldn’t stand them. At the end of the day, nothing beats a packet of cheese and onion Taytos…. In the end I just had to get over it. My EVS was only for 3 months anyway! If you are very attached to Taytos (or Barry’s tea, or Cadbury’s chocolate or whatever!) I would advise you to pack some in your luggage before you go. You could also bring some as gifts to the family with whom you will be staying.


At home I am used to being able to smoke when I want. My family allow me to smoke outside in the back garden. However, no-one in my host organisation seems to smoke at work at all. It seems like the people at work disapprove of smoking in front of younger children. In my host family, no-one smokes either. I want to be able to smoke, at least at home, but I am not sure what is acceptable. I don’t want to be rude either. Its making me really grumpy and no-one knows why!

I decided to find out what the attitudes to smoking by asking my mentor and supervisor. They were different than at home. I explained to my mentor and host family what the custom is in my home and what I am used to- but I realised they weren’t going change their ways to suit you! I asked my mentor how we could work out a compromise that suits everyone. Between us we were able to decide when it is ok to go outside for a cigarette. I did the same with my host family. It was difficult to bring up the whole topic but I found that by being open and honest about the reasons for my cranky moods it made others more comfortable and more likely to help me out.


I was really looking forward to my EVS trip but the thing that worried me most was that I had no Spanish and wasn’t sure how I’d be able to communicate with people and even ask for or understand the most basic of things

Before I went I got a couple of lessons from a Spanish student who wanted to swap for English conversation, which gave me a bit of confidence. I discovered when I was there that I could communicate quite well by pointing at things and generally using mime and body language. It was surprising how much you could communicate with people by not giving up if they didn’t understand the first time and not being afraid of making a fool of yourself!



I love the sunshine but I burn easily and I don’t feel great if it gets too hot. I knew where I was going on my volunteer trip that it would get up into the 30’s everyday and I was worried how I would cope with this

When I arrived it was roasting but I soon realised that people there had a different approach to the heat than we did… they tried to keep out of the sun as much as possible. Work started really early in the morning while it was still cool and then we took a big long break at lunchtime and worked again into the evening. I made sure I wore a hat if I was outside in the sun and covered up with loose cotton clothes so I didn’t burn. I also didn’t go anywhere without my sunblock in my bag.


I’m a bit of a fussy eater at home and was dreading having to eat strange food while I was away

It actually wasn’t as bad as I expected. I decided before I went that I’d at least try something before I decided I didn’t like it and some things were surprisingly good. I’m a vegetarian though so I had to try and explain this to my hosts on the first day. I told them the things that I liked to eat and they were very helpful and tried to give me these as much as possible. I also found out for myself the best places to buy the food I liked especially cheap snacks. Sometimes I offered to cook them dinner!


Something that I would never have thought about before I went away was how unconfortable it made me feel to be stared at by people so much. I’d never expected that I’d stand out and look quite different to everyone there.

At first I didn’t know how to handle this and felt quite intimidated. I tried to think of anytime at home that I’d seen someone that looked different to all the faces I was used to seeing around my town…How had I reacted? What was I thinking when I looked at them? Did I mean them any harm or was I just curious? This helped me feel better about all the attention and I tried smiling back at people when they stared at me…9 times out of 10 they’d smile back!


Aims… • To brainstorm possible challenges or problems that might arise during EVS • To challenge the group to consider how they would respond to challenges during their EVS Materials… Collage materials, card, scissors, glue, markers, oil pastels, empty toolbox Method… 40mins • •

Based on the discussion in previous activities, ask the group to make a list of possible challenges they may face during their EVS. Create a list on flipchart paper of all the things they come up with.

