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„ Beginner’s guide to EVS coaching: how to support volunteers in their GROWTH"
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The idea for the project was based on many years experience in organising EVS projects and intensive cooperation with both volunteers and hosting organisations. Twenty six mentors and coordinators of EVS activities from seven countries (Romania, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Belgium and Poland) were invited to take part in our project: ‘Beginner's Guide to EVS Coaching: How to Support Volunteers in Their GROWth?’. The main activity of the project was a training taking place between 25.11.15 and 30.11.15 during which we explained how to use coaching tools and approaches in daily work with EVS volunteers. We understand what sort of challenges people supporting EVS volunteers are facing in their work with young people who come to a foreign country full of doubts and hopes. Therefore, one of the aims of our project was to build confidence and belief in their natural skills and abilities to support volunteers. Also, we provided participants with specific tools which could be easily applied in their every day work. Together with our partners, we diagnose participants’ needs as: decreased motivation on both: supporting and supported side, lack of knowledge and tool considering various forms of support, lack of confidence and lack of trust in their own decisions, the need for self-development as well as the desire to build a social network and create safe space to share experience and to seek professional support. During the training, we combined the potential of our participants with the knowledge and experience of trainers and experts. The tools we introduced during the training were designed to be used over the years in various EVS projects also by other members of organisation. The objectives of the project were: - Enhancing the quality of EVS projects by improving the quality of collaboration between volunteers and people supporting them during their projects using coaching methods; raising the level of awareness and understanding of other cultures, maintaining motivation and passion of people supporting volunteers; developing specific tools and techniques that participants could put into practice immediately after the training, supporting participants in their self-development as well as in their professional growth; introducing innovative ideas and improving the quality of teaching for people working in the education sector; increasing competences of people supporting youth initiatives With our project we contribute to the increase in the quality of EVS projects as well as in the level of involvement in the youth initiatives. What is equality important, we facilitated the process of creating a network which can be used for the future support. We developed tools and created a package of training materials, which in the future can be easily used by other members of organisations. Mentors and coordinators of the project and activities play a very important role in the learning process of volunteers. We believe that introducing coaching into their collaboration will create space for mutual growth. We are committed to the idea of supporting and guiding volunteers by showing various possibilities rather than imposing particular visions and beliefs. The message we wanted to convey is that presence and attention are the most valuable gifts which allow volunteer to grow by finding his own paths and make his own decisions. The methods we used in the training course were: activities in small groups, exchange of experiences and good practices, experiments, training games, interactive lectures, group exercises, questionnaires, role plays, conversations and discussions, reflections in small groups, creative techniques.
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