The iVolunteer overseas program helps Indian professionals who are interested in volunteering abroad find opportunities that match their skills and expertise. After the selection of volunteers, they are provided in-house training to equip them with the skills and knowledge to be efficient in their placements.
We had four of our volunteers joining us last week for the “Wider Role of the Volunteer” training close to their departures. Each one of them had brought along lot of hope, excitement and inextinguishable fire for their respective volunteering assignments. They were all really looking forward to seeing their dream of volunteering take concrete shape.
But because for all of them, it is the first time that they will be travelling abroad as a volunteer, there were pangs of nervousness, lots of questions embraced with uncertainty and wider apprehensions over the choice they had made at this point in their lives. One of the volunteers who was due to depart in the next 2 days was particularly missing his son a lot who is in 10th std and felt concerned that he will not be with his son till his 12th std, probably the two most crucial years of his student life.
In spite of these mixed emotions, they participated in the training wholeheartedly and explored the wider dimensions of being a VSO volunteer. They picked up the necessary concepts related to development, skills including participatory approaches of facilitation and tools for conflict resolution, negotiation etc that would enable them to be efficient facilitators in their respective organizations and add real value through their volunteering effort. They understood the deeper significance behind the roles that have been assigned to them and how it will contribute to the overall development scenario.
The two days were full of action – lots of insights, lots of sharing, lots of doubts getting cleared, lots of in-depth discussion related to their placements. It ultimately resulted in the volunteers feeling more confident and more in charge of their impending assignments. They knew what to expect, what kind of challenges could come in their way and how to effectively deal with them.
Actually, the stage for their volunteering journeys was set and the spirit of sharing shone through the days of training itself. The fact that this journey is going to be a mixed bag – full of fun, frowns, hunches, smiles and laughter – was evident when all the volunteers headed for coffee together in the evening. May this journey be a fulfilling one for each one of them 🙂 !!!