Travelling Trainers: Two occasions in The Netherlands

The Travelling Trainers Scheme allows EFIL Member Organisations to request the participation of a trainer from the EFIL European Pool of Trainers (EPOT) to take part in national training or volunteer meetings. To encourage exchanges of expertise, interesting methodologies, ideas and concepts, EFIL funds a limited number of the Travelling Trainers per year. EFIL pays for the travel but does not cover the other expenses such as preparation, accommodation, etc. which is covered by the AFS organisation hosting the event.

Member organisations are invited to contact the EFIL Secretariat for more information.

In March and April, Emilija Gagrčin (EPOT member and AFS Serbia/Germany volunteer) attended two events with AFS Netherlands  – a Training for Trainers and a National Volunteer Weekend  – as a Travelling Trainer. EFILife asked him to tell us about his experience.

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Food for thought.

 

Travelling Trainer experience in AFS Netherlands

18-19 Marc h and 1-2 April 2017 in Zevenaar, Netherlands

Turning 70 might be the right time to bring some extra swing into your life. As AFS Netherlands celebrates their 70 birthday, a lot has been going on since the beginning of the year. Two events were planned for March i.e. beginning of April: A Training for Trainers (TfT) and the national volunteer weekend, both taking place for the first time in a while. Thus, AFS Netherlands  summoned a Travelling Trainer and I appeared.

The aims of the TfT was to develop training skills both for volunteer and exchange student activities and to provide space to practice said skills directly at the upcoming national volunteers weekend that was to take place two weeks after the TfT. Equipping volunteers with needed training skills in one-and-a-half days? Challenge accepted! Together with Nic Coudret and Friedhelm Janzen, we developed a one-and-a-half day TfT to cover basics of non-formal education, intercultural learning, session design and various methods including debriefing and evaluation. Given that a number of participants were camp leaders, we devoted some time to the camp flow design.

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 Emilija with the meta-hat on

As one might imagine, we had an intense and challenging yet smooth, fruitful and overall enriching weekend, not least thanks to Andreas Belling who took care of cooking for us all.

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Two weeks after the TfT, we again found ourselves sitting in a circle at the Zevenaar venue in the central eastern Netherlands, making final adjustments to our workshops and discussing the program flow of the national volunteer weekend. The event gathered some 60 volunteers of all ages not only from AFS Netherlands but also from AFS Belgium Flanders.

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After the colourful get-to-know-each-other, we spent the whole afternoon in workshops. I was given the freedom to do “an ICL workshop”, so I developed a workshop named “Fake tales of ICL?” to introduce EFIL’s annual theme  on Inclusion. In the first part of the workshop we explored different aspects and dimensions of exclusion in societies and in the second part we discussed how ICL à la AFS contributes to fulfilling our mission which is to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.

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All in all, it was a rewarding experience to partake in two national events – on one hand to see how other AFS organisations work and on the other hand to meet and work with new people.

So if you have an opportunity, definitely try out the Travelling Trainer scheme!

More about the anniversary of AFS Netherlands here.

Text by Emilija Gagrčin

Photos by AFS Netherlands