I’ve just come home from my VSO Preparing to Volunteer (P2V) training course in sunny Birmingham. 3 days packed with both academic and practical stuff on getting volunteers ready for living and working in a completely new environment. It was very informative, interesting and intense… and we had a good laugh too! 😀
The best part was definitely meeting my fellow volunteers. All highly inspirational people in their own different ways. Full of enthusiasm and gumption.
A bit of background info… P2V is part of a structured training programme designed by VSO. It uses a “blended” approach i.e. mixes classroom and online based training. I have been working with my course-mates on an online training course called Volunteering Starts Here, which is good, but there’s simply no substitute for meeting face-to-face.
We learnt about the international development context, which I must say, was rather complex! From the effects of colonialism to globalisation, UN’s 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to VSO’s development goals… it was really interesting stuff. We also had advice on some volunteering do’s and dont’s. One exercise called The Trading Game was especially fun. Very well designed to demonstrate the realities and challenges of global trade; The giants of G8 and minnows of the G77, which I had never heard of. There were also more reflective exercises like the Me-Map and discussions about the impact of relationships.
A sincere thank you to my course-mates and our trainers, Marianne and Dolar. It’s been a good weekend!
Oh, there was something jotted down on a flip-chart last thing today, which I really liked. It’s a great title for a book and just sounds great to say: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway (by Susan Jeffers). I hope that someday I’m able to truly live with this mindset!
Finally, there was one particularly relevant lesson I took away from the weekend: Don’t vent on blog! So you may have noticed that this post was rather nice! 😛