Every time Act Global receives international volunteers we conduct an on arrival training to support volunteers orientation and integration. From the 2-8th of October Act Global was proud to host and welcome Adriano from Portugal, Cristina from Spain, Sofia from Italy and Pagona from Greece for seven months of volunteer service in Bali Indonesia.
In order for these guys to get their service going, we started with a one-week on arrival training. Just about overcoming their jetlag the four participants engaged in a week of activities and sessions that aimed to integrate them into the local life and culture, the session address topics such as the history of Indonesia, essentials in health and safety, managing conflict, how to write a blog and European accreditation. But the four started with a day of shadowing an Indonesian.
Starting early in the morning each volunteer shadowed one of Act Global’s local volunteers and got to learn what it is like to live like an Indonesian for one day. The volunteers followed the local guys to their classrooms, jobs, went to their homes, met family members and socialised with their friends. Check out the volunteer’s blogs on this.
Then on the first day of the training, we started with general introductions and getting to know each other. In this session not only did we learn a little more about each other, but participants explored each other’s motivations and hopes for the project. We then jumped into a session that specifically looked at hope, fears and contributions. This session aimed to address any worries they had about life in Indonesia and the projects they planned to undertake. Discussing in group participants were able to relate to each other fears and anxieties about local life, as well as learning more about each other’s personalities.
Next, we had a short presentation about Indonesian history and culture. This was to give an insight into where Indonesians are rooted from and the social-political situations that have shaped the nation and the people within it.
The next day we did some theoretical work looking at conflict management and how to overcome this. The volunteers are sharing a house for the duration of their time as well as working and creating projects together, so the chances of them getting into a conflict situation of one kind or another are high. These theoretical models allowed volunteers to think about the strategies of how to manage such situations if and when they arose. The session was also complimented by some examples that the group acted out in some fun and funny drama improvisations.
Later in the afternoon, we looked at blogging. Volunteers are asked to document their time in Bali and write blogs at least once a month. To prepare for this we looked a little at previous blogs and discussed how to construct a blog and relate to an audience.
The next day the group went on a small tour to see some of the sights of the island. In the morning they went to Tegallalang rice fields followed by Bedugul and Jatiluwih after lunch. It was a full day of travelling with lots of great sights, so all were tired when they came back.
The next morning was an early start; the volunteers would learn some bargaining skills in the local market following some of Act Global’s local volunteers. After this, all engaged in an activity called “City Games”, which is a game that challenges the participants to find out some information about Bali and Indonesia and achieve a bunch of tasks. This was done in the city and required the group to look for things and speak to people.
In the evening we had an intercultural evening where all of the volunteers presented the countries they were coming from and gave some interesting facts about that place. Also, some of our local volunteers gave a presentation about some of the places they went on projects this year, sharing some stories and something about the culture. The local guys spoke about Turkey and Poland.
The next day we started the morning looking at setting some personal and group goals. Participants shared some of their ambitions and also wrote a letter to themselves about their plans, hopes and worries, in three months they will be given their letters to read.
In the afternoon we spoke about the YouthPass accreditation system and what the different elements are to these. We asked participants to reflect on this and to map out over the course of their volunteering how they are meeting these competencies.
The final session of the day was about health and safety and was delivered by Act Global Indonesia’s Director Aini. This session went into detail about all the risks that volunteers need to contemplate here from possible illnesses, to crazy traffic etc. Participants were also explained in detail about their insurance and what procedures to follow should they have an accident or be in trouble.
Finally, we ended the day with a meal out where we went as a group to Kuta and enjoyed some food and chatted into the night.
The last day of the training participants was asked to give a presentation about the project they will do as a group. Together they came up with the idea of doing an online video series about entrepreneurs in Bali, as well as making a month festival about entrepreneurship to inspire young people.
All in all, it was a busy but positive week with lots of learning, sharing and reflection.