Suggestions may include: • What is the etiquette for going into someone’s house? • How do I deal with something I don’t agree with eg. a young child working late at night when it’s normal for them? • Food… How people eat / What people eat / Is it rude to make your own food? • Clothing…what’s appropriate? • Dealing with communication / language barriers • Health issues • Poverty on the streets • Staring • Water/ sanitation differences • • • • • •

Form groups of 3. Divide up the list that the group has compiled. Give 2 or 3 items from the list to each group. Ask them to think of how they would best respond to each challenge. When they have thought of a good response they should create a “tool” to represent that solution. Finally, all the tools should be collected together in the EVS INTERCULTURAL TOOLBOX. Invite groups to show their tool and explain the challenge and response they created. Take time to discuss other ideas with the group and ensure that all their worries have been addressed. Explain the “Comfort Zone” diagram (below) as an illustration of why it can be good to face these challenges. The trainers can close the activities by referring to the case studies of previous

volunteers, citing specific examples from real-life experience. Link this activity to the collection of information on the host countries. TRYING SOMETHING NEW MEANS LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND SPENDING SOME TIME IN THE LEARNING ZONE!

This is the Comfort zone. Its nice here but if you stay here forever you wil never learn anything new! This is the PANIC! Zone. It is too far from the comfort zone and you are too busy panicking to learn anything. This is the Learning Zone. It is a small enough step not to make you panic, but still be something new, outside the comfort zone!

Activity 3 WHAT IS CONFLICT 1? Aim… •

To encourage participants to see conflict as potentially positive

Materials: Flipchart paper, pens, 3 colour of markers. Method… 10mins • • •

Quickly brainstorm around the word conflict, writing all the words on a flipchart sheet. Circle the words after using 3 colours, RED for positive, BLUE for negative and GREEN for interesting. Questions for discussion: • Do we perceive conflict as automatically negative? • When can conflicts be positive, or good? When are conflicts destructive? • The main message is that conflicts are a necessary part of our everyday lives and that the difference between a negative or positive developing experience is how we manage them.

What is a conflict? One way of defining conflict could be: A collision of interests, values, actions or directions (within a lone individual, or between one or several parties). Activity 4 CONFLICT MAPPING Aim… • To offer participants a tool for understanding conflicts that they may experience 1

These activities are adapted from the manual “Nonviolence & Conflict Management-An abridged training material with basic exercises” (2003) by The Christian Peace Movement, PeaceQuest , CIVIS and Sweden’s Teachers for Peace

• •

during their EVS. To give the participants ideas for further exploration of Conflict Resolution To learn the technique of mapping and being able to express needs and fears.

Material… Paper and pens. Method… 5 minutes to explain, 10 minutes for work in pairs and then 15 minutes for whole group discussion. • •

• •

Participants can work in pairs for this exercise. Give each pair a copy of the scenario and a blank drawing of the circle diagram below. Explain that you would like them to read the scenario. They do not need to solve the conflict described. They just need to try to understand the NEEDS and FEARS of each of the people involved. The diagram is there to help them to “map” all the people and their needs and fears. Try to see what motivates the parties. When all pairs have finished their diagram, bring the whole group together for a discussion. Questions might include: o Was that a useful way to understand what motivates others in a conflict situation? o Was it difficult to focus on the needs and fears of people rather than on solving the conflict? o What lessons could we take away from this exercise for dealing with conflicts that may arise during our EVS? Show the group where they can find out more about Conflict Management (for example the manual in the footnote in this section).

Scenario A mother/father and daughter are arguing about what time she/he should be home by on a Saturday evening. They are both stuck in their positions and are not listening to each other. The daughter is preparing to go out. The parent’s position is that the daughter should be home by 11pm, not a minute late while the daughter wishes to come home at 1am. Both parent and daughter reflect on their needs and fears. Now they sit down and share their thoughts with each other to see if they can find a mutual solution.

Who? Needs? Fears?

WHAT IS THE ISSUE? Who? Needs? Fears?

The Conflict Map. At the same time as the map is created, the point of issue will need to be discussed and restated- what REALLY IS the main issue?. More and new maps may be needed to describe new problem areas that arise.

Conflict; Potential Results Generally one can say that conflicts terminate in at least five different ways: Submission - one party gives up Dominance - one party dominates the other Avoidance - the conflict is ignored Compromise - the parties find a compromise solution Cooperation - The parties find a way of cooperating


According to Johan Burton, a prominent conflict management figure inspired by among others Johan Galtung, the majority of conflicts occur due to frustrated universal human needs, (for example being appreciated, feeling loved, feeling good, integrity etc). If it is our frustrated needs that are the basic cause of our conflicts then often it will not help if we only solve that which the conflict is about. To manage conflict on a more long-term basis we need instead to listen and try to understand the basic needs of those involved and find creative ways of meeting them.


