European Volunteer Service (EVS): On-Arrival Training

Between the 26th of February and the 1st of March our EVS volunteers (Alice and Adam) participated in on-arrival training in the Lithuanian countryside, many miles from civilization… in Molėtai.

Despite the remote location of the training, the accommodation was cozy, warm and provided an ideal environment for the activities that followed later. Participants had the chance to taste some specialties of the Lithuanian cuisine and to delve more into many aspects of the country traditions and cultural aspects. Moreover, the beauty of the iced lake which surrounded the premises added an extra touch to the whole experience!

Part of the EVS programme is to provide participants with two trainings: an on-arrival one and a mid-one. The main objective of on-arrival training is to introduce EVS volunteers to the host country, prepare them for the service period and the general EVS experience.  The training is designed to help volunteers adapt to cultural and personal challenges.  It also permits volunteers to get to know each other, build networks and collaborate.  The training also provides time for volunteers to plan the coming months and to develop their own personal goals for their period of service, in line with the non-formal learning philosophy of EVS.

The training started with a number of ice breaker activities so as to allow those in attendance to feel more comfortable.  A number of interactive, non-formal sessions were organized, as well as a hike which was designed to expand upon our team work and communication skills.  Non-formal education was used as a tool to provide participants with more awareness about the EVS Programme and its related benefits. Moreover, the activities aimed at pushing participants from their panic/challenging zone to their comfort one in order to overcome fears and concerns related to the stay in a new and foreign country.

One workshop was dedicated to the project presentation of each EVS Volunteer. Most of the projects dealt with child care and social work with people with less opportunities and mental and physical disabilities. Adam and Alice explained to the other participants their project and their tasks at the National LGBT* Organization LGL. During the presentation, participants were introduced to some information about the challenges that LGBT* people face daily in Lithuania and to the most recent national news related to discrimination and hate speech. The presentation of the project was fruitful and successful: many EVS volunteers expressed their interest to participate in future campaigns and initiatives and showed their full support to the cause.

What else needs to be added? Now our EVS volunteers are already looking forward for their EVS mid-training!

 Within a 10 month project “Promoting Human Rights Activism in Lithuania” under Erasmus+ programme two volunteers will carry out their voluntary service at LGL’s office.