by Yaryna Kobryn –
On arrival training for EVS volunteers in Turkey held on 25-30th March in Golbasi, Ankara, came to its end. An essential part of European Voluntary Service and an undoubted highlight of the EVS experience for many volunteers, the training brought a number of insights and thoughts to ponder upon. Hereby are the main takeaways of the training:
It’s All About People
Imagine finding yourself in a room of over 45 volunteers from 13 different countries who undergo their projects in 15 cities all around Turkey. It might feel like seeing an open book of human personalities and experiences where every single one with its unique experience. Each one with unparralleled life story to share, a set of plans to follow, a range of dream to pursue. And, as you discover different pages and paragraphs deciphering their meaning, by the end of 5 days of spending time together, you would most probably realize that every single one finds a place in your heart, bringing on something to either to admire, think about, or learn from. Being curious about others was one of the most rewarding for me – it brought many unexpected discoveries of others’ lives and thoughts.
It’s All About Attitude
Apart from astounding opportunity of networking with people, the training (of course) provides educational/theoretical background which might help to improve the project and respond affectively to the present issues.
In frames of the agenda, the training was vastly focused on problem solving and crisis management, key takeaway of which is…. it’s all about the attitude. The way you perceive your project, the way you deal with unexpected situations, the way you communicate the problems with others – it is all about the attitude. Whether you respond with either critics, negativity, aggression or an open mindset and solution-oriented attitude – the outcome would be strikingly different, and it depends on you.
So you can either sit down and complain about every single thing you don’t like – or think how you can the most out of what you have. Look how the disadvantages can be turned into benefits, and don’t simply take for granted what is good about your experience. Feeling grateful for even small things – a cup of cai prepared by your colleague, a smiley face of the locals you teach English, a message “How are you” from a local friend you met randomly somewhere – and the small things like these matter as they create impressions which finally make up the perception about your project here. In many cases, if you change the attitude, you will eliminate the problem itself.
It’s All About You
Your EVS experience is what you make out of it, that’s the fact. Surely there are coordinators, and mentors, and organization members to set your work up and help you out with your tasks, but if they are not…well, then it’s entirely up to you.
It’s up to you whether you settle for wasting your time or take the initiative into your hands. There might be a lot of opportunities which you might not even think of.