For participants to reflect on what their hopes are for the volunteering experience To focus participants on learning objectives for their EVS. Why are they going?

Materials… Clothesline, pegs, collage materials, glue, thin card, markers Method… 45mins • • • •

Brainstorm with the group on the word ‘expectations’. Ask the participants to take this time to think about what their personal hopes are from this experience and to express these as items of clothing that they will hang up on the washing line. Invite them to think about what they would like to gain and what they would like to give. When everyone has hung up their items of clothing, invite them to read each other’s and to look for expectations that people have in common.

Alternative activity … SPEECH BUBBLES If you don’t have enough time to run the previous activity you could ask the group to reflect on their expectations for the EVS by taking a few speech bubbles (which you have previously cut out) and writing down one expectation they have on each. Come back as a whole group and share these by sticking them to a big sheet on the wall. Get the participants to try and group them with similar ones as they put them up. Discuss with the group the expectations they have in common and look at how this leads into the things that people want to learn from their EVS.


9. LEARNING Activity 1 OUR LEARNING JOURNALS Aim… • To introduce the learning journals Materials… Learning Journals, pens, markers, ink, stickers, glitter glue… Method.… 30mins • Introduce the activity by referring to the expectations of the participants expressed in the previous activity. Learning is a fundamentally important part of a volunteer experience. Therefore it is worth spending time thinking about what we want to learn and how we can learn it. Remind the group of the challenges they have discussed in previous activities and how it helps to approach these challenges by thinking about what you are learning from them. • Give the groups their learning journals to decorate and write their expectations in. • Explain that we will in the next step create a learning plan with more concrete objectives, but for now they can record their expectations in the journal and decorate and personalise it whatever way they want. • If you can, it is also helpful to photograph lists the group have come up with (e.g. for communication) and print copies of these to paste into the learning journals. Activity 2 MAKING A LEARNING PLAN or “What if what I want to learn isn’t what I should learn?” Aim… • To link expectations and learning • To help participants to consider what they want to learn during their EVS experience • To help participants to create a learning plan in their learning journals Materials… Key words (on coloured card) for presentation on EVS/NFL Copies of blank learning plan templates (for example from the EVS Guide) Copies of creative learning journey diagrams Method… 10mins for the presentation and 20-30 mins for making the learning plans •

Start by linking to the expectations of the group- many EVS participants expect to learn different things- knowledge, skills. Many expect to learn more personal things, to grow as human beings. These are all different learning objectives. Therefore, learning is a very important part of EVS and the people who manage EVS have though a lot about how volunteers can make the most of their learning. What is Non Formal Learning? Ask the group how human beings learn? Where do we learn? We learn in schools, universities, but we also learn in youth clubs and we learn from life in general. We learn from our mistakes. We learn by example. Each individual person has their own way of learning that suits them best. Explain the difference between Formal, Informal and Non Formal learning. We can make the most of our learning by planning, monitoring and reflecting on it. That is what EVS allows us to do. That way we can decide what we want to learn, when we want to learn it, how we will learn it and who will hep us to learn it.

• •

We are going to use our learning journals to create a personal learning plan for the EVS experience. Present a variety of models for participants to use. Explain how each may be used and allow participants to say which ones they would like best and why. Allow twenty minutes for participants to choose a way of creating their personal learning plan and writing/ drawing this into their learning journals. If time allows, ask for a brief feedback on each plan at the end of the exercise.




Learning in daily life activities, in work, family, leisure is mainly learning by doing; it is typically not structured and not intentional and does not lead to certification. In the youth sector informal learning takes place in youth and leisure initiatives, in peer group and voluntary activities etc. It provides learning opportunities, in particular of social, cultural and personal“soft” skills.

Learning outside institutional contexts (out-of-school) is the key activity, but also key competence of the youth field. Non-formal learning in youth activities is structured, based on learning objectives, learning time and specific learning support and it is intentional. For that reason one could also speak of non-formal education. It typically does not lead to certification, but in an increasing number of cases, certificates are delivered.

