On-Arrival training - one-of-a-kind experience
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Let me try and resume a training program that lasts for a full week, five intense days. I believe no matter how high or low your expectations are before coming to the training, in the end you will be overwhelmed by the experience. Though the program is intensive, due to all of the sessions scheduled from morning until evening, making you feel tired and exhausted, the good news is it only lasts for 5 days, the bad news is, it only lasts 5 days. In my on-arrival training there were 13 different nationalities present, a true multicultural environment pushing us to learn more about each other cultures and habits, embracing the differences and discovering the similarities. The interest and curiosity of meeting more volunteers with different projects and from different regions of Romania was so strong, that all volunteers found time to talk with each other between sessions, during the breaks, breakfast, lunch, dinner and after dinner, going out to spend the evenings together or sometimes just hanging out in the hotel.
In regards to the sessions, they were more useful and interesting than I expected, but as our trainer said in the beginning, we should trust the process, and that is what I did, I trusted that I would learn something from it and I did. Non-formal education is definitely more captivating and it pushes us to be more participative and engaged in the activities, easing the learning process. Besides the fun energizers that kept us from falling asleep in the morning, and the games played in groups, there was also time for reflection about our future, initiatives we can develop in our own projects and future jobs after the volunteering program, maybe even figure out a new career path. Time to think about our future was an important moment for me during these sessions, as well as learning more about the other projects around Romania and finding not only what’s special about them, but what is special about my project and what other ideas can be put into practice with the help of the other volunteers’ examples and perspectives.
To conclude, I suppose a very important part of this unique experience is sharing experiences with the other volunteers, inside and outside the sessions. Getting to know other people’s stories and experiences make us feel like we are not alone and more often we discover people with similar visions, ideals and beliefs. Sharing experiences helps us not only in our volunteering projects, but also personally, empathy is good for our mental health and sharing is a way of overcoming difficulties together. This training program was not only designed to teach us about volunteering, rights, obligations and roles, but also to teach us about solidarity and to encourage us, on our daily lives, not only as volunteers but as global citizens. I won’t forget this experience and hope to carry with me the values and experiences learned on to the future.