In France the experimentation carried out for the European project IVO4All operates in two distinct sending waves of volunteers abroad: 25 volunteers left at the end of 2015 and 75 will leave in 2016. During the month of May 2016, the last French volunteers were divided in two groups to attend a pre-departure training session implemented for the experimentation.
During the three-day session, the volunteers had the occasion to discuss their fears, expectations, and apprehensions on the eve of departure. For the majority impatience prevails, for others who have not had the opportunity to travel this session allowed them to realize they were going abroad.
In order to give the best preparation to the volunteers, groups of three trainers from sending organizations were mobilized on these sessions. They organized workshops allowing the volunteers to meet and discuss notions such as commitment, volunteering and solidarity. This session aims to sensitize the volunteers to cross-cultural environment and to inform them on the risks abroad.
By the end of the session, the volunteers said that they felt confident and ready.
Author: Hadrien Le Saux, French Ministry for urban policy, youth and sports