In specific cases the youth sector / youth work acts as a substitute, alternative education and training provider (e.g. in second chance schools and similar projects), mainly for school dropouts, early school leavers, disaffected young people or other young people at risk. "e learning process is structured in terms of learning objectives, learning time, learning support and it is intentional; the participants get certificates and/or diplomas.

Source: “Pathways towards validation and recognition of education, training and learning in the youth Field” Partnership between Council of Europe and European Commission, February 2004

Below: 2 different ways to plan your learning

Follow-Up Activity WAYS TO SHARE THE LEARNING Aim… To generate a list of ways of sharing the learning and the experience Method… 15mins Ask the group to brainstorm ideas around creative ways to share what they have learned during their volunteer experience. Write a list which can be added to during the training if people have more ideas. Examples of suggestions: • Run workshops – eg. mural workshops…transferring skills you have learned

pass on training to people delivering workshops language courses • An exhibition – Documenting skills and processes you learned Photography / slideshow / presentations to groups • Party – celebrate achievements with cooking, music, slides to share your experience with others going to do an EVS • Making a film or video • Performances – music, dance or theatre to play out the story of your experience. • Websites / blogs / an online magazine documenting with photos and stories • Going to schools and colleges to give presentations about EVS itself • Forming clubs / groups of interest / continuing to learn Think of what you’re good at and how you can share your experience your way RECOGNISING LEARNING: YOUTH PASS Aim… • •

For participants to understand how they can recognise the non-formal learning of EVS To point participants towards further reading on Youth Pass

Materials… Key points of presentation on coloured card Copies of the Youth Pass Guide Method… 15mins • Follow up the work on learning plans with an explanation of how the Youth in Action programme tries to recognise the value of that learning in EVS. • Unlike formal learning, there are no qualifications you can get for taking part in EVS. However, there is a way of showing what you have learned, as a record for the future. That way is called Youth Pass. In a nutshell, Youth pass is a type of certificate that you can receive after your EVS. You assess yourself what you have learned (here’s where the learning journals come in handy) and you decide what to put into the Youth Pass. • Using the coloured card describe briefly the key points about a Youth Pass. o Lifelong learning/ knowledge society o Recognising NFL o 8 key competences • Give out copies of the Youth Pass Guide for further reading



To understand what being a volunteer means, what EVS define as the role of a volunteer To learn what rights and responsibilities an EVS participant has To consider what the expectations of the host organisation might be (activity agreements)

Materials… List of rights and responsibilities, cut into separate strips, chart on the wall, like the table below, chairs, pens and paper. Method… 45mins • • •

• •

• • •

Briefly explain that the aim of this activity is to learn more about our rights and responsibilities as EVS volunteers Give each participant some of the cut-up rights and some of the cut-up responsibilities. Explain the chart on the wall. It shows rights in the left column and responsibilities on the right. The rows refer to different times of the EVS project. It is up to the participants to decide where to put the pieces of paper they hold n their hands. First they must decide whether it is a right or a responsibility. Next they must think about when it is relevant. Set up the chairs in two concentric circles, with the chairs on the inside facing out and the chairs on the outside facing in. Ask each participant to take a set so that they are facing someone else. Explain that we are going to chat about the rights and responsibilities we have in our hands. Every two minutes the people in the outside circle will be asked to move one seat to their left. The conversations will continue until the people in the outside circle arrive back to their original place. Finally, everyone will have 5 minutes to place on the wall chart their pieces of paper. When everyone has placed their pieces of paper on the wall, ask everyone to stand back and look at the chart. Discuss: o What rights or responsibilities surprise you? o What do you feel is missing? o How can you ensure your rights are fulfilled?


