Mid-way Training for Volunteers

Nadine Eckmann has come to Ireland from Germany to do a one-year European Voluntary Service (EVS) placement with Friends of the Elderly Ireland in Dublin. Here, she talks about her experience at the EVS mid-way training.


friendsoftheelderly Our EVS work with the Friends of the Elderly


“Life holds one great but quite commonplace mystery. Though shared by each of us and known to all, seldom rates a second thought. That mystery, which most of us take for granted and never think twice about, is time." - Michael Ende, Momo.

The time has come again: the on-arrival training, which took place in September last year, feels as if it were just a few weeks ago. But just last weekend, Léargas organised EVS mid-way training. As the name suggests, this training should be completed approximately half-way through the voluntary service placement; however most of us still have more than six months to go on the 'Emerald Isle'! We went back to the Emmaus Centre in Swords, a really great venue.

On a Friday afternoon we were all picked up by the coach in the city and about twenty minutes later we arrived at our little 'holiday home'. Somehow it felt like a sort of homecoming - and so it turned out to be. It's just incredible to see once again all the people who have won a place in our hearts during the past weeks and months, and to spend a few days together. Of course we were all very interested in finding out how everyone's been doing in our projects and what might have changed since our first training. In those three days we shared, we experienced many things together and also developed some new ideas.


Different ways that EVS is good for the host organisation Different ways that EVS is good for the host organisation


It's a nice feeling to look back at this stage to when it all began and see how much has changed since then. It's great to reflect on what great adventures and experiences we all have had so far.


We also worked on "My Dream" - here is my poster We also worked on 'My Dream' - here is my poster


On Saturday night we all went to the 'Brazen Head' - Ireland's oldest pub. For me personally, the most important thing was to see many volunteers again and to share common experiences. Then, on Sunday we received a special visit from Léargas. It was about the 20th anniversary of the European Voluntary Service. There are great projects planned which include a big conference taking place in Dublin at the end of September. I am really excited about it already ... so this year is going to be, in all respects, very special :-)


What we can do to help celebrate EVS20 What we can do to help celebrate EVS20


All images courtesy of Nadine Eckmann. You can follow Nadine's own blog here.

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