Last week the European Solidarity Corps On-Arrival Training took place in Europahaus in Vienna. Ziva Alif, the European Solidarity Corps volunteer with the European Wilderness Society, participated in it. There, 19 new volunteers from 15 different countries that are volunteering all across Austria met. This four-day event was an opportunity for them to get to know each other, share their experience and find out more about European Solidarity Corps programme.
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The training followed non-formal learning methods that include an active approach and learning with all senses rather than listening to a lecture. In this way, the volunteers looked at various challenges that they are encountering. Examples include meeting new people in a new environment, overcoming the German language barrier and resolving conflicts. Different ways to tackle these challenges were discovered by brainstorming ideas, making an act from the problem and learning new communication techniques.
There was also a chance to get to know each other well through various group activities. For example, one evening the volunteers cooked a traditional Austrian dinner together, featuring strudel and pumpkin soup. Besides, there was a chance to explore the beautiful Vienna. Through such activities participants also got to know well the volunteering projects of others. These are very diverse, stretching from social work with children and the disabled to work with European Wilderness Society.