For a list of Fundamental Rights see: RIGHTS (before)


The EVS is open to all young people between 18-30 years old, without discrimination • The volunteer has the right to choose his/her project from the whole list of EVS projects available (which appears in the on-line database) • The volunteer has the right to receive information about the projects available from his/her sending organisation in order to determine with the sending organisation, his/her suitability for the project • The volunteer is entitled to clear information about the host organisation, it’s activities, living conditions and the tasks that s/he will be expected to carry out in that organisation • The volunteer has the right to be properly prepared for his/her EVS experience and to take part in a special EVS seminar • The volunteer must not in any way pay wholly or partially, directly or indirectly, for his/her participation in the EVS programme, for any part of his/her project • The volunteer’s reasonable travel expenses for one return trip to (before the beginning of the project) and from (once the project has ended) the host organisation will be organised and covered by the sending organisation • Each volunteer has the right to be covered by the obligatory insurance (arranged by the sending organisation) foreseen for the EVS by an insurer appointed by the European Commission for the duration of his/her EVS service

The volunteer must read and sign the tri-partite agreement • The volunteer must attend a pre-departure training course • The volunteer must inform his/her sending and host organisation of the exact dates of his/her arrival at and departure from the host organisation • The volunteer has the responsibility to inform his/her sending organisation of any circumstances that may influence his/her compatibility/suitability for certain EVS projects • The volunteer has the responsibility to provide accurate information to the sending organisation about health related issues – this information shall be used for matching the volunteer to a suitable project and to ensure his/her well-being



The volunteer has the right to an explanation concerning the grant received by the organisation and the use of this grant for the benefit of the volunteer ’s project • The volunteer has the right to language training • The volunteer has the right to adequate training to enable him/her to carry out the agreed tasks and a right to attend the on-arrival and mid-term seminars offered by the National Agency • The volunteer should have adequate supervision

The volunteer is expected to respect the organisational policy of the host organisation • The volunteer must respect the health and safety regulations of the host organisation/ country • The volunteer must not act in any way that could put others or him/herself at the risk of being injured • The volunteer has the responsibility to fulfil the terms of the tri-partite agreement and is expected to remain in the project for the agreed duration unless there is a good reason for the volunteer to leave the project

related to his/her tasks, by the local host organisation in the project • The volunteer must be assigned a tutor by the local host organisation, and should have frequent contact with him/her • The volunteer is entitled to support from his/her tutor and the National Agency in the event of unforeseen difficulties • The volunteer should expect his/her sending organisation to stay in contact with him/her for the duration of the project • The volunteer should not be forced into participating in activities against his/her convictions which were not previously agreed upon • The volunteer has the right to receive pocket money from his/her host organisation on a weekly or monthly basis corresponding to the monthly rate set by the European Commission for each participating country in the EVS • The volunteer has the right to free board and lodging • The volunteer is entitled to two consecutive whole days off per week and two days holiday per month of service (to be taken within the EVS period, with prior agreement of the host organisation); during this time off, the volunteer is entitled to received his / her pocket money and all other allowances offered by the programme. His / her accommodation should remain available to him / her throughout this period.

• The volunteer is expected to be reliable, including notifying the appropriate persons (tutors, NA) of his/her intention to withdraw from the EVS • The volunteer must keep his/her tutor informed about his/her whereabouts during the EVS period • The volunteer has a responsibility towards the host organisation and should show willingness to adapt to his/her surroundings and to carry out agreed tasks. While the volunteer will be involved in interesting activities, some of the tasks could be routine but important to the running of the organisation • The volunteer has the responsibility to seek guidance when necessary. If the volunteer has a problem s/he should discuss it with his/her tutor as the host organisation can only act when it is aware of a problem • The volunteer is expected to frequently meet with his/her tutor • The volunteer should report serious difficulties to the National Agency • The volunteer must take good care of the accommodation that has been provided for his/her use • The volunteer must attend all the activities foreseen by the programme and the events organised by the National Agency (on-arrival, mid-term meetings), in order to learn, share his/her difficulties and to exchange his/her experiences

• It is possible for the volunteer to end his/her project for a good reason, after having consulted his/her host organisation, sending organisation and the National Agency



• The volunteer is entitled to receive support from his/her sending organisation after the completion of his/her project • Following the completion of his/her EVS, the volunteer is entitled to a certificate attesting the skills and experience that the volunteer has acquired during this period

The volunteer should respect the agreement with the sending organisation about reporting and returning experience to the sending organisation • The volunteer must complete a final report at the end of the EVS project • The volunteer must contact the sending organisation on his/her return or at the end of the EVS project


