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“Beyond Taking and Giving” – working with volunteers: how to mentor volunteers to own the competencies gained from voluntary services and apply them in the labour market
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Apr 1, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Order of Malta Relief Organization in Lithuania (MOPT) initiates the international training course on volunteer mentors and coordinators competencies development. Partner countries: Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Turkey, Hungary, Estonia and Iceland. Group size: 28 participants were invited to develop their competencies within volunteer mentoring topic. Training duration and place: 10 days in Lithuania in 2015 09 10-19 The main aim of the training course is to develop youth workers competencies in work with volunteers learning processes and competencies gained in their voluntary activities in order to apply them in the labour market. Target group: training is built for practitioners directly working with young volunteer development processes, guidance as coordinators. Participants were selected by partner organisations, according to their profile – background and experience in work with volunteers’ coordination, their motivation, expectations and readiness to do an impact by implementing follow-up activities. The key project idea focuses on how to mentor volunteers in a way, that they would be aware of what is “beyond taking and giving” – how consciously develop competencies, work with volunteer self-awareness on competencies gained and how they can be applicable inside and outside the organisation. Learning methodology was based on experiential learning – short theoretical inputs, covered with practices and constant reflection about the unique personal experiences and learning outcomes. Participants got acquainted with differences and similarities of voluntary work in different organisations, got better perception of their role as mentors, learn how to deal effectively with uncertainty, use coaching as a tool in volunteer development processes, asses the competencies of people they work with, got insights about synergies among non-formal education, voluntary work and labour market. Moreover, develop international network of professionals and further projects ideas. Training project impact firstly lies on improvement of participants’ professional performance, in their daily work with young volunteers. Secondly, competent organisation members and common project will strengthen participating organisations from the inside and also will strengthen their partnerships, as they share their “know-how”, strong and weak sides during this project. Project results were disseminated by participants firstly within their organisations, with their colleagues and members, other voluntary organisations, shared with young people from the local communities. This training aimed to create the base for national and international follow-up activities under Erasmus+ and projects, which in training sessions will be ensured by creating environment for networking and further cooperation among partners involved in the project.
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