Management and support of of volunteers working with marginalised groups
On 10.10. – 18.10.2017 we took part in the course under the name: „Management and support of of volunteers working with marginalised groups” organized by the Association „Realization” from Croatia.
The course took place in Selce, small but so picturesque place. Nine countries took part in the project from nine organisations (Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy, Greece).
First day is always a „meet day”, so we had some games and energizers so we can all get to know each other. Activities were name games and some team building activities to create a good environment within the group and the people. We talk about our topic and goals.
Before going deeper, we established the tree of expectations: the roots were the attitudes, skills and experiences we brought with us, the trunk ideas on how we could work well together and the leave contained our expectations and hopes.
First of all, we talk about differences in youth work, types of volunteering in all countries and we sharing realities about existing volunteering.
When we talk about volunteer programme the most important is that must fit into the strategy of the organization, its vision, values and the mission statement. Before the concrete planning and creating a volunteer program, it is necessary to implement quality needs assessment and made a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).
Another subject was knowledge about the nine steps in volunteer management: preparation, recruitment, selection, orientation/training, supervision, monitoring, motivation, recognition, monitoring and evaluation. These nine steps were the main focus of our course and was well discussed.
Motivation is one of the important thing in organising volunteer service. Understanding motivation of volunteers can help understand why some people are able to overcome certain obstacles and reach the goals and why some give up more easily in the same activities. During run a volunteer programme organisation should be prepared to offer possibility of self-realisation to volunteers with different motives and can’t neglecting the needs of the volunteers because it can lead to dissatisfaction of some people in relation to voluntary work in general and to their failure. So organisation have to make sure that give more positive than negative feedbacks to volunteers.
Recruitment is an important, continuous process that enables organizations to attract potential volunteers. At this point we were divided into four groups and our task was to defend method of seeking volunteers by printed materials, media/online, targeted recruitment or group presentation (networks). After the game we came to the conclusion that each of these methods can be useful to a certain degree and it depends of recruitment strategy, type of the volunteer positions and the targeted group of potential volunteers.
We also know some forms of recruitment, they are called: Warm Body Recruitment, Targeted Recruitment, Concentric Circle Recruitment, Ambient Recruitment. We were most curious of the last one because we never heard of it and it consist people that belong to some closed system, like certain school (class), corporation, profession, neighbourhood, church congregation and others.
We practiced different activities that include movement, behaviours, eye contact, body language and how to connect to people through these elements. It was an activity that helped the group to connect more, be more confident within themselves
All of us experienced a different role in the activity and, later we could share how easy/difficult it
was, which things could be improved and how leaders should work and communicate. We like this kind of activity and its reflection after because it helps to build awareness of our feelings, attitudes and behaviours.