Aims… • To learn what supports exist for EVSers • To give time to participants to consider how they can support each other while on EVS (in country groups) Materials… Prepare in advance a presentation of the key elements. These can be copied from the table below or drawn on coloured paper. Method… 20mins •

Ask the participants for their support to deliver this presentation about supports. Give out the key elements of the presentation that you prepared earlier, so everyone has at least one piece each. There should be 12 pieces- 6 supports and 6 explanations of those supports. Participants need to mingle and find the person with the matching explanation/ title. Ask the participants to make the presentation. They should assemble the information and decide as a group how to present it to the facilitators. The facilitators can ask questions to emphasise or clarify any points. Refer them to the EVS Guide and other websites that will have more information. As a closing activity, remind the group that they are also a form of support for each other. Some of them will be together throughout their EVS, others they can keep in touch with via email. Give the group 5 minutes to discuss and note down some ways that they will commit to supporting each other during their EVS. (if there are sub groups going to the same places then they can do this exercise in those groups if appropriate).

• • • • • •





The host organisation is (mainly) responsible for arranging language-learning opportunities. The format, duration and frequency of this training can vary depending on volunteers’ needs and abilities, their tasks in the host project and the possibilities of the host organisation. Language training must be free of charge for the volunteers and included in the regular working time.

2 The host organisation is responsible for providing volunteers with adequate training and support in relation to the volunteers’ tasks. Persons who are familiar with these tasks should guide them. Regular


meeting with volunteer and project supervisor in a private setting should be ensured. The host organisation is responsible for sending volunteers to an on-arrival training session and mid-term meeting. (The sending organisation is responsible for ensuring pre-departure training and a final evaluation meeting.

3 Intercultural Learning

The host organisation should be prepared, sensitive and aware of the intercultural challenges the volunteers might be facing when experiencing the host culture (people’s communication patterns, attitudes, beliefs, values, etc.)

Mentor and Supervisor

You will be provided with a supervisor (someone responsible for your project) who is also responsible for your well-being during the activity and a mentor (an independent person who knows what EVS is about and who can support you and advise you in times of troubles.

Free time and socialising

The host organisation should be aware that the time that volunteers spend outside of work is equally important for their well-being and satisfaction as working time. Therefore the host organisation is responsible for facilitating the integration of volunteers into the local community, discovery of the host town, opportunities for meeting other young people, socialising and participating in leisure activities, etc. People from the organisation of a similar age and with similar interests as the volunteers could be of great help in this process. Contacts with other EVS volunteers should be encourage whenever possible.


The host organisation should provide sufficient personal support to help overcome and if possible, prevent any difficulties, either in the volunteers’, personal lives or in their activities with their host organisation.






To explore the ethos of volunteering in relation to working in a developing country To explore our understanding of development To offer opportunities to discuss understandings of development issues To link back to toolbox activity re. challenges they may face as a result of development inequalities (e.g. poverty) Why do these inequalities exist? Reflect on the ‘charity model of overseas development assistance’ v’s the ‘partnership model’. Create a list of questions for reflection in learning journals- share by displaying on wall.

Materials… Agree/ disagree signs Method…. 45mins • Post an “Agree” sign on one wall and a “Disagree” sign on the opposite wall. • Ask the group to come into the middle between the two signs. • Explain that you will read out a statement. If they agree with the statement they move to the “Agree” sign, if they disagree, they move to the “Disagree” sign. If they are unsure they can stay in the middle. When everyone is happy with where they are, the facilitator will ask for volunteers to say why they agreed/ disagreed. Ask participants to listen to each person’s opinion and consider moving based on their opinion. • Read out an easy statement if it is the group’s first time, just to demonstrate how it works. E.g. ‘Winter is the best season in Ireland.’ • Read out some statements (use the ones below, or adapt or write new ones to suit your group). • At the end thank everyone for their contributions and if discussions were heated do a short energiser to clear the energy. SAMPLE STATEMENTS: DEVELOPMENT It is beneficial for countries to develop (like Ireland) Rich countries are not responsible for poverty in developing countries Economic development leads to global equality SAMPLE STATEMENTS: VOLUNTEERING IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH Volunteering is another way of giving aid to poor countries Volunteering is about helping to improve other people’s lives

Activity 2/ Alternative activity Aim… • To present alternative (non-eurocentric) views of development

To show the value of multiple perspectives on development issues

Materials… Flipchart paper, markers Copies of the statements (reproduced below), ideally with a picture of the person. This can be found in the resource “Learning to Read the World through Other Eyes” also found at Method… 30mins • Form pairs, or groups of 3. • Give each pair/ group one of the perspectives. Ask them to read and discuss with each other what the person has written. You can write up a couple of reflective questions to guide their discussion, such as: o Who do you think this person is? o What informs their perspective on development? o How would they define development? How might they define wealth or poverty? • After 10mins ask each pair/ group to feedback in their own words the perspective of development they have learned about. • Facilitate a discussion on the different perspectives, making a note of key words on a flip-chart paper. Additional reflective questions might include: o Do you agree or disagree with this perspective? o How does this perspective differ from yours? o Is this perspective backward or progressive in your opinion? o What values do you think are at the base of this perspective? PERSPECTIVES ON DEVELOPMENT (Note: These quotes are from the learning resource “Learning to Read the World Through Other Eyes”, we rewrote some of them for the younger participants) Mereana Taki (Rotorua, Aoteoroa/ New Zealand) Development is about the quality and integrity of our relationships of reciprocity. It is also about the connections we have to ourselves and the spirit world. We are conscious that the world does not revolve around us. The Western Idea of development does not make sense.

Wera Mirim (Santa Catarina, Brazil) The development they want us to have means detachment from our community. It means living like the people in the city: isolated from other people, isolated from the earth, alone in the world. Development in my language means connection to one’s community, to the land and to Nande Ru (the force of creation or God).

Juan Carlos (Machicado Cusco, Peru) Inca progress or development is conceived in a collective way and in the context of relationship with the earth. Everything more that I want for me, it should be fair that everyone else should have it also. But if having that means taking from others or from the environment in ways that are unfair then I should not want it. A developed society gives everybody enough and cares for everybody’s needs.

Bob Randall (Mutitjulu, Australia) A developed society is a whole society. The question we ask for checking these connections is simple: is what we are doing costing other living beings life or not? If it is then we are going on the wrong trail. If man continues to destroy at the rate we are destroying today there won’t be much left for our children’s children.

Bronwyn Thurlow (Otautahi, Aoteoroa/ New Zealand) Development is a complex thing. I feel I am part of a wider system of relations and that the modern notion of progress is very problematic, but I also do not think I would prefer to live without electricity, hot water, books, violins, heat pumps, disposable nappies or cars.


12. INFORMATION ON HOST COUNTRIES Activity 1… INFORMATION TABLE (This can be left out for the duration of the training for people to come and look at when they have a spare minute) Aim… •

To collect and share some information about the countries to which they are going

Materials… Before the training gather as much information as you can on the relevant country. Try and vary this between images of people and the place, practical information such as climate, history, cultural information, maps etc. If it’s possible ask the participants to do the same and bring it into the training with them. Method… • Lay all the information out on a large table and arrange the chairs around it so that everyone can reach and share • Explain that you are going to hold a table quiz in 20minutes and they should use this time to become ‘experts’ on the particular country that they will be visiting by reading and remembering as much about the country as they can. Activity 2 TABLE QUIZ Aim… • To learn about the host country • To continue team-building amongst the group Materials… Quiz Questions (see sample on following page) Paper and pens Method… 45mins (depending on how many q’s) • • • • •

Split the group into teams and give each some pens and paper, asking them to come up with team names for the quiz. Ask the questions, you can divide them into two rounds if appropriate. At the end, collect the answer sheets and mark. Go through the answers to each question, facilitating a discussion if there are any surprising answers. Announce a winner and give them a prize!



What is the name of the lake by La Cambalacha? Lake Atitlan

2. What are there three of around the big lake near La Cambalacha? Volcanoes 3. What 4 countries neighbour Guatemala? (1 point for each) Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador 4. Name one of the native languages of the kids in La Cambalacha? (spelling not important) Kaqchikel or Tzutujil 5. What culture are the majority of native people in Central America? Mayan 6. When did the Spanish invade Guatamala? Was it the 1840S, 1930S, 1520’s 7. When did Guatemala achieve independence from Spain? 1821, 1783, 1902 8. Can you name food in Guatamala? Maize, chicken, corn, beans, rice, cheese and tortillas 9. What temperature is it in January? Average around 29˛C but can get cold in the evenings. Not much rain at this time of year 10. What is the population of Guatemala? 1. 9million 2. 13.3million 3. 27million 11. Guatemala is a very young country. 40% of the population are aged under: 25, 35, 14

12. Name 2 things that Guatemala makes and exports to the rest of the world: coffee, sugar, petroleum, apparel, bananas, cardamom

13. What does ‘La Cambalacha’ mean? The exchange / interchange


To hear from mid-term EVSers about advice to pre-dep EVSers To share advice To get inspired for the journey ahead. To have a list of each others contact details

Materials… Card (Cut into a star shape and then cut into enough pieces for each participant to have one), Markers, Glue, Luggage tags, Handouts of previous EVS’rs advice Method… 45-60mins • Give each participant one of the pieces of advice from previous EVS’rs to read out to the group. Get each person to imagine that they were looking back on the volunteer experience in years to come. What advice would they have given themselves before heading off on the trip? • Hand each person a section of the card star and ask them to write on it their advice and decorate it. • Write your name and contact details on the luggage tag (or a piece of card and a pipe cleaner) and attach it to your section of the star. • Ask the group to bring all the individual pieces together to assemble one large star

Messages from Mid-Way EVS’ers to On Arrival EVS’ers • • • • •

• • • •

Try to live the EVS like a unique experience!!! Good luck Hi! Things might be different than you expected them to be but never forget to take it easy and relax. And above all, HAVE FUN!! Get informed very well about your rights and responsibilities Enjoy your experience, don’t force it, just live it! Never give up! Also enjoy bad times! Find something you enjoy out of work (college course, sports, learn an instrument etc) to get to know people and experience something ‘Other’! When you go back home have something to do – organise this! Be patient with yourself and others while you are here and when you go home! HAVE FUN! Hello Hello! Welcome to the EVS adventure!! Enjoy as much as you can, have fun… and you’ll see how much you will learn. I’m sure you’ll have a good time, Good Luck! Hey! Make the best out of your time and this unique chance! Good luck! Have a nice training and make friends! Be sure that you’ll get a Mentor out of your project in case it’s not going well. Just enjoy this great experience, however it is…the end is always positive!


14. EVALUATION TREES AND CLOUDS Aim… • To review the things that people have learned from the training so far and to find out what is still unclear to them and they need more information on Method… 30mins • Draw the outline of a tree on a very large sheet of paper. • Ask the participants to find a quiet corner on their own and take a few minutes to reflect on the things they have found out / learned today and the things they would like to know more about still. • Make a leaf and a cloud shape and write on the leaf the things you have learned and on the cloud the things you’d still like to find out. • Come back together as a group and invite everyone to stick up the leaves and clouds on and around the tree. • You can add in other questions stuck randomly about the paper that they can write their answers around… such as ‘what was most useful to you about the training?’, ‘what did you enjoy most?’ etc.

SAMPLE END OF TRAINING QUESTIONS FOR EVALUATION You can use these questions as a standard questionnaire, if you want them to be confidential. You can also write the questions on coloured pieces of paper, stick them to a large drawing on the wall, inviting participants to respond to the questions by writing and/or drawing on the larger drawing. How useful was the training in the following areas: 1. Helping you to understand the concept of culture? 2. Helping you to consider how values and attitudes differ between cultures? 3. Dealing with intercultural communication challenges?

4. Giving you tools to manage challenges that may arise during your time as a volunteer? 5. Exploring your own expectations for the volunteer experience? 6. Setting learning objectives for your volunteer experience? 7. Clarification on rights and responsibilities? 8. Reflecting on the theme of development? 9. Giving you the time to get to know your fellow volunteers better? Any other comments or a word or an image to describe the training‌.


European Pre-departure training  

a resource for trainers preparing young people to volunteer abroad.

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